Monday, November 17, 2008

Underrepresented Conservatives

Yglesias pushes back against the equal-newspaper-time meme by citing the essential, rarely mentioned, control group:
The group of people who prefer newspapering aren’t going to be ideologically identical to the general population. You can see this in part in the fact that the elements of the media that are the most politically relevant are the ones with the most conservatives. If you want to see a bunch of big liberals, forget about political reporters and look at the assembled food writers or movie critics of the United States. Politics is something conservative are interested in, so you see some conservatives in the news pages, more on the op-ed pages, and then total domination on broadcast media.

Similarly, the two or three conservative professors at Amherst were in political science, history, etc. rather than music or physics.


Grobstein said...

Conservatives are more interested in politics? I wonder if this has been studied directly.

Zed said...

I don't think the claim is that conservatives are more interested in politics than liberals. Rather, political journalism is a natural career for someone who has strong right-wing political opinions, whereas e.g. food criticism is not for a conservative who cares about food. Presumably this has an explanation in terms of what careers are disparaged in the family you grow up in.