Mar. 7th, 2011

erinptah: (Birds)
[personal profile] erinptah
This post is a reaction to the "TDS/the Rally portray liberals and conservatives as equally out-of-control" criticism. The fact that it's about half a year behind the times is a demonstration of my epic procrastinating skills.

See, here's the thing. When I first heard the false-equivalency argument, my reaction was "But TDS goes after conservative extremism so much more than liberal extremism! Surely it can recognize that the left has fewer problems without refusing to criticize them at all." Then I started to wonder if that was objectively true, or if I was just overcompensating for my own liberalism. Finally, I decided to crunch some actual numbers.

These...are those numbers.

First, a selection of clips. To get a consistent measurement, I went to the website and looked up all Daily Show episode clips, from the year 2010, that were tagged with the names of Maddow, Olbermann, Beck, and O'Reilly. Excludes web-exclusive montages (because they compile footage already covered in the episodes) and Moments of Zen (because they don't come with context, and they're all Glenn Beck anyway).

Big list o'clips )

Now for the Rally itself. First some raw data, then a few percentages.

Chuck...? )

IN CONCLUSION: Calling out prominent right-wing pundits is a regular feature on-air, while the same has only happened a handful of times with their left-wing "equivalents." In addition, the quality of the callouts differs. Liberal callouts sometimes end with both parties coming to an agreement over whether the criticism was valid, while conservative callouts are more flatly dismissive, and never get reconciled. When compared to this baseline, the Rally put a surprising amount of focus on liberals; but in its massive montages of media criticism, conservatives still featured nearly twice as much.

Or, to summarize: TDS goes after conservative extremism so much more than liberal extremism.

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