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It's That (Liberal) Time of the Month

Measure liberal ideas in the second half of the month, conservative ideas in the first half of the month
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This is a bit of an oddball idea, but...

I would posit that most "mainstream" (i.e. N.Y Times, Washington Post) media is to the left of center (as center would be defined in the States) is a truism.

Increasingly such media outlets have also introduced paywalls, showing a number of articles to browsers, but then requiring payment and subscription.

The assumption would be that many that already subscribe to these publications therefore mostly subscribe to their views. Whereas more conservative readers probably do not, yet still sample them occasionally.

Now, if one also buys the premise that reading such "skewed" articles or opinions does impact ones understanding and opinion, then the conservative is most likely to be influenced by liberal opinions early in the month, and revert to their own healthy self by mid to late month.

Polled opinion should thus also resonate in sync with this periodicity, and this resonance should therefore be taken into account by pollsters.

theircompetitor, Jun 24 2013

8% more likely to vote Democrat http://internationa...n_gerber_karlan.pdf
if randomly subscribed to Washington Post [4and20, Jun 26 2013]


       I'll see your truism and raise you a false-ism.   

       Once upon a time we had a conservative daily and liberal evening paper. Now we're lucky if the town has a paper at all. This was a trend that was brought on by conservative types, in my estimation.
RayfordSteele, Jun 24 2013

       why do you say that? If papers are liberal, and liberals read them, it's conservatives fault that papers are going out of business? :)
theircompetitor, Jun 24 2013

       The time of the month is often a red state.
tatterdemalion, Jun 24 2013

       Thing is, I don't want to read anything with *any* kind of bias at all. I know that's practically impossible in a strict sense, but any newspaper that taints its news with the stench of party politics deserves to go down the drain.   

       One issue with that is that one man's rational objective perspective is another's reactionary madfest. The politicisation and subsequent polarisation of the media is a real issue. If swerving violently from left to right each month promised a balanced point of view, I'd grudgingly accept - but I don't think it would achieve that.   

       What's needed is some integrity from journalists and the ideal of a fair and balanced media. I don't know how to fix that in the states since Fox took the shamelessly partisan road such that anything in comparison looks left-leaning.
zen_tom, Jun 25 2013

       Most major media use the same few wire services for everything reported. Then they copy each other.   

       The edits, editorials and on occasion, real journalism they add do reflect a clear slant, although the physics of each slant seems to be common knowledge in the UK.   

       Nonetheless, few people seek out a wide spectrum of activist bloggers, from all sides of political debate, preferring instead the blind righteousness of an overarching, limited view.
4and20, Jun 25 2013

       I'm not (here) lamenting the state of the media. Merely pointing out that unless you are subscribed to the NY Times, by the second week of any month, you are unable to avail yourself of its opinions, and postulating that this might actually affect your own opinions over time.
theircompetitor, Jun 25 2013

       It seems that the core idea here is a proposal for a study of how paywalls might result in a diminishing political influence (either on a national scale, or an individual/temporal scale), and the liberal/ left/ centre/ conservative/ maintream media stuff is not helping discuss the merits of the core idea.
calum, Jun 25 2013

       I've read the N.Y. Times every day for years, mostly to see in what direction bleating edge intellectuals in the U.S. may try to push the world, but I've never hit "the wall" you describe. Maybe I've been reading the "wrong" articles.   

       BTW, their coverage was once so execrable that even I foresaw -- within a few days -- the Editor-in-Chief's dismissal. Strange that it's now run by the former BBC Director-General who feted Savile.
4and20, Jun 25 2013

       Why do I say that? Because of the political affiliations of the corporate take-over class, perhaps? Or do you think that the Standard Oil types are generally for big government liberal policies? Do you think that the trend of media consolidation originated with the lefties?   

       The fix is perhaps that more conservatives should read more.
RayfordSteele, Jun 25 2013

       I would argue that the news sections of most major papers don't have a particular bias. I would argue the same for the news programs of most major television stations (Fox and MSNBC excepted).   

       If you read the editorials, well, you're paying to hear someone's opinion, and that's your own fault.   

       (As an aside, per one recent study, on a current hot button issue in front of the SCOTUS, NPR, generally considered a hotbed of liberalism by the right, had more conservative commentators than Fox News did. Bias is often in perspective, not fact.)
MechE, Jun 25 2013

       [don't have a particular bias]. There are two kinds of people in this world. Those that realize that every sentence is selling them something. And those that buy without realizing it. Hold on a sec, I think my Kraft(r) Mac & Cheese is ready in my GE microwave.   

       Everyone has bias, and it affects everything they do.
theircompetitor, Jun 25 2013

       I think that by seeing the bias that does exist in every situation, we lose the perspective to realize that some biases are a bit stronger than others and that in some disciplines, facts can and do exist, regardless of opinion.
RayfordSteele, Jun 25 2013

       There is a difference between having some biases, and even having them affect what you do, and an organization having a systemic bias.
MechE, Jun 25 2013

       I think the bias feels stronger the further away you are from a particular point of view.   

       I've never read a news story that was not trying to make a point. All that's changes is that I've grown older, and notice it more.   

       Here's an interesting proposed test. Take 5 headlines from the NY Times, and from the Wall St. Journal -- not opinion articles, news articles. Do you believe you'd confuse which news paper wrote which article if you did not see the masthead?   

       But again, I did not really do this idea to debate their politics. Merely wondering if paywalls are actually impacting opinion.
theircompetitor, Jun 25 2013

       Some students must have done studies on the effect of articles read on opinions held. Sounds like a Phd thesis to me. If you can prove the well dries up each month and that things read a few weeks ago no longer effect one's opinions strongly, you might have something.   

       I wonder what sort of double blind test you could construct, based on the day of the month. ?
popbottle, Jun 25 2013


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