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More “conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon” nonsense

More “conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon” nonsense

A conservative electoral loss is a terrible thing to let go to waste

I pointed out yesterday that there is no reason to believe that there is any more of a conservative echo chamber/bubble/cocoon than there is a liberal echo chamber/bubble/cocoon, Politico wants conservatives to stop reading alternatives to Politico.

Don’t think that false meme comes only from the left.  This post by Doug Mataconis at Outside The Beltway demonstrates that the meme lives elsewhere in the media as well, The Conservative Political Media Complex:

The day after the election, James Joyner took note of the extent to which the conservative media had spent much of the election essentially misrepresenting the state of the election to their viewers. Instead of giving them a realistic view of the state of the race, news outlets like Fox News Channel, radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and countless numbers of conservative web sites continually told them that the polls they were seeing on a daily basis were wrong because the pollsters were biased against Republicans, they told them that the American people would turn out in force against President Obama because of the weak economy, and they told them that the “mainstream media” was lying to them when it was reporting on the state of the race. As we learned on Tuesday, they were all wrong.

Being wrong doesn’t make one a liar.  Where is the proof that the interpretations of the polls — that the polling was not representing the likely voter turnout — deliberately were falsified?  Have liberal commentators and networks never been wrong?

To the contrary, the conservative commentators cited above explained the reasoning behind their projections, reasoning which was subject to scrutiny and much criticism prior to the election.  Whether the 2008 turnout model would be replicated was something about which reasonable people could differ, and did.   Dick Morris, who is the most roundly criticized, explained prior to the election that he was using a model of averaging turnout over three presidential cycles.  It turned out wrong, but to say it was a deliberate deception lacks any evidence.

To try to spin being wrong based on fully disclosed reasoning with a deliberate misrepresentation requires proof, not just accusation.

Even after the election, we’re seeing the conservative media pushing an interpretation of what happened on Election Day that is rooted not in gaining insight into what might have been wrong with Romney, the Romney campaign, or the Republican Party but in reinforcing orthodoxy and insisting that real change isn’t required. The GOP’s demographic problems are acknowledged, for example, but outside of notable exceptions such as Sean Hannity and Charles Krauthammer few people on the right seem to think that the party really needs to change very much in response to what this election told us about the shifting demographics in this country, largely because that’s what people like Rush Limbaugh are telling them.

More hyperbole.  In fact, there is a vibrant discussion going on whether a less than 3% national vote total loss, with closer races in key swing state, necessitates a change of principle and policy, or something else.  Byron York’s piece, which I cited last night, makes the point that much of what we believe about the reasons for the loss in Ohio may not be so. 

When you couple contrary evidence to the “Republicans are too old, white and male” narrative with the fact that we held the House pretty significantly, there is good reason not to jump too soon on the convenient bandwagon that the GOP needs to become Democrat-lite.  To have that discussion in the open manner in which it is taking place is far from “enforcing rigid orthodoxy.”

They think that the GOP’s Latino problem can be solved simply by nominating Marco Rubio They think that Romney didn’t lose because there was something wrong with the American people. Limbaugh, for example, has spent the week since the election asserting that President Obama won by promising people a lot of free stuff and that the GOP found itself competing against Santa Claus.

The caricature that people think the GOP’s “Latino problem” can be solved by nominating Rubio does not fit reality.  There is a pretty vibrant discussion about how to make better outreach to Latino voters, including discussion of the success in Texas and the rising stardom of a number of Americans of Latino descent in the party.  How to get the message out to those voters is not being swept under the Rubio rug, it is being openly debated.

As for “Santa Claus,” why would anyone deny that the Democrats made a deliberate pitch to demographic groups for “free stuff.”  How much did we hear about contraceptives with no deductible as a “right,” and class warfare galore about how the small percentage of the population which pays most of the taxes were not paying their “fair share.”  How one counters promises that others will pay for everything is a legitimate issue.

If anything, the re-election of Barack Obama is going to do wonder for the business model of Fox News and the Limbaugh/Hannity/Levin crowd, and conservative outlets on the Internet are going to see their traffic continue to boom.

Ah yes, the ad hominem attack.  It’s one we see often, that conservative outlets including blogs are motivated by financial considerations to mislead the viewership.  Just think how much money I am going to make off of another four years of Obama!  Damn, I may make it into the 1% yet. 

Is it possible we actually believe in what we are saying? No, that’s not possible, we’re just shills.

Notwithstanding these benefits, though, this new media world also makes it very easy to immerse yourself only in information that reinforces what you already believe. You don’t have to read The New York Times to get your news, you can go to The Washington Times, the Brietbart websites, or any number of conservative blogs where you’ll find the news presented with a decided ideological basis, while at the same time emphasizing stories that most of the media isn’t really paying attention to, such as Benghazi, Fast & Furious, or any other number of supposed Obama Administration “scandals.” You can follow only the people on Twitter and Facebook that you agree with, thus further creating the impression that everyone agrees with you and shielding you from an America where things are vastly different from the way you perceive them. This isn’t a healthy way to live, in my opinion, and it’s certainly not good for the long-term health of a political movement.

Actually, at least two studies I cited yesterday debunk the mythology that technology results in people filtering out contrary information.  And there is no evidence that conservatives do so more than liberals, to the extent it happens.  This is simply conjecture used to justify a pre-existing belief that conservatives are the problem.

Conservatives woke up surprised last Wednesday because they’re living inside of an echo chamber, and as long as that’s the case they’re going to continue to be surprised. Unfortunately for them, the solution involves making the choice to expose yourself to a wide variety of news sources and not just the ones you agree with. That seems to be hard for many conservatives to do these days.

And liberals woke up in November 2010 with the same surprise! 

Conservative echo chamber?  We are immersed in the liberal news narrative.  It is impossible to escape.  Thousands of newspapers reprint AP, Reuters, NY Times and WaPo stories.  Radio stations run CBS and other news feeds at least every hour on the hour.  The networks, with one exception, are liberal.  The notion of a conservative, much less uniquely conservative, echo chamber defies reality.

We are seeing the “conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon” narrative not because there is conclusive or even strong evidence to support the theory, but because it fits preconceived anti-conservative political views.

A conservative electoral loss is a terrible thing to let go to waste.


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Has Fox announced layoffs yet, NBCUniversal has.

I see now what they are saying: Republicans will have better election prospects if they become Democrats.

casualobserver | November 13, 2012 at 9:32 am

It’s a fair criticism to say that conservative pundits, ‘elite’, and activists have all been so out of touch that they didn’t read the ‘pulse of the electorate’ this time around. That simply led to believing in an old status quo, and not a changing one. But it is just as inaccurate to say there was any deliberate lying as it is to cry racist anytime a non-white is involved in a topic or discussion with a conservative. The false labeling is a part of the ‘new order’ or new narrative now, too, I guess.

In my view, all of this effort spent on analyzing or just simply criticize is a part of the symptom. We’ve become so obsessed with politics and have created (fostered the creation?) of such a huge yapping class called pundits and political analysts, that energy has to go somewhere once the elections have been registered. So we now punished with a near endless spree of opinions and comments and drivel and……

The days of thoughtful and serious analysis are far behind us, I think also. For every meaningful opinion written or spoken, there seems to be at least a dozen that are knee-jerk partisan rhetoric.

    Do you really want thoughtful observations? I doubt it, but in case I’m wrong here goes:
    White people stayed home and did not vote (for Romney).

    It’s as simple as that.

    Evangelicals decided not to vote for a Morman. White middle and lower middle class decided not to vote for a Richie Rich. Ron Paul conservatives were pissed at how Romney treated them at the convention and decided not to vote for Romney. Bona fide Conservatives decided not to vote for yet another RINO picked by the Republican establishment.

    And so, Romney did not get out his base and lost.

      Try again, Bucko. There was a huge turnout on early voting day….I stood in line for three hours (along with a bunch of other evangelicals) to vote for the “Morman”. Lots of Blacks there, too. Funny thing is, the bulk of the blacks left the line near the poll, claiming they couldn’t wait any longer. Lots of whites left, too….but after a thirty minute or so wait. You cannot tell me otherwise that this election was a fraud.

      casualobserver in reply to [email protected]. | November 13, 2012 at 11:05 am

      paul.abarge – You need to look at the real data and not your imagined outcome. Evangelicals DID get out and vote, as one example. And they DID vote for Romney. The change in status quo I refer to is not entirely demographics. What is changing is the motivation within the ‘voting blocks’ as fabricated by the political parties. Even though motivation overall was significantly down – as seen in reduced total votes – the Democrats were hugely more successful at motivating certain groups of voters to get out and vote their interests. The GOP failed at nearly every statewide federal position (Senate and President). They were moderately successful at the local level – U.S. House, state Congress, and governors. There is a message in all of that muck.

        NC Mountain Girl in reply to casualobserver. | November 13, 2012 at 1:27 pm

        The Democrat turnout machine literally drags people out of their homes to vote. The pressure is intense. So is the intimidation in some locations-such as subsidized housing projects. Too many on the right have the attitude if they can’t be bothered to go on their own who needs them anyway? The answer is We do!

I never hear the Dems saying they need to change their positions on the issues. Only the Repubs are so fragmented. They need to stick hard and fast to Conservative principles. Moderation never works.

legacyrepublican | November 13, 2012 at 9:37 am

I had a wonderful history teacher in Junior High who forced us every week to come in with a news article from a newspaper or magazine and write down 10 facts from it. Just facts.

From that, I learned how to navigate around bias.

Fast forward to today, every time I heard Sean or Rush talking about the polls, they went over the facts and then expressed their opinion.

Why I stopped watching the main stream media is that they stopped reporting the facts and started reporting just their opinions as though they were fact.

If Politico thinks I’m going care, or read, what they publish, they are seriously mistaken.

Where is the commandment that you must believe a poll? Any one over 6 years of age could tell you it’s a guess. It seemed reasonable to believe Morris because of his experience and methodology. We conservatives just have to work harder and smarter

Beyond improvements to the absent messaging apparatus, I dont think Republicans need to follow liberal coaching advice. Nor the advice of the “republican elites” for that matter.
Lets remember..the very same people calling for big changes are often the same people that suggested strongly, in no uncertain terms that Romney was the one. Mr Acceptable.
At the urging from places like National Review other candidates were deemed unacceptable and we had best fall in line behind Romney. To satisfy some conservatives Ryan was offerred up as the perfect guy as VP candidate.
Some of us wondered at the time, knowing how powerful the Latino vote may be why not Rubio?

But whatever. Live and learn.
For me its like a lost World Series.
We dont need to redefine how we play baseball.
We now control the entire game in 24 States compared to the Democrats and their 14 States. Think of that. We represent the Governors and state representatives(upper/lower house) in 24 States.
And we are believing wild claims we dont understand the electorate?
Maybe its just as simple as baseball.
A wrong pitcher can lose a game.
We dont need to change everything as an overreaction.

And Liberals? Hate to stick a pin in the mandate party hog but lets roll back the clock shall we?

“prefer the Democrat Party because it so freely uses the force of government to take what “A” has earned and redistribute it to “B”

The prolonged teaching of white guilt also plays a role. We owe, they deserve. The race card is still playing out. Voting to take your neighbor’s money is easier if there is a perceived wrong.

We are also guilty of harming the environment, being too dominant militarily, hating other religions, etc. The cult of victimology is very wealthy. But I’m beginning to think the communist subversives are behind much of this. McCarthy was one of their first victims.

There is a growing contingent that feels both parties are the same. Either on the simple level, both sold out to lobbyists. Or on a deeper level, both working for the same group of billionaires, with puppet presidents pretending to be fighting each other, and ignorant masses caught up in the stagecraft.

This is moral equivalence, though enough Republicans have sold us out that it is hard to make a case that we believe in a balanced budget or the constitution. But the left seems to be going completely subversive … though many still think “there is nothing to get excited about … everybody just calm down”.

The public can be manipulated, and with our teachers and the media pushing the left’s agenda in the calm cadence of a PBS show like “All Things Considered”, many choose to avoid the more concerned that raise their voices a little. It doesn’t matter about debt or breaking laws … “nothing new under the sun”. Of course democracy failing is nothing new, but they think shorter term, like about the next football game. They think we’re peeing in their corn flakes.

Let’s see what’s echoing in the Liberal Echo Chamber right now …

“Hey! There’s a conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon … conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon … conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon … conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon … conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon … conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon … conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon … conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon …”

TryingToBeHopeful | November 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Here’s what I don’t get: Why in the world are we so focused on our message, how it’s delivered, in what language it will be delivered in, what ethnic group we should be courting, etc.?

It may be helpful to consider some of these questions, but as I see it, there are three things conservatives MUST DO to ever win another election again.

1. Make voter ID the law in every state. (0bama lost in every state with voter ID requirements.)
2. END lengthy early voting periods. Maybe one or two days before, but no more. If you can’t be there on election day, vote absentee.
3. END the use of unverifiable, easily hackable electronic voting machines.

I know these things may be impossible to accomplish before the next (if we even have one) election, but this is where the focus should be. We are up against a ruthless, corrupt, immoral machine that has proven it will do anything to stay in power. If we don’t remove the mechanisms for them to do that, we can forget all the soul-searching.


NC Mountain Girl | November 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm

The left lives in far more of an echo chamber than the right. They can avoid right wing media. We can’t avoid left wing media. It pops up all over the place. Some of us can’t open our e-mail without scrolling past the headlines the left sees fit to spin. It’s in the teasers for the news broadcasts run during the sports events we watch- Coming up next on 60 Minutes…. It’s the same in the culture. Small town and rural America knows all the latest urban trends these days. City slickers know squat about us and yet we are always the ignorant ones.

Survey after survey shows the right is far better informed about the issues than the left. This is nothing new. In 1996 people who voted for Clinton could not identify which candidate belonged to which position on the issues. Dole supporters could.

Was it just a coincidence that Obama didn’t win a single state with voter ID ?

[…] Class RINOs, and The Enemies of Liberty Posted on November 13, 2012 11:30 am by Bill Quick » More “conservative echo chamber bubble cocoon” nonsense – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion I pointed out yesterday that there is no reason to believe that there is any more of a conservative […]


Let me ask this politely: do you read your own weblog?

Yes, you are in a cocoon. Yes, you are in a right-wing bubble. Yes, you are subject to epistemic closure.

*Think* why your understanding of what America is is so poor! Break out of it!

Brad DeLong