Cosman: Liberal bias is balanced with a conservative bias in the media

I'm tired of hearing about the "liberal media." Every time I turn around a member of the Republican Party is complaining about a severe bias in the United States media favoring democrats.

Republicans like to pretend they're the underdog, persevering in the face of every media outlet in America propagandizing for "the liberal agenda." I'll admit it is a good tactic – it's an appeal to the public that says, "Hey look, we're still the good guys despite everyone trying to tell you we're the bad guys." But a close look at media today shows it isn't so "liberal" after all.   

For example, conservatives would like you to believe the most listened to radio shows are those of liberal pundits – but the reality is quite the opposite. In fact, the top five radio talk shows in America are conservative programs with conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham. Limbaugh's and Hannity's are the top two, and draw listeners that number more than 14 million. They're also the second and third most listened-to radio programs overall, though the top spot belongs to American Top 40, a primarily music program.

What's amusing to me is that these radio shows are the loudest dissenting voices, and want their listeners to believe they are the lone truth in an ocean of liberalism. Yet they're broadcasting to millions of American citizens, promoting a stronger conservative message than any liberal counterpart I've ever experienced. How can Limbaugh sit there and complain about the "state-run Media" when he's the No. 1 radio talk show host in America?

But no one listens to the radio anymore, right? Most Americans get their news from television these days even with the Internet creeping up. So what is the most watched cable news channel? The "liberal" MSNBC? Nope. The Fox News Channel is by far the most watched cable news channel. Though it claims to be "Fair & Balanced," it's generally thought of as a conservative news network.

The event that really drew attention to the issue of "liberal bias" in the media was Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric on the CBS Nightly News during the 2008 presidential campaign. Conservatives cried foul at the way Palin came off during the interview – they claimed CBS and Couric purposely made Palin look unintelligent and ineloquent. Yet Couric won a journalistic award for the interview and let's be honest, is it really Couric's fault that Palin couldn't name a newspaper or magazine she reads?

I'm not saying there isn't any liberal bias in the media – of course there is. There are liberal radio talk shows and liberal cable news channels just like there are conservative ones. My issue isn't with bias in the media – it's unavoidable and a fixture of American media and political reporting. Just look at this article and the others I've written and will write in the future – I'm not going to deny a bias toward the Democratic Party. But it's an opinion, my opinion. Of course there is going to be bias.

My problem is not with media bias, but with the people who want to scream bloody murder over a liberal slant in the media. My problem is with the conservative pundits who claim to be the anti-establishment voices in the media when they in fact are the establishment. My problem is with the people who claim the media outlets in the U.S. are doing everything they can to keep President Barack Obama in office – when in reality the loudest voices in the media are doing just the opposite.