Is there a Conservative “Echo Chamber”?Posted: November 29, 2012
NB – this post does NOT mean to imply that conservatism and Christianity are the same thing – they’re not. Nor is it meant to imply that conservatives are more Christian than liberals. Despite overlap here and there, politics and Christianity are two separate things and we need to remember that. The following post is about politics rather than about religion.
Ive repeatedly heard those on the left claim that conservatives live in a conservative “echo chamber”. This statement is meant to portray conservatives as only listening to other conservatives, and of feeding back into a loop of self-reinforcing sub-cultural affirmation of conservative opinion, while being isolated from other points of view. EG Republican voters calling in to conservative talkback radio and affirmingly quoting Fox News, who in turn report affirmingly of Republican politicians, who in turn make statements that are intended to mirror the values of, and gain support from, Republican voters.
The accusation of a conservative “echo chamber” is rarely accompanied by consideration of whether liberals behave likewise. EG whether those who write for Huffington only consume liberal media like MSNBC and the New York Times, and whether Democrat politicians only make statements that such consumers voters want to hear and which liberal leaning media will affirm. I know that on occasion when Ive read leftist academic writings, Ive felt like the writers seemed to only cite those who had a similar political outlook to themselves.
This finger pointing came to mind today, when I read the NOM website and noticed they referenced the New York Times. I decided to run a “New York Times test – IE which other conservative websites reference liberal sources. I found examples for each conservative website I tested:
- The GOP referencing the New York Times
- Rush Limbaugh referencing the New York Times
- Fox News referencing the New York Times
- Focus on the Family referencing the New York Times
- The American Family Association referencing the New York Times
Do liberals reference pro-conservative sources as frequently? Yes conservatives listen a lot to other conservatives. They speak the same ‘language’. Likewise, Im sure liberals listen a lot to other liberals. But are conservatives more insulated than liberals or are liberals more isolated than conservatives? Your thoughts?