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February 22, 2010


I think Brendan makes a good case that gerrymandering hasn't been the main cause of polarization.

Interesting that Brendan calls The Economist "center-right." Just from occassionally reading it, I would have thought it was center-left. E..g, it took a strong stand that the surge in Iraq wouldn't work, which was the predominant liberal position at the time.

Brendan, what's your basis for characterizing that magazine as "center-right"?

I love Brendan's use of a descriptor for The Economist. Can we expect him also to use descriptors for center-left media like The New York Times and the Washington Post? Will we see him identify Media Matters as a left-wing website? Will pigs fly?

@Rob: Using the handy search bar we see that Nyhan has used the term center-right 119 times while using the term center-left 126 times. The first three search results for center-left are using the descriptor center-left for different media sources. The second result indirectly refers to the WP as center-left, the third is describing NYT columnist Charles Blow as center-left.

JP, if I maligned Brendan unfairly, I apologize, but the search results you cite don't show that. Brendan may have identified a particular columnist by ideological orientation, but to the best of my recollection he's never applied a label like center-left or left-leaning or left-wing or liberal to either The New York Times or the Washington Post. The second search result nowhere mentions the Washington Post, btw.

It's true that Brendan has at times identified Media Matters as liberal (albeit in laudatory terms like "liberal watchdog"), but most often he cites Media Matters without referencing their self-admitted objective of "monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."

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