Outflanked Democrats Wonder How to Catch Up in Media Wars
By JIM RUTENBERG
Worried that their party has been outgunned in the political propaganda wars by
conservative radio and television personalities, influential Democrats are
scouring the nation for a liberal answer to Rush Limbaugh and the many others on
the deep bench of Republican friends.
For years, Democrats have groused about their inability to balance what they see
as the increasing influence over the electorate by advocates of Republican
But they say their concerns have taken on a new urgency because of the rise to
the top of the cable news ratings by the Fox News Channel, considered by many to
have a conservative slant, and the loss of the Senate to the Republicans in
November. Some Democrats say the election outcome enhanced the influence of Fox
News and personalities like Mr. Limbaugh.
The efforts among influential Democrats, particularly liberals, range from a
grass-roots talent search for progressive radio hosts to the creation of
research organizations to provide a Democratic spin for the news media, to
nascent discussions by wealthy supporters about starting a cable network with a
People working on these projects acknowledged they were venturing into territory
where liberals have failed and failed again, most notably with the short-lived
radio programs of Mario M. Cuomo and Jim Hightower, not to mention Phil
Donahue's struggling liberal talk show on MSNBC.
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