“Recall that in their much-ballyhooed backlash to conservative media during the Bush era, Democratic partisan activists and their wealthy benefactors assumed independent and left-leaning news consumers would respond to a liberal version of right-wing media. Investing in endeavors like Air America and other media outlets, their theory was that if they just created their own Fox News and their own set of Rush Limbaughs with liberal talking points, liberal listeners would come in droves and then vote for Democratic politicians.
As we all know, it hasn’t worked out that way — and it hasn’t precisely because when it comes to news consumption, the independent and liberal-leaning audience is quite different than their conservative counterpart. As a 2007 Zogby/Lear Center Poll found, when compared with conservatives, liberals and independents are far less interested in being preached to and far more interested in being exposed to views that both confirm and challenge their assumptions. Give that audience the opposite of balance — brand the content with Democratic partisanship and scream vitriolic talking points at them — and they’ll head for places like NPR, “Up With Chris Hayes,” or other such ideology-challenging venues. Which, of course, is exactly what is happening.”