Ed Driscoll

The Peasants Are Revolting--Against Media Bias

Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics looks at Brian Anderson’s South Park Conservatives, in an article titled, “The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias”.

As he says, Brian Anderson has been a busy man promoting his book–and links to our interview and Tech Central Station profile, amongst the many other interviews Brian’s done–to prove it. I think this passage is key:

What’s more, the string of publicity for South Park Conservatives isn’t likely to stop any time soon. Anderson says he’s working through several more Q&A’s with bloggers and that there’s “no end in sight” to the schedule of talk radio interviews.

This is all as it should be, because Anderson is now living proof of one of the central arguments of his book: conservatives today are able to reach the public in much greater numbers than ever before thanks to the growth of “new media” outlets like talk radio, Fox News, right-leaning book publishers and the blogosphere.

After an appearance last week on The O’Reilly Factor (now the top rated show in all of cable news) sent the book zooming up to number seven on Amazon.com’s non-fiction best-seller list, South Park Conservatives currently sits at number twenty-nine and is in the top 150 titles carried by Amazon overall.

Pretty impressive numbers, given that South Park Conservatives has received close to zero attention in traditional “mainstream” media outlets – notwithstanding Frank Rich’s rather fatuous critique in The New York Times the other day.

The reality is that ten years ago Anderson’s book probably wouldn’t have been published at all. If by some chance South Park Conservatives had made it into print back then, given the ossified structure of the liberal-leaning media establishment the chances of anyone hearing about the book were close to nil.

I think that’s exactly right. In promoting his book, Brian was able to benefit from the Long Tail of Weblogs and Websites, versus what Alvin Toffler would call the Second Wave mass media model of three TV networks, one newspaper per big city and a handful of big publishers.