The Conservative Cosmos

There is no question that the media landscape has shifted seismically in the last two decades.  In the Reagan years, I eagerly subscribed to National Review and the American Spectator; I even sent in an ad from National Review for a magazine called Chronicles of Culture.  Those publications, joined by Human Events and numerous syndicated columnists, made up a large portion of the conservative media cosmos.  A few years later, after Reagan’s FCC abolished the fairness doctrine (requiring broadcast radio and TV channels to provide balance to controversial opinions), Rush Limbaugh began a nationally syndicated radio program that dramatically changed both AM radio and political commentary.

As recently as ten years ago, political and cultural commentary was still substantially centralized, and the big event in the right-wing-media universe was the founding of the neoconservative Weekly Standard.  Today, that centralized media model lies in tatters.  This is part of the story that Brian C. Anderson is telling in South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias.  As the title makes clear, the author is concentrating on the successes of conservatives (meaning, in this context, Republican Party/Bush-administration loyalists) in advancing their agenda against the wishes of the mainstream media.  Anderson covers the...

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