* Escaping The Political Echo Chamber: Observations From Failed Pols

After the election, I created a website dedicated to failed policies, politicians, and policies. The goal of the site was to force myself out of the echo chamber to try to understand what happened, where were are, and what comes next. Two months into the project, my initial findings are shocking. First some background, then some observations.

By Erik J. Heels

First published 1/11/2017; ErikJHeels.com; publisher: GiantPeople.

US White House upside down (public domain).
US White House upside down (public domain).

Background

From About Failed Pols:

Both campaigns failed.

Donald Trump’s campaign focused on emotions, a strategy that appealed to a large group of socially conservative Americans, many of whom had not recovered from the Great Recession. But Trump’s voters, stirred up by his emotional campaign, failed to realize that they have more to lose under Republican fiscal policies.

Hilary Clinton’s campaign focused on logic, a strategy that appealed to a large group of socially liberal Americans, many of whom were minimally impacted by the Great Recession. But Clinton’s voters, focusing on surveys and pollsters, failed to realize that winning a debate is not the same as winning an election.

This website, for the foreseeable future, will focus on what its names suggests: Failed Policies, Politicians, & Politics. From all parties. And, FWIW, I have never belonged to any political party. As it says in the he “political views” section of my Facebook profile: “Independent. I vote for the smartest candidate. It doesn’t always work out.”

From About Failed Pols (cont.):

Failed Pols provides summaries of news stories from trusted sources on political topics. We have posts from multiple categories of media sources, including conservative, liberal, nonprofit, and uncategorized (which includes the publisher of this website, nonpartisan sources, and other sources that defy traditional categorization (such as late night TV shows, which are not, strictly speaking, news sources)).

We strive to keep the number of conservative and liberal media posts equal, although this is challenging since the majority of trusted media sources (including 3 of the 4 major TV networks) have audiences on the left side of the political spectrum. For example, many may consider The Wall Street Journal to be a conservative news source, but we put it in the “liberal” column because its readers are primarily liberal (source: 2014 Pew Research Center report).

Observations

First, it is incredibly hard to publish the same number of posts from conservative and liberal sources, because liberals product and consume more news.

Second, Fox News dominates conservative news. This is a problem both for conservatives trying to consume fair and balanced news and for liberals trying to escape the echo chamber.

Third, The Young Turks dominates liberal news. This is a problem because most people have never heard of this source. I know I hadn’t.

Fourth, there are more liberal stories every day than conservative stories. About ten times more.

Fifth, when you look for videos with over 10,000 views in the prior 24 hours (my baseline standard), there are typically dozens of liberal videos to choose from, only a handful of conservative videos. Liberal views consistently outnumber conservative views by about ten to one.

Sixth, the liberal videos are longer and contains more metadata than the conservative videos. Example: PBS Newshour (an hour-long program) routinely makes the top videos. There is nothing comparable on the right.

Seventh, YouTube inexplicable does not allow you to sort your video subscriptions.

Eighth, even when limited sources to reputable sources, YouTube videos get deleted (link rot). Example: Within the last two days, the Associated Press (AP) deleted a video about Donald Trump and Meryl Street. (I have reached out to the AP for comment.) So you can’t even rely on the reliable sources.

Conclusion

I don’t have a conclusion yet. I’m not even sure where this project is going. But do check out the new format I’ve adopted for today’s post. The top 3 liberal videos on the left, the top 3 conservative videos on the right.

* Top 6 Political Videos (2017-01-11)
http://www.failedpols.com/562.html

Then draw your own conclusions.