Federal Communications Commission Chief Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd wants the FCC to force good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry to step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays to fill those positions. Do you agree or disagree that this presents a threat to free speech?The questionable factual basis for the question and the issue of Zogby "push polling" (the practice of asking questions in survey polls designed to manufacture opinion rather than derive it) has been explored here at fivethirtyeight.com, and here.
More interesting for me is what the need to do this sort of push polling tells us. It confirms my previous analysis that the right is continuing to lose its ability to drive the news cycle and, by extension, the public agenda. Despite relentless hammering at the "Czar" issue, it has utterly refused to catch fire. Outside of the conservative wing of the electorate, no one cares. And the conservative wing is being as marginalized by the American public as the "liberal" wing was 20 years ago.
I hope to do a longer analysis later, but I should point out this isn't so much a rise of progressive media as the collapse of mainstream media and the fragmentation of news and information to the point where the public debate on 24-hour news networks has increasingly little relationship to the political reality. We saw a similar disconnect in the debate over the stimulus package. And, if we exclude Fox News coverage, the Tea Party protest march got exactly the same level of coverage as the Gay Rights march in most media outlets -- passing reference at best. The dominant stories remain the economy, the war in Afghanistan (and to some degree Iraq), and healthcare reform -- when not dominated by "Balloon Boy" type stories.
The result is that most of the electorate can expect to remain totally ignorant of what goes on, but is less likely to be driven like sheep either. Similarly, politicians and decisionmakers are experiencing the impact of fragmentation in a variety of ways.
Not claiming anything here is good or bad. But it is what it is.