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Maybe We Aren’t All Extremists After All

September 10, 2012 by  

Maybe We Aren’t All Extremists After All
Groups with more leftist or rightist extreme opinions on political issues get more attention from the media.

A new study indicates that one of the reasons many Americans consider extreme leftism or extreme right wing views the only options for political ideology is sensationalized news media.

It is noted often by American political commentators and scholars that politics in the United States have become more polarized than ever before, but a new study in Journalism & Mass Communications indicates that this may not be true.

The study concedes that, because of shock value, groups espousing far-left or far-right ideas receive much more airtime in American news media than political moderates or those with values that breach the political divide.

“Extremes are more intuitively novel, entertaining, and colorful, representing another common news value,” write the authors of the study, Michael McCluskey and Young Mie Kim. “Moderate voices may be more difficult to portray as exciting than extreme voices.”

The authors examined 208 political advocacy groups representing a range of political ideologies as they were described in 118 newspapers. They found that groups with more leftist or rightist extreme opinions on political issues got more mentions in larger newspapers, appeared closer to the top of articles and were mentioned more often.

The authors contend, “More people had the opportunity to note those groups, fueling perceptions of those groups as important or legitimate.”

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Jeremy Leochner

    I would agree. I believe the vast majority of Americans have a mix of both liberal and conservative views, not to mention some libertarian views. The problem is the news networks often pick sides and sensationalize to make it seem like there is a war between conservatives and liberals. When in reality both sides want essentially the same thing. The trick is how to achieve it.


      “Jeremy Leochner,”



      • Jeremy Leochner

        I do not know about that Chris. How bout this. I am a liberal. In the case of abortion I believe abortion should only be done during the first trimester and beyond that only if the mothers life is at stake. What are your beliefs on the subject. If not on this I am sure we can find an issue where we have at least one shared belief.


        “Jeremy Leochner,”



      • ChristyK

        This discussion on the radical right and left is misleading. There is a real difference in how the right and left talk, but there is very little difference in how they lead. When in office, both parties promote war without a declaration of war from Congress. When in office, both parties spend way too much (though maybe on slightly different issues). The differences aren’t that different when George W Bush creates no child left behind (no constitutional authority for Feds to be involved in educaiton) just like Jimmy Carter created the department of education. Bush also did the Medicare Part D which was the largest entitlement increase in decades. Obama said he would end the war, but he doubled down on Bush’s war policies and went to war against additional middle eastern nations. Bush’s Patriot Act allowed self written search warrants (same as bills of attainder in declaration of independence) and other unconstitutional acts which Obama said were terrible, but then he renewed the Patriot Act when he was elected. The supposed divide is one created to keep the people arguing against each other so they don’t see the direction that the government is taking us and how we are losing all resemblance to liberty.

    • Vigilant

      It is not helpful when Mr. Rolley misrepresents the facts of the study with the comment “The study concedes that, because of shock value, groups espousing far-left or far-right ideas receive much more airtime in American news media than political moderates or those with values that breach the political divide.”


      The study, entitled “Moderatism or Polarization? Representation of Advocacy Groups’ Ideology in Newspapers,” did in no way examine television, Internet presence, or radio, so the term “airtime” is exceptionally misleading.

      While the “shock value” argument may be entirely legitimate for the news media excluding newspapers, the study “concedes” no such thing.

      • SJJolly

        Old news media adage: “If it bleeds, it leads.” Such sells newspapers, magazines, eyes on TV commercials, etc., but also gives the public the perception that there is far more bleeding going on that there actually is.

    • Vigilant

      I’m definitely an extremist. I’m a veteran, I believe in the Constitution and limited government, plus the right to bear arms.

      According to DHS, that makes me an extremist.

      • Jeremy Leochner

        I do not think you are an extremist Vigilant. I think the political parties have become so partisan that in order to be a candidate you have to wither be the most republican republican or the most democratic democrat.

      • GALT

        nah….veggie….you are just a cowardly future victim…..and the constitution does not require “faith”…… requires “literacy”!

        You are self centered and selfish……nothing wrong with that……as long as you can accept
        the consequences……..but how DOES a government “parasite” show up HERE as a

        You volunteering to give up your “pensions”? and actually produce something?




    • eddie47d

      Almost every article on PLD is set up to persuade you to take a far right point of view and some articles are dangerously extreme. It would be like reading The Socialist Workers Party newspaper everyday and saying you don’t have an extreme view on leftist policies. When it comes to The Patriotic Act,police brutality,free speech,NDAA the left and right have alot in common. When it comes to morals neither side seems to have much value or boasting rights and extreme positions abound. When you listen only to extreme opinions you become hardened cold and always angry. Those who write a left wing or right wing book,blog,etc have an agenda one way or the other and the truth gets muddled.

      • John

        I find PLD to be virtuous. They seek the truth and that is a good thing. You, obviously, don’t want to be confused by facts which contradict your preconceived notions about things. Keep watching the pablum puking mainstream media so they can reinforce their ideas in your brain!

      • Vigilant

        eddie says, “Almost every article on PLD is set up to persuade you to take a far right point of view and some articles are dangerously extreme.”

        The claim that they are “set up to persuade you to take a far right point of view” is relative to the observer’s own sentiments, of course. Bob Livingston styles himself an ultraconservative, so it is only logical to assume that the chips will fall to the right.

        “Dangerously extreme” is also a subjective value judgment, one I might use to describe some commenters here, but I would not tack that moniker on the PLD staff in general.

        The writers don’t always agree in a monolithic fashion. Wayne Allen Root’s recent pro-Israel article was refreshing after seeing so many Israel bashing articles, evident from folks like Paul Craig Roberts whose anti-Semitism is but thinly veiled.

        John Myers had the honesty to objectively predict the meager chances of Ron Paul being nominated, while Chip Wood said he would vote for Romney if nominated. At the same time, Ben Crystal told us he would write in Ron Paul. So there’s more than one point of view at PLD.

        You’ve seen me take issue with two authors in particular, Bryan Nash and Sam Rolley. It is their penchant to disregard, intentionally or unintentionally, important facets of a news story that are germane to the topic. This I do not like, and consider it shoddy journalism at a minimum, provocateurship at the most.

      • GALT

        John……who is they? PLD is Bob Livingston……and if it is VIRTUOUS to sell you whatever,
        then he veritably GLOWS with virtue…….staph writers are little wanna be candles….. and
        YOU are a mushroom……..with specific fertilizer requirements.

        This site isn’t about TRUTH…it is about SALES……..Bob is about GROWING the economy.

        Willard is about 200 “permanent” pipeline jobs.

        Can’t you just FEEL the TRUTH?

      • eddie47d

        Not everything is a verified conspiracy theory John and most seem not to be. There are some who need to Get Back to the mainstream media or read the local paper at least once in awhile to sort out what is really going on.




      • eddie47d

        Review many sources before finalizing your decision.

  • Ted Crawford

    We are more polarized than I’ve ever seen the Nation to be! I’ve been involved in Politics since 1968, while recovering from injuries I recieved in Nam, I had plenty of time with a limited ability to use it. By 1972 I was actively involved! I was working for a Liberal Democrat, Pat Schroeder! The experience cured me of my delusion that Democrats were for the people!
    Since the election of Barack Obama I have found myself forced much further right than I care to be! His attitude, his books, his statements( off teleprompter) and clearly his governance , leaves no options, if America is to survive, never mind return to our values as a Republic!
    What this environment has spawned is extremeism, on both sides!
    On the one side you have the Leftists. They call themselves “Progressives”, what they are, by policy, are some Bastardized confluience of all the far left( Socialist, Communist, Marxist) ideaologies.. They believe, or at least they claim to, that the Conservatives will return us to Slavery, and reduce us all to starving retches, freezing and dieing in the streets!
    On the other side we have the …Well they call themselves by many names,(Noninterventionalists, Libertarians) What they are, again by policy , are Anarchists! They believe that the Government, which humorously enough, they also call “Neo-Cons”! that term coming from an Anarchist is just mindboggling! This faction believes that the Conservatives actually, inexplicably, have so much influience over the terrorists that they conspired together to create the 9/11 incident !
    The leadership of these, competing(?) factions, seem to have the same goals in mind, IE to “fundamentally change” our Government! Both claim the high ground that theirs is the ideaology that will return us to the path of our original intent!
    There are many highly educated individules involved, again on both sides! That seems impossible! However when we understand that ‘Education’ provides only knowledge, intelligence, on the other hand, is what one does with their knowledge! Remember that Ted Kaczynski held a Ph. D from Harvard! When you educate an idiot, what you have is just an “Educated Idiot”
    I’ll take a Will Rogers over a Barack Obama anyday!

    • Vigilant

      Pat Schroeder? Thanks to her, I have had to pay almost $800.00 a month to my ex-wife since 1985, even though she remarried in 1986. Anyone who has ever heard of the “Former Spouse Protection Act,” or has been subject to its tyranny, will tell you it was Pat Schroeder who sponsored this bill. There are only two people whom I’ve ever hated in life, and she is one.

      That $800.00 a month will continue until either of us dies. So much for the “benefits” of having served my country for 38 years.

      • Ted Crawford

        That is just the tip of the iceberg with this devious, delusional, hypocrite! I found at the time I was working for her, that she had the worse record for Sponsering or Co-Sponsering Legislation that she would later VOTE AGAINST! There weren’t very many “watchdog” groups then, she made headlines by sponsering these unstainable bills, but few ever knew how she voted!

      • GALT

        The “willfully ignorant” choose to be the subject to “tyranny”…..and those “serving their country” were serving that tyranny……and a proper understanding of Title 26 also indicates that elected officials and government employees are the only one’s subject to
        and liable for the “taxes” referenced in that CODE.

        Interestingly, one can choose NOT to remain a subject by exercising the “reservation
        of rights” required by the UCC under “admiralty/maritime” 1/207/308 to restore your
        rights under common and equity law, thereby restoring the Constitutional restrictions
        that apply to government regarding “lawful money” whereby “payment” of any supposed
        fee, fine, or tax can not be paid without violating the “Supreme Law of the Land” and upon making such a reservation, any government official who takes any action to which seeks to continue “enforcement” of said fee, fine or tax would be subject to criminal penalties under
        18 USC 241/242… well as civil suits.

        It is a rather fascinating irony that the “personal liberty” mushrooms, and their feeders, and their “candidates” who respect the ‘constitution” not only neglect this but the “mushrooms” become irate and angry in defense of their heroes……after all, the idea
        that “you can free yourself” does present a bit of a conundrum for them……as in
        the “other side” of the Personal Liberty Coin……Personal RESPONSIBILITY…..

        It does appear to be a rather stupid expectation that one can alter a state of “tyranny”
        to one of “freedom” by believing that such a change can be accomplished by employing
        the mechanism of oppression to achieve such an outcome………

        “To conquer, first DIVIDE!!!!” ( and the HANG, separately )

      • Vigilant

        Oh oh! Someone let GALT/Waltinseattle loose again!

        GALTY, your copy and paste routine is decidedly boorish and a waste of bandwidth.

        So far, I’ve discovered only two converts to your inanity/obsessive insanity, Average Joe and TIME.

        I have a great deal of respect for AJ’s intelligence, and believe in time he will come around.

        TIME, on the other hand, is a follower and sycophant, so I wouldn’t trust the alliance he’s attempting to forge. Besides, he’s a Christian, which should give your Ayn Rand atheist blindness some pause if you consider him an ally.

        Trust TIME to tell us that dragons, lizards and other monsters are in control of everything today. Does that really fit your pedestrian and imagination-challenged view of the universe?

      • http://none Charlie

        GALT,,,maybe you should team up with Honk on Horton and explain in simple words how one is to ENFORCE 18 USC “””??? Let us give you a clue,,,The Constitution has been set
        aside way back, along with all the show trimmings ,,,that is,,,for the practical use of the common people ,and , for the not so common , most of the time… Now the CEG is trying to destroy The Bible… That’s why We ,,,,
        Praise King Jesus for Salvation and Healing … Acts 2:38 is salvation…

      • GALT

        Only two converts to the TRUTH is rather sad “never, ever” Vigilant……but here’s the downside for YOU…..I didn’t convert them……and the upside for ME……you’re the one that’s PAYING and COMPLAINING while I am ROTFLMAO…….of course, I am enjoying this in the “best of all possible worlds”….for this TRUTH has been offered to YOU by me and them……and you are choosing to both IGNORE and DENY it. ( you are therefor a VOLUNTEER for tyranny and by you own ADMISSION have been a paid facilitator of it…….38 years worth. Do you have any concept how STUPID you appear by actually responding to me? Clearly not…because you keep doing it………….. )

        Why do you keep trying to label me? I am a PLF, you are not…..I have no objection to
        christianity or any other religious fantasy……….you have the unalienable right to fantasize
        all you want……..about anything. PLFism simply requires that you “do no harm” in your attempted realization of what ever fantasy you lay claim to.

        I would ask you if you understand and agree but it would be a rhetorical question…
        you clearly do not have the intelligence to comprehend it………..and I do not care if you do………as you pose no threat to my single “unalienable” right…….unless it is really
        possible to DIE from laughing too hard……..( been there, done that….not dead )

        There is no evidence to suggest that Personal Liberty Digest has any greater concern
        than its hosts “personal liberty”……..and that it feeds its “mushrooms” whatever fertilizer
        is needed to keep them coming back……… that at some point you may actually PAY
        for something………..

        PLFism……..till DEATH do us part!!!!!!

      • GALT

        Charlie……I have been playing with this for a lloooooonnnnng time…….

        I never got it right……with the exception 26 CFR 31.3402.(p)

        If you can grasp the concept of “stare decisis”……….as it applies to “statutory law” and the
        concept of a “legal precedent”………and how powerful the “potential” of such a MISTAKE
        represents within ” the tyranny”…….then maybe it is possible to grasp, how POWERFUL
        this is…………18 USC is the frosting………I have never managed to put anyone in jail….I never even tried……..

        But it IS both a useful threat and a possibility…….the sole purpose of which is to NOT PAY
        fee’s, fines and taxes……and this works……not because of 18 USC, but because….anything can be “appealed”……….and if successful…..becomes “precedent”…

        There are tons of acquitels every year on “willful failure to file”…….but that are not precedent……….if you want to fight….you have to duplicate the effort…..with a precedent,
        you just site the “precedent”………which means that “if you even get close to something”
        that might end with this……they will let you go……rather than take the chance?

        If ole “never,ever” had a SET……instead of sending an $800 check…he should send a promissary note…..asking how it was possible to pay without……etc?

        Of course, being the wimp he is……and not willing to PAY for all that “till death do us part sex”…….so he is being charged for the “memories” and he probably has this directly deducted from his “mercenary pension”….

        Really s*cks being stupid and a hypocrite!

      • TIME

        Dear Veggie,

        Yet again more of your mindless rantings let alone you’re use of words you fail to “understand nor comprehend.”

        On that note let me be quite clear I don’t follow anyone! Thats why I was the top in my field.
        As I noted last week I like Galt due to his open mind. I don’t care if someone shares my views to the letter.
        I do enjoy the banter as well the thinking patterns expressed by many people on this sight.
        {What I don’t like are closed minded people who live in small boxs.}

        So you don’t like the message I post, ok I get it, So your to dam arrogant with an over inflated ego. Ok good for you!
        I am so happy for you, have the life you so wish.

        BTW – that begs the question you have to pay your x wife $800.00 for the rest of her life.
        There are “only a few reasons” why that would be.

        None the less I forgive you. Have nice life.

        PEACE and LOVE ;-) :-) :-)

      • Vigilant


        I counted at least ten errors in grammar and spelling in that vapid posting of yours. I suspect that’s eloquent testimony to your lack of attention in school…which begs the question: in what endeavor were you at the top of your field? Dungeons and Dragons? Or were you too busy running from your dragons, lizards and other monsters to attend school?

        I assure you that I understand and comprehend a whole Hell of a lot more than you do with regards to the usage of words in the English language, sonny.

        “…So your [sic] to [sic] dam [sic] arrogant with an over inflated ego.”

        I have never been singularly noted for my lack of self esteem. The difference between you and I is that my self confidence has an actual basis in talent and intelligence.

        As for why I pay my ex-wife, you would have no questions if you had comprehended what I wrote in the posting. It doesn’t surprise me a bit that your English skills are, shall we say, wanting?

        BTW, have you found that citation in the Organic Act yet, or are you still reading Dick and Jane?

        To borrow some of your words:

        “Nonetheless I forgive you. Have nice life.

        “PEACE and LOVE”

      • http://none Charlie

        GALT,,,you have confirmed MY point,,,My point is the normal dumb a$$ American can not use the normal courts systems ,,,without having a educated jury of their “””Peers”” ,,,and to find a jury of peers is almost impossible because the whole so called justice system is CONTROLLED by the state god that use a legalize lunacy language … For example, ask yourself do you know the two Black’s Law Dictionary , definitions of the word “Jurisdiction” ? , I dare say you do not know the “Primary” meaning of the word “Jurisdiction”… But,,,
        Praise King Jesus for Salvation and Healing… Acts 2:38 is salvation…

    • John

      Ted Kaczynski was MK Ultra CIA all the way. With a few notable exceptions, most Democrat and Republican representatives are operated by globalists, whether knowingly, or unknowingly.

  • dan

    Will Patrick Henry’s fear finally be realized ? When a moderate statesman like Ron Paul isn’t listened to, the radicalism of the French Revolution will be the only alternative.
    The defense of liberty and freedom is no vice….. even if we must have anarchy to achieve it.

    • GALT

      Patrick’s fear was realized when they ratified the Constitution……or did you not know
      he REFUSED to participate in the proceedings of 1787? As did Rhode Island…..which
      provided a “safe haven” for those persecuted by other “christian nation” border “colonies”? the “one true god crap” can BE a problem…..

  • JimH

    News outlets are businesses. They are there to get ratings and sell advertizing.
    They aren’t there to provide us with the service of informing us.
    If it bleeds it leads. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The more sensational, the more coverage it gets.
    If these people can cause a reaction or conflict between the groups, more stuff to report.

  • swampfox

    I am not a ‘extremist’ nor have I ever considered my self one.
    I always considered myself just a regular normal working guy.
    I was growed up to have respect for my elders,work for I get,give a man a honest days work,stay true to your word,love god,country,in the boy scouts I learned what it means to be a American and respect and honor our flag.
    I joined the corps in 1980 because I wanted to serve my country and cap some commies if they ever invaded Europe,
    went to 2 reforger ftx’s and deployed to Beirut in 83,did 12 yrs and then went to work when I got out doing commercial construction.
    i have always sorta just ignored the librals as loons and voted for those who were normal freedom loving god fearing individuals and did’nt really pay that much attention to political crap,except to grouse and complain when crap came down the sewer pipe from Washington.
    I first noticed Obama when the scuz did’nt put his hand over his heart and just stood there during the national Anthem,that told me everything I needed to know about the bast*rd right there at that moment!
    I couldn’t beleive a presidential candidate could blatently disrepect my flag like that,pissed me off.
    I was growed up knowing what the revolutionary war was about and the truth about the war between the states.
    we played army when i was kid and pretended to shoot nazis by the bushel or any time a good ol warflick came on we were glued to the t.v.
    played with gi joes,watched combat,rat patrol,sands of iwo-jima,loony toons,etc.
    had my a** whooped copious times by my ol man who didn’t put up with lieing or backtalking at all.
    never ever would I have thought I’d see the same exact form of socialism or communism taking place here,I trained to fight and kill these type of a**holes all through the early 80′s.
    I have been all around the world in my military service,so i know how blessed we are over here.
    its you damn librals and demoturds that have me pissed off,I as a patriotic American and a hard working Christian gun owning,god fearing American I despise All you socialists and libturds and lazy bums and fags.
    yall are making us ‘normal’ American come out and resist yall’s efforts to ruin the greatest nation on the face of the earth.
    I take offense at being called a extremist like I am a friggen terrorist or something.
    you tree hugging,fags and queers,peta freaks,and others of your ilk are the extremists,
    I am just a regular American who will NOT ever condone yalls immoral godless lifestyle and yall seem to expect me to stand by while you stooges ruin and affect my country with your filth and socialism?
    not hardly!
    if being a normal god fearing gun owning patriot is deemed a extremist,then by damn I guess I am then and give all you leftest freaks the finger,i’ll continue to keep my bible,faith in Jesus and my integrity and guns.

    • GALT

      Yes Francis…….we already know you are a “piece of work”……

      • swampfox

        You address that to me?

      • swampfox

        friggen faggot,go eat sh*t,if you don’t this site where mostly patriotic folks hang out,take your queer self elsewhere testicle tick.

      • GALT

        Yes, Francis……I did mean you…….and thank you for your demonstration of “patriotism”….it was MOST enlightening…….but you really should try to CONTROL
        your “inner sociopath” or “psychopath”…….you NEED help……you are NOT “regular” in any way……….and you would have been a excellent “nazi”…….now you are just the contemporary version….under a different flag……..( smiles )

        “god fearing”? hardly…….if the god you claim to believe in actually existed,,,,,it would have committed suicide just from reading your crap……..

  • Liberterian

    The truth is that, more the media chooses to state something, negative or otherwise, the more the listener tends to believer and project what has been fed into their mind. By constantly covering the negative extremes, one can come to believe that a particular group or whatever creed, is bad. This has caused and propeled an unwillingness for people to work together for the interests of America and the American people, and a brash, destructive self serviant attitude. The media tends to over emphaize certain things and minimize others for entertainment value and their own gain in audience. Bringing the house down becomes more important, than our society surviving the chance upheaval.

    • GALT

      Well the best part IS…….most people are just trying to “maintain”……and don’t have a clue
      that s*it sites like this exist……and couldn’t care less……

  • swampfox

    GALT,you are a a**hole,it’s no wonder your wife left you,she probably got tired of hearing a never-ending torrent of your crap,good for her,if you had a dog it more than likely left you as well.
    you married her,so quit your damn whining about It,cheesh,want some cheese?

    • GALT

      Wrong Francis……..can you say oprah?………that would be your fellow “patriot” (never. ever) Vigilant……..reading is fundamental……..comprehension?………PRICELESS!!!!!!

  • swampfox

    GALT,your a twit,go get a life!
    Damn troll.

  • AmericanIcon

    What should be ringing alarm bells is that what used to be ‘mainstream’ is now considered ‘radical conservative’: The idea that the government is responsible to its employers – ‘we the People’; that entrepreneurs can expand business hire – and fire – workers, and pay them what they’re worth, that personal honor and accountability, not government ukase, is the gauge by which we measure our own worth…

  • The Christian American

    In my opinion the internet to some extent has returned to the education process to America. In revolutionary times the people had their “Letters of correspondence” to learn what’s happening around them. Now we’ve got the internet, much to the chagrin of DC. What use to be ideas that were common to all American’s, Knowledge of their bible and Constitution, if someone even discusses them he is an extremist or out of touch with today’s realities. Morality: God’s rules of action and interaction, have been replaced with amorality: functioning outside of those rules. Because these rules have no foundation that can be relied on, anything goes. If the country functioned under the transcendental law, God’s law, the expression extreme would simply mean out of bounds of morality but as it is, what is extreme? Value systems are as changeable as the weather. There is no good or bad.


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