And by the way Thomas…

Our favorite Thomas Sowell random observation from today’s column:

The media often mention “ultra-conservatives” but never “ultra-liberals.” Have ultra-liberals become extinct, gotten lost, or met with foul play? We cannot ignore the fate of fellow human beings, even if we differ with them politically. At the very least, we can report them as missing persons. [Emphasis added.]

Lexis-Nexis says:

Search Terms: ultra-conservative
Documents 1 – 25 of 93

Search Terms: ultra-liberal
Documents 1 – 25 of 50

Searched in: US News/Northeast sources/Last 12 months.


Comments: 12


Hasn’t the Bush maladministration taught you that truth and falsity are irrelevant? If one’s audience responds as desired to a particular aggregation of words, whether it is “true” or constitutes a “fact” is of no moment.


The right whinger’s complaints about the media are getting sillier every day. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the rubes complains about their choice of font next.


In the lexicon of the Republicans, Liberal infers Ultra-Liberal, so the added two syllables are unnecessary.


What are the counts on “unapologetic liberal” vs. “unoapologetic conservative”? I heard Blitz Wolfer use the former just the other day. And just about every newsmodel used “unapologetic liberal” to describe Wellstone after he died.


yeah but the media always makes an ugly face when they say “ultra-conservatives” and put up a puppy and or kitten when they say “ultra-liberals.”

However with both they do those annoying “air-quotes” thing.


You can’t have it both ways you know.

Either conservatives are tough and resolute (mean)
and liberals are weak with oozy-woozy bleeding heart (puppies and kittens!) or they’re not.


Maybe the “never” was an overstatement…but it does look, judging by the document count, that the press uses the term “ultra-conservative” about twice as often as the term “ultra-liberal.” Is this because there are twice as many ultra-conservatives as there are ultra-liberals?


With every single issue that is not part of the Christian Coalition or the business lobby labelled “far-left” or “liberal”, there is no room left for the term you are wondering about 🙂



bob mong: Maybe?

Never means never. 50 doesn’t.


Bob Mong; A likely reason that the term “ultra-conservative” shows up more often than “ultra-liberal” in press reports is that ultra-conservatives are more likely to get their views quoted by the press. The Democrats have been encouraging their more outlandish members to keep a low profile for the past few years so they can better appeal to the middle. At the same time, the Republicans have been encouraging any right wing nutbag who can dress himself to rant at will because they feel (with some evidence) that mud sells. In addition, the press is so leery of being labeled “liberal”, that they avoid speaking with “those freaks”.


It’s the absence of context that makes word-counts largely meaningless. For example, Sowell uses the phrase “ultra-liberal” twice in the course of complaining that “the media”– of which I presume him to be part– never uses it. And for all I know, we may find the lion’s share of the instances of “ultra-conservative” to be in the columns of conservative columnists complaining about being labeled as such by “the media.”

A Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle corollary, sort of.


The actual quote is that the media mention them. Even if they say “the rest of the media never mention ultra-liberals!” that is still mentioning them themselves. I think it counts regardless of the context because we’re asking how much the term comes up not how it does so.


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