Matt Lewis writes over at the Daily Caller:
Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and conservative new media outlets are powerful, to be sure — but can they compete with the evening news, the New York Times, and Hollywood, etc.?
I don’t think that is quite the right way to think of it. Fox News, Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, etc. are not primarily in competition with the New York Times and the evening news for the median news consumer. Fox News, Limbaugh, etc. are in competition with each other for the attention of that minority of Americans who strongly identify with the right-of-center. And there is nothing wrong with that! It is just that those outlets are of very little interest to people (and especially younger people) who don’t already identify as conservative and who haven’t bought into the narrative of the Reagan Era. These outlets can be useful for mobilization, but they are much less useful for persuasion (unless that persuasion is intracoalitional within the right.) That means the battle for younger minds, if is to be won, will have to be fought elsewhere. Thirty-five years ago it would have been fought with thirty second paid ads and the high profile speeches of major center-right politicians. Because people don’t use media the same way anymore, and rising constituencies are mostly unfamiliar the conservative narrative of the last forty years, these old school methods are less effective – though probably not wholly ineffective if used skillfully.
Here is something I wrote on the subject a while back.