The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Ranking the media from liberal to conservative, based on their audiences

One chart I didn't get to include in my post Tuesday morning on Pew's new study of Americans' media habits was the one below.

Pew has basically taken the average viewer/consumer of all of these media outlets and plotted them on a continuum, trying to ascertain which outlets are favored by which side of the political spectrum.

There aren't a whole ton of surprises here -- conservative talkers are on the far right, while most mainstream media outlets have a slightly left-of-center audience -- but there are a few interesting takeaways here:

1) The most-preferred media outlets of liberals, according to Pew's study, are the New Yorker and Slate.

2) Fox News's viewership is pretty moderate compared to the Hannitys, Limbaughs, Becks and Breitbarts. This is probably because Fox's audience is just so large that it couldn't be relegated to an extreme end of the chart. But even liberals watch Fox.

3) The broadcast stations (NBC, CBS, ABC) and online news sites like Yahoo and Google have a more middle-of-the-road audience than other mainstream media outlets. People who read BuzzFeed, Politico, The Washington Post and The New York Times all tend to be more liberal.

4) MSNBC, despite its reputation as the most liberal cable news network, has a more moderate audience than the four publications mentioned above -- and only a slightly more liberal audience than CNN.

5) About half of the 32 outlets have an audience that pretty clearly leans to the left, while seven have audiences that lean conservative. The rest (including all the broadcast networks) are somewhere near the middle.

That, more than anything else, is a testament to Fox's domination on the political right and American conservatives' distrust of other mainstream media outlets.