-By Warner Todd Huston
On the January 23 broadcast of Fox News’ “Bill O’Reilly Show,” liberal commentator Kirsten Powers found herself agreeing with the concept that liberals are less tolerant of opposing opinions. Powers went further, though, positing that this intolerance might stem from the fact that liberals are too used to controlling the media and not being confronted by opposition.
Powers went on to say that it was “very disconcerting and unsettling” to liberals when they are confronted with ideas they don’t agree with.
During his “personal story” segment, O’Reilly brought up a study from George Washington University that found that liberals that use the Internet are less tolerant of opposing ideas than conservative Internet users. Interestingly, Powers, of the left-leaning Daily Beast website, tended to agree with those findings.
You know, I have to say this actually jibes with sort of real life experience that I have found, especially as I came into more contact with conservatives as I got older because I used to really live very much in a Democratic bubble when I worked in politics. I did find that they were much more open to sort of hearing other viewpoints, where I think liberals because they are so used to controlling all the media pretty much, academia, that for them when they hear things that don’t jibe with what they want to hear, it’s very disconcerting and unsettling to them. And it doesn’t surprise me that they’re really less interested, whereas conservatives are kind of used to it. They’ve lived in a world where pretty much, you know, the whole media has been sort of liberal.
Mimicking her liberal acquaintances, Powers went on saying, “liberals are sort of taken aback because they feel like, ‘What are you talking about? Everybody knows that what I think is right and nobody thinks differently.’”
The other guest for the segment, Republican consultant Kate Obenshain, also chimed in, saying that when conservatives at our colleges and universities “disagree with liberal the orthodoxy, [they] get slapped with violating the campus speech codes.”
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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