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The iPod Crisis Myth

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Pundits are using scary math and dangerous sounding language to portray the imminent collapse of Apple’s leading position with the iPod. Silicon Alley Insider has been plotting out a tumbling graph depicting falling iPod sales growth while iSuppli just released an announcement that Apple was “slashing” its Flash RAM orders. Taken together, it sounds like the economic outlook for 2008 will rip the iPod and iPhone apart. That’s wrong, here’s why.


Statistics as Performance Art.
Dan Frommer of Silicon Alley Insider, who I occasionally have to take to task for his creative math, published a graph a month ago plotting the plunging growth factor in iPod sales year over year in the winter quarter.

Looking at iPod sales growth year over year and charting this number to produce a landslide drop graph does make for a dramatic projection of doom (below), but isn’t really a very useful or relevant way to look at the iPod market.

Apple Q1: The iPod Has Left The Building (AAPL) – Silicon Alley Insider

The graph depicted that Apple enjoyed 527% unit growth in the Q1 December quarter in 2004, 207% growth in 2005, 50% growth in 2006, but only 5% growth in 2007. That sounds bad until you actually look at the sales numbers. Had Apple sustained 527% growth over the last three years, it would have had to sell:

  • 10.5 million ipods in Q1 2005
  • 55.5 million ipods in Q1 2006
  • 292.7 million ipods in Q1 2007

Next winter, Apple would have to sell 1.55 billion iPods in 3 months of winter. The world just doesn’t have that much wealth. Clearly, growth percentages are easier to achieve when ramping up from hundreds of thousands of units into the millions that climbing from high millions. Who would have guessed that?

rise of the ipod

Why Ignore the Rest of the Year?
Additionally, by only looking at growth in the blowout December quarters, Frommer conveniently steps around the fact that annually, iPod sales grew by 30% in fiscal 2007 or 13% in the calendar year 2007. That’s a lot of new sales for a market Apple owns the majority of: iPods jumped from 39.4 million to 51.6 million in the fiscal year and from 46 million to 52 million in the calendar year. That’s not cumulative growth in the iPod installed base, but rather 51.6 million new iPods sold. By only considering Q1, Frommer pared away the real story of significant growth throughout the year, which is plainly there whichever way you look at it.

Again, it’s far easier to attain an attractive growth percentage number when looking at sales over a long term rather than comparing peak sales in the frantic winter quarter. Thirteen percent calendar growth year over year represents sales of 6 million new iPods in addition to the record setting 46 million sold last year. A million new iPods were sold in Q1 2007 compared to Q1 2006, not counting the three million iPhone sold, which clearly replaced some standalone iPod sales.

Additionally, the 22 million iPods sold this winter hit a higher average sales price, meaning there’s demand for Apple’s higher range models like the iPod Touch, which is not only more profitable but also builds value for a new platform of wireless mobile devices that further distinguish Apple’s offerings from cloners and other music player competitors.

In the fiscal year, Apple sold twelve million additional iPods (again, not counting iPhone units). That’s roughly as many new iPods in 2007–on top of its record 2006 numbers–than the rest of the industry sold in iPod-killers put together. Attempting to find something wrong with this kind of stellar growth by plotting out proof that exponential sales unit growth is difficult to maintain seems simply desperately contrived.

ipod sales vs other handhelds

quarterly ipod sales

The Unrealized Potential of Apple’s Hybrid Platform: Mac, iPod, iPhone, and TV

And Now For Something Completely Different.
To put into perspective the growth of the iPod, compare sales of another consumer electronics product: Microsoft’s Xbox 360. From 2006 to 2007, Xbox shipments didn’t increase by 30% or even 6%, but fell by over 33%. Nobody worries about the freefall in Xbox sales, only about the percentage of growth on the iPod.

Why is that? And why are contrived statistics required to inspire panic in a profitable product that is leading the industry and faces little effective competition? That’s an exercise for the reader to analyze.

Video Game Consoles 2007: Wii, PS3 and the Death of Microsoft’s Xbox 360

iSuppli’s Wild Roller Coaster of Slashing.
After announcing that Apple would fuel a significant 27% growth in sales of Flash RAM components this year by increasing its own orders by 32.2%, iSuppli is now reporting that it now thinks Flash RAM sales will only grow in the single digits, in part because of fears Apple would “slash” its orders by some unreported amount. Apple did not comment on the report.

“Slash” is a big word, and requires some definition when used in a press release. iSuppli reported that in 2007, the market for Flash RAM grew by 12.5% overall, but revenues actually fell by 2.4% in the winter quarter as the economy entered a slowdown. Interestingly, Apple isn’t a maker of Flash RAM, but a reseller of components. Softening demand for Flash RAM is good for Apple because it means more favorable component pricing.

While Flash RAM profits dipped in the winter quarter for manufacturers, Apple reported record unit sales and profits on its largely Flash-based iPods and iPhone. The company also reported a positive outlook related to favorable Flash RAM pricing going into 2008. The reason iSuppli referenced Apple in its report was because Apple is the third largest buyer of Flash RAM world wide. It purchased $1.2 billion worth of Flash RAM components in 2007, eating up 13.1% of the global supply.

How much will Apple “slash” its Flash RAM components orders? The iSuppli report avoids any details, but says it expects the Flash RAM market to only grow in the single digits in 2008. That means Apple isn’t the only Flash buyer dialing back on its orders. While the press has fixated on the idea of Apple “slashing” its Flash RAM consumption, they seem to have forgotten that a major component of Apple’s iPod costs relate to Flash RAM.

As demand levels off across the industry, Apple’s profits on iPod sales will increase, its ability to add more Flash to the iPhone and iPod Touch at affordable prices will increase, and its ability to price its players competitively will increase. Even if Apple were to see minimal new growth in its iPod lineup, it can only possibly make more money on each sale, and faces less competition from rivals who have less clout in arranging long term Flash contracts.

This reality was already evident in the winter quarter, when Apple’s iPod sales grew slightly in the US and even better internationally, despite shrinking sales among competitors, who were hit harder by rough economic conditions. In PCs, Apple did even better, recording record growth in Macs around four times that of the overall PC industry.

iSuppli Corporation : iSuppli Warns of NAND Flash Slowdown in 2008

There is One More Thing.
While Apple is pushing to establish the iPhone and iPod Touch as a wireless mobile application platform that will have a voracious appetitive for Flash RAM into the future, its also selling smaller iPod Shuffle devices with as little as 1GB of Flash for $50. This will help isolate iPod volume sales from price sensitivity, allowing the company to report the kind of numbers pundits like to chart in graphs.

Apple is diversifying its iPod business. This leaves the company with a finger in every market: it owns the low end and the high end, and sells products that complement each other. An iPhone buyer might pick up a Shuffle to use in the gym, knowing that both work with the same iTunes ecosystem. And iPod users are far more likely to expand or replace old models with new iPods rather than buying something designed to use PlaysForSure DRM or tied to Real’s Rhapsody service for the same reason. Apple has recession-proofed its business.

Whether Apple sells more low end models or take advantage of soft Flash RAM prices to sell more high end iPods, it will come out with another year of incremental growth in iPod sales despite fears of a weakening economy. Apple would have to lose 15 million units of iPod sales this year to hit the kind of negative growth experienced by Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which nobody seems to be too worried about. Since that’s an unlikely scenario, it really causes pause to consider why the media is frantic about iPod growth percentages.

Further, Apple isn’t the only company facing a conservative market: its iPod competitors are being hit harder because they lack the cash position to craft long term Flash RAM deals, develop desirable products that buyers will seek out regardless of their price, and build out retail operations that Apple has already successfully put into position. Anyone worrying about the hottest product of the decade has some serious credibility issues to address.

All About the iTunes.
If Apple’s hardware business isn’t enough to blow away fears, consider that iTunes is now regularly being advertised on TV by a variety of major networks hoping to send viewers to the iTunes Store to buy up past and future shows.

What is the market value of having iTunes and the Apple logo plastered up on the screen during prime time in lower third ads on a regular basis? Apple is simply soaking in free publicity for iTunes and the iPod. Apple is also now promoting its movie business with 99 cent rental specials, which along with the networks’ TV promotions will help establish iTunes as the way to download video in the way that it has become the primary way to legitimately download music.

Nothing else really comes close to the scope of iTunes, and no hardware comes close to the integration between the iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, PC, and iTunes. That means Apple offers strong reasons for people to buy iPods even if consumers become more selective about where to spend their money this year. Any attempt to penetrate that reality with contrived fears simply looks desperate.

Apple TV Digital Disruption at Work: iTunes Takes 91% of Video Download Market

What do you think? I really like to hear from readers. Comment in the Forum or email me with your ideas.

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43 comments

1 GP { 02.22.08 at 4:00 pm }

Excellent article. I keep seeing the doom and gloom headlines from the Wall Street ehacks, but when I see RoughlyDrafted as a byline, I know some actual reality will be shared.

Good job.

2 John Koetsier { 02.22.08 at 4:09 pm }

That is a an amazing article – well done. Great stats (and nice-looking too) and great analysis.

3 gus2000 { 02.22.08 at 4:33 pm }

“Apple would have to sell 1.55 billion iPods…the world just doesn’t have that much wealth.”

I dunno Daniel, even if each of those billions of iPods was a $299 Touch, it would still be a smaller sum than the U.S. expenditure on the occupation of Iraq!

4 chefmitch { 02.22.08 at 4:42 pm }

Daniel,

Very nice article. It is amazing how quick many folks are to declare the ‘sky is falling’ instead of seeing & understanding the big picture.

I thought for sure that you would have commented about Microsoft pledging to be more open. I am taking a giant wait and see approach.

5 madbard { 02.22.08 at 4:46 pm }

@gus2000:

Exactly. Only the Occupying Force in Iraq has enough money to buy all those iPods! :-)

6 benlewis { 02.22.08 at 4:48 pm }

Outstanding point on the advertising. I’ve been seeing it every night after “The Daily Show” and it never really registered that Apple was getting that exposure for free.

7 HardMac’s Blog » Blog Archive » An Analysis of iPod Sales and their Perception by the Media { 02.22.08 at 5:14 pm }

[...] moose The iPod Crisis Myth — RoughlyDrafted Magazine: “To put into perspective the growth of the iPod, compare sales of another consumer [...]

8 lowededwookie { 02.22.08 at 5:50 pm }

Wow, I’m impressed by the complete stupidity of these pundits. How do they tie their shoelaces in the morning let alone remember to breathe?

Clearly the industry is running scared because Microsoft is quickly losing its grasp on their monopoly.

I’ve heard Microsoft apologists say that Microsoft is the most innovative IT company but I’m still scratching my head to think of one single example of something Microsoft was innovative on. Anyone got an idea?

As Apple goes from strength to strength Microsoft seems to follow Apple to the letter even to the extent they are following Apple’s 90′s fall from grace. Is Microsoft going to be what it is today in 5 years because it seems highly unlikely.

Apple would have released two new versions of Mac OS X by then and Windows 7 is probably going to be delayed by another year. MS needs to give up and just develop mice, keyboards, and Office.

Oh and for all those who think Bill Gates is the richest man on earth they forget one thing, his wealth is only theoretical in that it’s all tied up in stocks. If the stock market crashes he loses out big time. Remember just after the US government announced their plans to shaft Microsoft, Microsoft’s shares halved and so did Bill Gates’. He certainly is not the richest man on earth that honour actually goes to the Sultan of Brunei on account of his wealth being actual.

9 TonyR { 02.22.08 at 6:20 pm }

“An iPhone buyer might pick up a Shuffle to use in the gym, knowing that both work with the same iTunes ecosystem.”

Actually, for my birthday I bought iPod Nano for the gym, and while not there, it sits in my iHome. It doubles as the entertainment while working out and it also wakes me up.

Once again Daniel, you impress with your research and straight-talk. Any thoughts on why these pundits work so hard to trash Apple? Are they on MS’s pay off? Are they shorting Apple’s stock? Anyone have any thoughts?

10 beanie { 02.22.08 at 6:49 pm }

Daniel Eran Dilger wrote:
“the 22 million iPods sold this winter hit a higher average sales price, meaning there’s demand for Apple’s higher range models”

Another reason for average selling price increase is less lower priced Shuffles sold in favor of 4GB nanos. The 2006 Christmas hit was Shuffle for $79. The 2007 Christmas hit was 4GB nano for $149, while Shuffle dropped to last place among iPods.

With the Shuffle price lowered from $79 to $49, Average Selling Price in the coming quarter could drop back down to 2006 levels.

11 jfatz { 02.22.08 at 7:25 pm }

I DO wish we had access to the numbers of the sales of each model… There’s really no way to do proper analysis without it, since lumping all iPods together could go a variety of different ways.

For the best for them, though, since–as you mention–the built-in buffer zone of low-priced Shuffles and the like protects them from the hungry press, waiting to foist their HORRIBLE analysis off on the public for an attention-grabbing headline. They do a bad enough job with all the information that IS out there.

I wonder what it would look like if we took Frommer’s same methodology to such “doomed” products as the GBA, DS, PS1 and PS2… Heh.

12 qka { 02.22.08 at 9:03 pm }

Did you see that this article was linked to by BusinessWeek?

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/ByteOfTheApple/blog/archives/2008/02/is_there_troubl.html

Welcome to the big leagues!

13 lmasanti { 02.22.08 at 9:12 pm }

quote:
“I dunno Daniel, even if each of those billions of iPods was a $299 Touch, it would still be a smaller sum than the U.S. expenditure on the occupation of Iraq!”

A “sound” way to end the war!

14 lmasanti { 02.22.08 at 9:18 pm }

quote:
“Any thoughts on why these pundits work so hard to trash Apple?”

Page clicks! Who pays attention to a title: “Xbox sales down!”? How many clicks gets one that says… “Apple falls…”?

15 lmasanti { 02.22.08 at 9:21 pm }

quote:
“I DO wish we had access to the numbers of the sales of each model… There’s really no way to do proper analysis without it, since lumping all iPods together could go a variety of different ways.”

Now you learnt why Apple is so secretive!
Nobody know [for sure] how it gets its revenue.

16 UrbanBard { 02.22.08 at 11:02 pm }

Come on, Gus2000 and Madbard, this is not the right forum for a political discussion. So far as I’ve seen, the Strategic and Tactical advantages of the Iraqi war have gone over your heads. As has the fact we are winning there. All you can do is lamely repeat leftist talking points, or make snide remarks, rather than take reasoned positions. So, leave it alone.

Daniel did an excellent job of martialing the facts and presenting a clear case against the hysteria of the anti- Apple pundits. Don’t add any political hysteria of your own.

17 jfatz { 02.23.08 at 12:43 am }

***Page clicks! Who pays attention to a title: “Xbox sales down!”?***

A substantial number of people would. That’s pretty much the problem… The “mainstream media” picks and chooses their whipping posts, and applies no standards to their analysis and why. Certainly they’ll sometimes change their tune on one party or another, but it’s more of a “turn on a dime” reaction to create a NEW “story” to stick to, rather than make actual statements about actual happenings that actually… make sense.

That certain parties get no comment at all, while others get a week’s worth of snipes is a bit part of the problem. The press tends to construct its own reality, rather than report on it.

18 macbrand21 { 02.23.08 at 1:26 am }

Urbanbard: ‘As has the fact we are winning there’

Delusion is no way to solve this… by the way, didn’t you say this is NOT the correct forum for misguided politics.

19 TimeServer { 02.23.08 at 2:01 am }

I am not an economist, but it is obvious to me that growth numbers must always be accompanied by the context. Having 0% market share means any growth is infinite and having 100% market share is going to make the growth close to zero. I would rather have the latter.

20 UrbanBard { 02.23.08 at 2:37 am }

We are either winning in Iraq or we are not, macbrand21. Our military in Iraq say that we are winning. I would rather trust their expertize, than your’s or the leftist Mainstream Media. One clue is that the Iraqi refugees are returning home.

But, I seriously doubt that any evidence that I could present would convince you, so why not let time take care of the issue?

“by the way, didn’t you say this is NOT the correct forum for misguided politics.”

No, I said that this was not a forum for ANY politics.

21 harrywolf { 02.23.08 at 3:53 am }

UrbanBard, you have stepped into a hole of your own making, so either stop digging yourself in further, or get some FACTS in your posts.
(How you would come by any facts though, is beyond me – there are NO independent journalists or reports coming from Iraq….and no, the military is NOT a reliable source for information at all.)

All politics are misguided, its almost the dictionary definition today, since truth and honor are long gone from that field.

To say that the military have any expertise beyond simply killing is wrong.

They are there to kill; we are here to rule their activities, to allow or disallow their killing.
The military is a tool of the Government, ergo, a tool of the people. Nothing more.

The military has NO expertise in this thing you call ‘winning’ – its not a term that has any real definition beyond politicians, and I believe I mentioned them at the beginning.

Any expertise, any decisive word on ‘winning’ the ‘war’ in Iraq is highly subjective and belongs ENTIRELY to the people, not the military, who are mere servants of the people, mere tools of the people.
As it should be.

If you insist on using old terms (winning) in a new world of lies and embedded journalists, then take the consequences.

There is also no rule made by you that says that this is not a forum for politics – indeed, it is obvious that EVERY area of life is a forum for politics – ASK the 600,000 DEAD IRAQIS, and the comparatively tiny number of US dead.

Oh you cant – they are dead and rotting in their graves. Yeah, thats a big win, eh?

Well I , for one, will speak for them, US and Iraqi alike:

All war is an abomination, and rarely, a useful or necessary abomination, but always an abomination.
Every mans death belongs to every other man; no man is an island, as John Donne said a long time ago. He understood the inter-connectedness of all things.

‘Please remember the useless deaths of all of us’, the Dead cry, ‘perhaps if you do, it might be avoided in the future’.

As for this forum, I see no deletions by Dan Eran Dilger, and I guess its up to him.
I am happy to be deleted or not by Dan – got a hell of a lot of respect for the man through his writings here.

22 Jon T { 02.23.08 at 6:45 am }

It is incredible the extent to which misinformation is promulgated. Thanks for people like Dan who can spend the time revealing their inadequacies and untruths.

And as for iTunes, I believe it’s unsung fission bomb is going to explode on the world – it’s called iTunes U.

And as for Apple and the NAND supply issue, I think it is in the perfect position, balancing supply, demand and profit. With lower NAND prices it is free to drop prices and increase demand whenever and however it chooses.

Apple is in a very very powerful position. Which makes it share price a complete gift at the moment.

23 UrbanBard { 02.23.08 at 12:24 pm }

No, Harrywolf, I have no interest in arguing about America winning the war here, with you or anyone else. This is the wrong place for that. If you want to discuss the reasons for the war, email me at louisgwheeler@gmail.com.

You are arguing from positions which contradict each other. You ask for facts, but what facts can I give you which you will agree are valid? None, because they don’t come from official leftist sources–the Mainstream Media, for instance. I never use the Mainstream Media, because they are disconnected from reality. They don’t even try to prove anything, anymore. All they do cast aspersions and spin, spin, spin.

Eventually, even the Leftist Press will be forced to adjust to the truth. Al Qaeda has adjusted to the fact that they have lost in Iraq. Al Qaeda has to adjust: their terrorists keep getting killed. Captured memos attest to that.

Evidence from soldiers in the field will not satisfy you, nor from the military hierarchy. So, what will? You say that they are biased. But, you forget that your sources are biased, too. The Left are determined to have the Republican Party lose this war, even if this costs many American lives.

The problem here is in the metrics–the goal posts. By what definition CAN America win in Iraq? The Left keeps throwing up goalposts further down field which we must meet. When we meet them, the Left says, “That is not enough. You must meet these NEW goalposts.”

We will, harrywolf, because the war is dying down in Iraq by every criteria that I’ve seen: lower Military and civilian deaths, fewer numbers of IED incidents, less disruption of the infrastructure, decreased support for the insurrection by the indigenous population, increased ability of the Iraqi Defense Forces to take over the action so US soldiers can come home, increasing competence by the Iraqi Parliament and decreases in the number of negative articles in the MSM about Iraq. All these criteria say that we are winning, but some people will deny, deny, deny until we are no long winning, but have won.

The reason that this is not the right forum for politics is that I am very patient and will argue you into the ground. You don’t like that. Daniel doesn’t like that. I don’t like it. So, why start by provoking me? Why not agree to disagree with me?

PS. I agree with you that war is an abomination, but I am not so foolish to think that other people will automatically agree. So long as the enemy wants to kill us, I want to kill them. The Islamists have shown no signs of surrender. They will infiltrate us until they have the strength to attack again. Even, that is a losing tactic; they have no idea how powerful we will be when we can stop fighting you Leftists.

I have always said that I respected Daniel’s reasoning when it comes to technology, but his politics are screwy. Worse yet, he won’t argue with me in a logic manner about it. Nor will he be honest or straight forward. The Left are not supposed to favor censorship, until they get the power to do it. But, the Left have turned into reactionaries and censorship is a reactionary method.

24 duckie { 02.23.08 at 1:34 pm }

UrbanBard – “I have no interest in arguing about America winning the war here, with you or anyone else. This is the wrong place for that.”

………goes on about exactly that for another eight paragraphs…..

25 UrbanBard { 02.23.08 at 1:56 pm }

Look, duckie, all I did was give an opinion. I presented no case-no formal argument-no evidence. You seem unable to discern the distinction.

I merely doubted the ability of the left to even look at this issue honestly.

I am not the fanatic here. I am willing to argue cases–just not here. I did not start this. Madbard and Gus2000 did. You and harrywolf insist on continuing it.

Just say that you disagree with me and I will leave it at that. You have a right to an opinion, no matter how erroneous.

But, if you argue with me; I will point out your errors. That was what I was doing with harrywolf.

26 Dowap { 02.23.08 at 3:37 pm }

Good article Dan, nice that you got a link in Business Week.

I see UrbanBard is throwing around the “leftist” flamewar word again. Gotta love people that instantly paint something eithe Leftist or Rightwing when they disagree.

It has been my belief/opinion that people that throw around those words are emotionally and intellectually immature. Not meaning stupid, just not advanced enough to have a civil disagreement without resorting to what you learned when you were eight years old…”You are a poopy head”…”Well then you are a super duper poopy head” Now just change it to “You leftist/right wing”. See my point?

27 UrbanBard { 02.23.08 at 3:54 pm }

Dowap, I was speaking to specific individuals. These are people with whom I have interacted before. I know them well.

The word “leftist” has a rather good set of definitions in the dictionary. I was applying those. I don’t use words casually as insults. Fascist, for instance, is a Socialist ideology– a fixed set of beliefs which derived from the failure of Communism in Russia. It is not merely someone with whom I disagree.

If the shoe doesn’t fit you, don’t wear it. I’m sorry if my remarks seemed misaimed. Perhaps, you have misinterpreted them.

28 Robert.Public { 02.23.08 at 8:03 pm }

The article above was, per usual, great. Then I get down to the bottom half of the page and all there seems to be is FOX News. What gives?

29 UrbanBard { 02.23.08 at 9:38 pm }

It worse than that, Robert: it is Fox news vs the New York Times. I’m the representative for Fox.

I dislike the Left commercials which appear occasionally on this technical website, so I asked that politics not be discussed here. But, in the process of making that statement, I included opinions that people here disagreed with, so they felt it necessary to reply. That set offf the very political discuss I wanted to avoid.

Either America is winning the war in Iraq or it is not. No ones opinion makes a difference, either way. I seriously doubt that the people here are competent or knowledgeable enough to debate the issue.

But, I believe that this website is the wrong place to discuss it. That is why I included my email address.

30 jfatz { 02.23.08 at 11:35 pm }

Do you people actually know just QTF frickin’ website you’re having your unwelcome, completely bullshit political crapfight on?

Go. Away.

31 UrbanBard { 02.23.08 at 11:38 pm }

I agree totally, jfatz.

32 zaxzan { 02.24.08 at 4:14 am }

Please !
Please !
Please !
Please !!!
Please !
Please !
Please !

Do not feed the trolls like “UrbanBard”

He, like all trolls – have nothing to offer the world.
they are like MS … espousing uninspired concepts, all the while trying to coerce the world into their way, and only their way of thinking.

It is best to starve these people of “oxygen” deny them the attention they so desperately crave.

In replying to trolls, you are only formally inviting them to hijack a thread … they seek empowerment from your replies, regardless if they are right or wrong.

Smashing article Dan … as always.

33 WholesaleMagic { 02.24.08 at 9:53 am }

Geez, UrbanBard. Take a chill pill.

Outstanding article, Daniel. You’re on par with most analytical journalists in any major newspaper. The best way to write is to present simple, understandable arguments that are so obviously true that they’re undeniable.

34 UrbanBard { 02.24.08 at 11:25 am }

All You have to do to get me to shut up is not to discuss politics here. I never start these discussions.

I do reply with my opinions and you leftist here can’t avoid arguing about them.

35 CSimmons { 02.25.08 at 2:30 pm }

@UrbanBard,

As much as I love debating with right-wingers in any forum, I’m going to spare the board here.

What I will say is: I personally find it amazing how so-called “conservatives” can still complain about the supposed “leftist media” when the mainstream media in the last 15+ years has been dominated by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, and other like-minded right wingers. They’re all over talk radio,broadcast and cable television and the blogosphere.

As someone who lives abroad but actively monitors the US media landscape, I’d say that all political extremes are quite well represented. In fact, the only ones who are not really represented in the media are those who are politically in the middle, ironically, where the vast majority of Americans tend to be politically.

To continue to harp about the so-called “liberal media” is extremely out of touch with reality, and unfortunately demonstrates that most conservatives aren’t capable to think for themselves, a trait that, ironically, many right-wingers claim that those on the political left are incapable of doing.

My final point is the main reason I love reading Roughly Drafted so much, because Daniel is pretty much always capable of explaining his positions in a way that is very hard to debunk.

Keep it up Daniel!

36 UrbanBard { 02.25.08 at 6:27 pm }

It depends on where you stand, CSimmons. You may not see the leftist bias, because you are too far to the left of the Mainstream Media. The ordinary people in Europe and other countries are often to the left of the American Democratic party.

Polls of ordinary Americans say that the people in the center, which comprises the majority in the US, can see the Leftist bias in the Press and discount it accordingly.

The vast majority of the writers for the Mainstream Press and TV News (70+%) do vote, give money to or speak for Democratic Party causes. They try not to be blatant about it; they mostly spin the news by leaving out vital information, such as they leave out the guns when a civilian subdues a killer by using his own firearms.

Or, like the New York Times recently did, they will spout innuendo continually without providing any proof. The Times maintained that John McCain had an affaire with a female lobbyist 31 years ago. McCain denies it, the female lobbyist denies it and there is no evidence to back up a thing. It all comes from a disgruntled ex-employee. But , the New York Times felt they had to publish this smear, because they wanted to influence the election. We, Americans, get rather angry at the Media who attempt such propaganda and retaliate. The Times’ tactic has earned McCain some votes.

I would have no objection to these writers having biases, since we all have those, if the Press were honest and told people about their leanings up front, rather than falsely pretending to objectivity.

The point about this is that this is part of the Gramscian plan. Back in the 1950s, Alfredo Gramsci, an italian Marxist, promoted that idea that the Socialists should take over the means of communication through out the world. This meant that they should have major influence in the Media, the Movie industry and the Educational Establishment. The Gramscians have been quite successful, but their influence is waning.

At one time, during the Seventies and early Eighties, Conservatives were completely denied a voice in the Mainstream Media and the National press. The Right responded by creating alternative means of getting out their message.

The fact remains that the majority of the Press in the world are leftist, but fewer people listen to them every year. Mostly, the Mainstream Media is read or listened to by people over fifty and they are slowly dying off.

The most vital and growing part of the Press is on Talk radio and the Conservative internet. But, don’t mistake that they are the majority; they are too new for that kind of influence. The Mainstream Media or TV News is still the Majority of news that the nonpolitical people in America see or read.

The problem with the left is that they don’t like Conservatives even possessing the ability to speak their minds. They don’t like that many young people are listening or reading Conservative messages. The Left’s control of the Media is in decline, so they can see the hand writing on the wall.

“Pinch” Salsberger’s Leftist propagandizing has greatly diminished the circulation of the New York Times and the lack in advertising revenue is pushing the Times Corporation toward bankruptcy.

On the Internet, the Left have Media-matters, Moveon.org, Democratic Underground and Firedoglake. These Leftist media organs are bigger than any on the Conservative side. It’s just that the Left have only a few such outlets, whereas the Conservatives have hundreds.

None of this is a secret. Bernard Goldberg wrote a book on how the leftist writers spin the news in “Bias.”
http://www.amazon.com/Bias-Insider-Exposes-Media-Distort/dp/B000ECXDVC/ref=pd_bbs_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203973585&sr=1-3

One of the problems is that Democrats or Leftists routinely shield themselves from any information which might jar their viewpoint. They will only read information from approved sources.

Often, when the person I am arguing with runs out of talking points or insults, which don’t bother me, they will demand proof–thinking that I don’t have any. I then provide the evidence. They invariably refuse to even look at it, because the person writing it or the organization publishing it is conservative. This is bigotry: the blind and intolerant adherence to a creed.

I read opinions from both Left and Right, because occasionally even the Left makes a point. And I want to know what talking points they use so I can analyze them, choose to agree or not and craft counter arguments, if necessary. I don’t listen to Talk Radio or look for talking points. I’d rather make up my own mind, because the Leftists have never heard any of my positions and it confounds them. They have nothing prepared to throw back.

I like reading Roughly Drafted, too. I maintain that Politics has no place here. It’s the Leftists who insist in arguing politics here. I am merely applying Edmond Burke’s dictum that, “All that is necessary for evil to win is for good men to do nothing.” Thus, error and propaganda need to be confronted with truth and logic.

Naturally, the Leftist here hate the characterization that their positions are evil. They, themselves, are not evil. They are merely willing dupes repeating the assertions that they read or heard elsewhere. That is why they are so lousy at debate. They haven’t thought through any of their positions. Whereas I have studied both sides.

Again, I invite you to discuss this and other political ideas at louisgwheeler@gmail.com, rather than here.

37 mmbossman { 02.25.08 at 7:52 pm }

Too long, didn’t read. Get back to talking tech, and quit posting walls of text about politics.

38 surfish { 02.27.08 at 10:06 pm }

urban bard, pls go lie down in a pasture and cover yourself with manure until the millennium passes, thanks.

Oh, sorry, you already did that…

39 UrbanBard { 02.27.08 at 10:30 pm }

One of the things that I have noticed is that when the Left runs out of anything useful to say, they start insulting you.

It’s like that have a switch in their heads that when they run out of talking points and can no longer say anything remotely intelligent or honest–they start to curse you. I don’t mind debating you people, because you always lose. You don’t know anything. You resist from even trying to know anything. That is why you are divorced from reality.

You know nothing of history, economics, sociology, logic or manners.

Let me remind you of a single point: that my intent here was that these technical web pages should NOT be used for political speech–not yours or mine. Why? Because none of you people can show restraint by refraining to talk through your hats.

The Left have become a quasi-religious orthodoxy (a cult) where all you can do is recite cant from the Mainstream Media. You have no means to correct yourself–to correct your errors.

It is disappointing is that so many people who have no physical impairments can shut down their minds when it comes to politics.

40 surfish { 02.27.08 at 11:46 pm }

Dry up and go away, loser.

41 surfish { 02.28.08 at 12:06 am }

You might want to get diagnosed for Hypergraphia .

42 UrbanBard { 02.28.08 at 12:15 am }

Make me.

You cannot argue with me on the points, because you have no points. You are brain dead. Political correctness has destroyed your higher faculties.

You, on the left, are nothing but power and greed. You will promise the rabble in America anything to attain power. Your talking points are fifty years out of date.

Shall we trade insults now? I assure you that I haven’t started to insult you. I have been on my best behavior.

The problem is that you Leftists are best to ignore me and not provoke me by arguing politics here. You can’t win. You are mentally disarmed.

……

No, Hypergraphia is not a problem. I just like complete arguments.

I have no problem with remaining silent. I just want you Leftist here to be silent, too. You can’t do that, can you?

43 Does the iPhone Shortage Herald an Impending 3G Release? Probably Not — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 04.04.08 at 4:30 am }

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