“Inequality” Not Just For MSNBC Anymore

Good news for Occupy. According to Nate Silver and his dungeon of dorks, “inequality” is booming on cable:

In 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected the first African-American president and the global economy teetered near collapse, the word “inequality” was used just 14 times on the liberal-leaning cable network MSNBC. So far in 2014, which is barely more than a third over, the word has been said 647 times on the network. …

How substantial is 647 mentions of “inequality” in the context of MSNBC’s programming budget? LexisNexis records about 250,000 words’ worth of MSNBC transcripts each week, and there are about 6,000 words spoken per hour of programming (I calculated this as150 words per minute times 40 minutes of noncommercial time per hour). [Several of those words yesterday were me saying “Absolutely” over and over. Sorry to screw with the data, Nate! –ed.] That implies that “inequality” is said 0.87 times per hour of original programming on MSNBC. By comparison, it was used only 0.006 times per hour in 2008.

And not just in the deep blue city of MSNBC but in the bright red cornfields of Fox News as well:

What may be more surprising is that there has also been an “inequality” boom on the Fox News. The word has been used 0.57 times per hour on Fox so far this year, almost an order of magnitude larger than the 0.08 instances per hour in 2013.

CNN, meanwhile, is in its own world, muttering “Flight 370” to itself the way House Republicans say “Benghazi.” Still, progress. Talking heads are paying attention to the unfairnesses inherent in the system. That could be Step One on the path to change. #ThanksPiketty



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