The success of this strategy can be seen in the wide use of conservative think tank personnel by the mass media. Conservative or centre-right think tanks were cited 40% of the time in 2005 and centrist think tanks 47% of the time, compared with progressive or centre-left think tanks 13% of the time. Often think tanks are cited without any indication of their ideological basis or funding sources and their personnel are treated as independent experts. The think tanks themselves are seldom investigated by the media.
MOST CITED THINK TANKS BY MEDIA
|Think Tank||Political Orientation||Number of Citations 2005||Number of Citations 2008|
|American Enterprise Institute||conservative||2290||985|
|Council on Foreign Relations||centrist||>892|
The editor of the Heritage Foundation’s journal observed that by the end of the 1980s op-ed pages were dominated by conservatives. Media commentator and progressive columnist Norman Solomon also notes that the mainstream media in tend to offer either experts who support the status quo or “populists of the right-wing variety.” He points out that it is unusual for media forums to include “unabashedly progressive critiques of the negative effects of corporate power?”