This raises at least a couple of questions:
- Can we do away with media exposure questions?
- And, if so, what the hell do we use as an alternative?
The issue for me is, do we now combine ideology or partisanship with media exposure ... that is, if we're not going to get specific about where people get their news? We know from recent research, my own and that of others, that there is a partisan migration going on, especially in cable news, as conservatives shift to Fox and liberals to MSNBC and those somewhere in the middle still watching CNN. The same is probably true, to a lesser degree, across the news spectrum, particularly on the Internet.
So if we not going to get specific in our news questions, and that's what I tried to do in my modest proposal, then perhaps it's time to combine ideology and news exposure and basically assume likeminded folks seek out likeminded news.
We are obligated, then, to create interaction terms -- to put it in a regression frame -- for all media and partisanship/ideology measures. The short answer to this is, ugh, ugly, and a pain when it comes to creating all these dummy terms. But in the long term, save more specificity in our news media questions, this may be the only logical answer.