Skip to comments.How Biased Are the Media, Really? (Not much says WaPo; Free Republic mentioned)
Posted on 04/28/2012 6:13:59 AM PDT by kristinn
Charges of media bias have been flying like a bloody banner on the campaign trail. Newt Gingrich excoriated the elite media in a richly applauded moment during one of the Republican debates. Rick Santorum chewed out a New York Times reporter. Mitt Romney said this month that he faces an uphill battle against the press in the general election.
Meanwhile, just about every new poll of public sentiment shows that confidence in the news media has hit a new low. Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed by the Pew Research Center in the fall said the media tend to favor one side compared with 53 percent who said so in 1985.
But have the media really become more biased? Or is this a case of perception trumping reality?
In fact, theres little to suggest that over the past few decades news reporting has become more favorable to one party. Thats not to say researchers havent found bias in reporting. They have, but they dont agree that one side is consistently favored or that this favoritism has been growing like a pernicious weed.
So why the rise in the publics perception of media bias? A few possibilities:
l T he media landscape has changed.
Theres more media and more overtly partisan media outlets, too. The Internet has given rise to champions of the left Huffington Post, Daily Kos, etc. as well as more conservative organizations such as Drudge and Free Republic. This means your chance of running into news that seems biased has increased exponentially, elevating the impression that bias is pervasive throughout all parts of the media.
Theres a kind of self-fulfilling perception to it, said Robert Lichter, a pioneering media-bias researcher who heads the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University...
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
One big flaw in their story, FR doesn’t report news (with rare exceptions), this site is a forum where people comment on news. Of course there will be a bias of opinion to that of the membership. FR doesn’t pretend to be an unbiased media outlet.
The early part of those years there were multiple newspapers in cities all over America representing all sides. Most are gone and disappeared as TV "news" took over.
Do two studies of Media Bias in Presidential Election Coverage 1968-2008: Evaluation via Formal Measurement and get back to us in the morning.
That is one of the great interviews in election history, but I don't know if it reveals bias on the side of the reporter. It's actually the softballiest of softball questions to throw at a candidate. He couldn't have anticipated that Kennedy would stumble so badly.
Kennedy couldn't tell the truth, "Why, I'm a Kennedy! I deserve it," but he couldn't on the fly make up a nice sounding answer for the peasants either.
I recall TV "news" reporting -- I recall that there were days when nothing else was mentioned on the network news. They repeated charges against Nixon, et al. that had been new days ago.
It was a 24/7 frenzy.
.. and nary a word from the networks a few years earlier about the EXACT SAME THINGS (and worse) done during the JFK and LBJ administrations.
I worked with younger folks at the time and everyday they'd be repeating the latest TV network "news" about that "bastard" Nixon.
Sam Jaffe has some attraction .... he was actually caught working for the KGB, and CBS (reluctantly) had to let him go.
What was the name of that annoying New Zealand Red who was running all over South Vietnam, dirking our guys in the back? He'd be another one.
C.P. Snow is probably too old, too long ago (he was part of the "who lost China" crowd).
Among the current players, Christiane Ahmanpour comes to mind, with her foreign-service husband and globetrotting POV.
Andrea Mitchell's another, sleeps with the Establishment gargoyle Alan Greenspan, and is a redoubtable table-pounder and story-tilter on behalf of liberaldom.
I think monthly would be too often .... you'd run out of really notorious people like the infamous "pseudo-conservative" WaPo blogger Dave Weigel (neocon Palin-hater Jennifer Rubin has his job now and is making a name for herself; she's one of those people who are passionately on your side .... 53% of the time), e.g., or Jonathan Alter.
Well, no we are not, but yes we are because they are still getting away with it. We need to stop generalizing and start naming names and also highlighting specific instances of bias more publically and more forcefully.
Peter Arnett should be considered.
I even get that in my family and extended family. Conform or starve. Conform or die in an empty hospital room. Care about us, or we won't care about you.
Not much new in that sense in the last 8,000,000 years, I should think.
The “everyone thinks like me,” fallacy. Also known as the psychiatrist’s or historian’s fallacy.
(Or the Polly “Wants a Cracker” Kael-fallacy.)
You see a lot of it here, too. Known in the vernacular as “pure, unadulterated b***-s***”.
I think that that is "apples and oranges." The majority of voters are apolitical.. they are influenced by "nonpartisan" media, familiarity with the candidate's name, friends, relatives, and maybe those silly ads.
People with opinions, biased or otherwise, about news sources pay attention.
The newspaper employee should have the courtesy to spend a little time listening to conservative media.. he will find that the conservative media will be many times more likely to state proudly that they are biased in how they interpret facts. The left is much more like to say, "there is no argument the facts are in."
SF authors John Ringo and Tom Krattman at one point made note that, at the higher levels, the Left is not a conspiracy, it is a consensus.
A consensus that includes the elite of the RNC.
Really dark things were done with nary a murmur from the press. For example, J. Edgar Hoover hounded ace FBI agent Melvin Purvis out of the agency and then, afterward, continued to bug him and harass him until he committed suicide. That was the blackest thing Hoover ever did, and it was truly worthy of a jury. But the press never touched it.
Lyndon Johnson used Hoover to bug Barry Goldwater, including, it was said, Goldwater's campaign plane. The "take" was turned promptly to Johnson's "Five O'Clock Group" (his dirty-tricks team) who exploited the FBI's information. We heard about this after the election, but it never generated the indignation, much less the firestorm, that was ginned up for the hated Richard Nixon during Watergate. Incidentally, Nixon's intention in having the DNC offices wiretapped were comparatively modest: He wanted urgently to know of any indication that Sen. Edward Kennedy would enter the 1972 presidential race.
Ah, yes -- that's who I was trying to think of. Really sleazy little polemicist in journalist's clothing.
Time the award with the Pulitzer. For that matter all to often the award will go to the same person. When was the last time a Pulitzer was awarded to someone who did not advance the far left’s agenda?
There are many times where I’ve said that the true purpose of the Republican Party was to maintain a pretense that there was any actual opposition to the socialist agenda.
Nixon was barely a Republican, was pretty Democrat acting, yet the news media absolutely despised him. That cryptic property of the leftist media doesn't bode well at all for Mittens.
Can’t agree more with your post but my point was they aren’t trying to be biased on purpose it is they simply are not biased because to be biased you actually have to choose a liberal positon over a conservative one with full knowlegde
These people do not think outside of their bubble that any concepts are superior to theirs so they reject them out right....that’s not biased, that arrogance
I just watched a C-Span show this morning from the American Historical Association annual convention which had a panel discussing the nexus between journalism and history.
Not surprisingly, the entire panel was made up of professors who self-described themselves as “left, progressive, or socialist” and who criticized O’reilly’s book on Lincoln as ridicluous, Beck ridiculous, Gingrich ridiculous and FOX News as ridiculously biased. Apparently there are no voices on the conservative side which are worthy of consideration by the public, although past history shows that these views can mislead the public into error.
On the other hand, they agreed that journalism should serve to create a “moral, poetic and decent narrative” of history and events. In other words, current events and historical perspective must be creatively in the service of ... wait for it ...progressive ideas.
So, according to this theory, the ‘creative’ editing of the 991 Treyvon Martin tape is OK because it was an attempt to create a moral poetic and and decent narrative.
What we have here is a complete universe of closed minds. In the famous story about Pauline Kael of the NYT. “I don’t know how Nixon won. No one I know voted for him.”
“In fact, theres little to suggest that over the past few decades news reporting has become more favorable to one party.”
That’s because we have had persistent liberal media bias for decades.
Dan Rather and his crowd were biased against Republicans in the 1970s and 1980s. Nothing new.
“For the past few decades, the media has been in the tank for the Dems. We on the right just have the means to make that clear now.”
Yup. new media outlets (like Rush) and the internet has exposed their bias.
>>>In fact, theres little to suggest that over the past few decades news reporting has become more favorable to one party.<<<
Ah, yes, but lets take this little sentence apart word for word.
In fact, the writer is correct. Several decades ago the media was already solidly leftwing and favored politicians with that ideology. So the reporting has not become “more favorable” than it already was back in the day.
The writer is simply telling us that the media has been biased for a very long time, and it hasn’t changed.
And... I worked in the media for 20 years in little newspapers up and down the West Coast. The bias was extraordinary and expressed in so many ways that it would take a book to describe. Let’s just say that the ideological preferences of most reporters and editors is understated.
God help us.