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 ...
First the NYT addresses their problem of cheer leading for Obama and announcing the game is up. Now the Washington Post comes up with a bs article claiming the media are not biased and the public perception that the media is slanted is all wrong.
They are worried. The Obama media orchestrated public enchantment has worn off and the public knows they have been manipulated and screwed by deceiptful, smash mouth radicals. Yet again.
I distinctly remember flipping through the TV during the national nightly news of ABC/CBS/NBC back in the early 1990's, and seeing essentially the same broadcast! It was these networks, the New York Times and the Washington Post who set the agenda and provided the bulk of the "news".
Then we got the internet along with the watershed moment of Matt Drudge revealing the Monica Lewinsky story; it was all downhill from there for the liberal hegemony of "news". Boo Hoo.
The WaPo author has a point. Before alternative media, the MSM could say what they pleased, and ignore what didn't fit their desired narrative, and the average person would not know that the news was being slanted.
Today, when people see that stories like "Fast and Furious", the Wichita Massacre, the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom are ignored, when you see that the pics of Trayvon Martin that get plastered in the news are from when he was 12 and compare that to later thug pics, it's hard to escape the conclusion that you are being played by the MSM.
I have the same experience, in the late 1960's and throughout the 1970's. I was a kid, and I noted the same segment on the same topic aired at the same time. I used to make a game of trying to get them to complete eachothers sentences.
Sometimes, I actually succeeded. It was that bad.
The Columbia School of Journalism, for the last couple of generations -- make that three or four generations -- has surveyed entering J-school students about their reasons for entering journalism.
Starting in the late 40's, and certainly in the 1950's, Columbia noticed a rise in the proportion of students who cited, as their main reason for choosing journalism, a desire to "improve" society and benefit their fellowman -- liberalism, IOW. (And Marxism -- Columbia was a "little Red schoolhouse as long ago as the 1930's, so said ex-Communists like Louis Budenz.)
Vance Packard, in one of his social-criticism books in the 1960's, noted that the proportion by then had risen to over half, nearly 2/3's, of incoming classes. The proportion rose to 90% in the 1970's and 1980's and has been pegged-out ever since.
Confirming this takeover of journalism by ideological liberals and "progs" (neo-Stalinists), journalists who continued -- and continued to this day -- to profess themselves "independent", voted for George McGovern, the old Henry Wallace delegate and "prog" Stalinist, by 9:1 in the 1972 election that saw Nixon sweep 49 States.
It would be nice to know what percentage of "journalists" voted for Obozo. I should imagine it was something like, well, 100% -- total commitment, total true-believer over-the-cliffness.
This is actually BRILLIANT.
Make the award monthly, and pick a reporter with wider name recognition who has been particularly egregious (not that Bernstein wasn't).
Good point about Drudge breaking the Lewinsky story.
After the fact, we learned that the Washington Post and Newsweek had the Lewinsky story, but had been sitting on it for months! They had declined to publish that story. The reason? Because Bill Clinton was a good Democrat, and they didn’t want to go with a story which would bring him down.
Ask yourselves if the Post or N.Y. Times or any liberal outlet would have sat on an explosive story such as Lewinsky if a Republican president would have been the target.
Do you think it was what advertisers call "roadblocking"? Making sure everybody watching the news gets the same message at the same time (no "leakage")? Or more a case or "conscious parallelism"?
See my last re contrast of press and public political orientation. The public might not have known it, but the press pukes had to know McGovern was an old Prog Stalinist.
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.
Actually, the majority of the stories are gathered on these sites. They are not written researched or reported by these sites. The reportage is by the MSM, by and large. Yes occasionally one of the mentioned sites will break a story a story like BJ-gate and Rather-gate. But not all that often...so the bias IS in the MSM.
And as others have mentioned: NOT reporting or researching a story is just as damningly biased like fake birth certificates and fast and furious.
“In fact, theres little to suggest that over the past few decades news reporting has become more favorable to one party.”
You’re not fooling anyone, you know?
I’d be interested to hear of those who said “the media favors one side” which side they think it favors.
When they say “the right” I’ll know it’s time to lie down in my hobbit hole and give up the ghost.
“I know because I am one of these.”
Truly, it is liberating ne’cest pas?
Of course that's just a straw man. If 90% of the media is liberal and 10% is conservative, then one side isn't consistently favored. They're not addressing the question of whether the media "slants heavily to the left."
I remember that too. It still happens. The same set of stories covered the same way by different networks. It gives me the impression that the various news producers tend to chat with each other, sharing choice lines and spin, before doing the scripts for their shows. We saw it happened with the JournoList online forum, where we found out how hundreds of media and news people got together to hash out what the spin should be on stories.
If anybody thinks that such consensus-building meetings weren't going on for decades before, in cocktail parties, news people getting together in bars, etc, etc, I have a bridge to sell you.
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.
The Left talks among themselves. They attach great importance to ideological purity, something all of us have probably noticed when we reveal a conservative viewpoint to a Lefty acquaintance, friend, or relative, and suddenly we suddenly turn into "unpersons". We have revealed our ideological impurity and are therefore unfit to associate with.
Think about the implications of that in the news field, where so much depends on reputation, on people recommending you for assignments and promotions, where people spend time talking about people. Those who do not "fit" the ideological conformity are driven out of the group, into the Outer Darkness. Look at what happened to Juan Williams. He was made an example of what happens when you stray. I'm sure it was a lesson that was not lost on the rest of the leftist MSM: strive to stay within the Consensus, or be cast out to starve.
That effect is called Stockholm syndrome. Well keep on keeping on then.
Is this the same WaPo that apologized the week after the 2008 election for their love affair with Obama?
When my son was only a child we drove past the St Petersberg Times rack. He said, Wow, Gore is so much taller than Bush”.
Even kids notice. It’s the small things - the conservative point of view in the bottom half of the article, the “Here is Mr Kennedy, and now far-right Jesse Helms”, the interest in digging through Palin’s garbage while totally ignoring Obama’s associations with criminals, the rapidity with which a scandal involving a conservative appears in the news while only the Enquirer chases John Edwards down the stairs.
Over and over and over.
Excuse me, we aren’t stupid.
Yes, you’ve got it. That is the phrase.
I was just remembering with my brother, when the NY Times went on strike (their union workers I really don’t remember who exactly it was on strike) years ago and they were out for a while, maybe a week or 10 days.
During this time some folks (it was said they were actual NY Times folks, but I don’t know if that is true) started publishing a “Not The New York Times” little give-away paper, just a few pages, but looking just like the real thing (although I’m pretty sure it was smaller) and they were handing it out in midtown.
The Times unions picked a bad time to be off (what would be a good time?) and that fake paper’s greatest headline was: POPE DIES YET AGAIN.
My personal recollections of the 1950s and 1960s. Cities had newspapers that represented both sides (and more) back then. Then a not so funny thing happened..
TV news replaced newspapers and one side emerged as dominant, the bias became obvious to conservatives but liberals did not see it. It's what they always did.
My letters of complaint to the TV networks were answered with "We're professionals and you're not."
For example, the networks saw nothing wrong with 24/7 demands that South Viet Nam hold honest, supervised elections as a foreign-inspired insurgency raged; and hardly a discouraging word reported about the COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP OF THE FOREIGN COUNTRY THAT CREATED THE WAR AND WOULD NEVER HAVE ANYTHING RESEMBLING A HONEST ELECTION.
.. and it wasn't just Walter "Communist North Viet Nam's most trusted man in America" Cronkite waving the "Red, blue, and yellow protest banner" opposing America in the war.
However Time and U.S. News and World Report were real news magazines back then and you could trust them, it seemed to me.
Ah, but remember when Geraldine Ferraro was first put in front of reporters after Mundale picked her as his running mate?
The reporters started to ask some real questions, and Ferraro broke down in frustration, crying something akin to "But..., but..., but you're supposed to be on MY side!"
Between that, and Mudd taking out his good friend EM Kennedy in 1980 with the simple inquiry "Why do you want to be president" (and Mudd's subsequent elimination as a replacement for Cronkite), the "press" got in line with the Dems, as the difference in polls seems to indicate.
(Probably that, and the post-Watergate journalism types got seniority.)