Friday, November 02, 2007

This Liberal Media Bias

A couple of months ago I read a post over on Buck Naked Politics titled What Liberal Media?
in which WMD attempted to use the lack of Ron Paul coverage after he won various networks online and text polls (post debate) to try to prove a lack of a liberal media bias stating,"If we really had a "liberal media" wouldn't you expect them to be shining the spotlight on the dark-horse underdog who is upsetting the Rudy McRomney apple cart?" Unfortunately I read it at work didn't email it to myself and forgot about it until now. (I'll get to what reminded me in a bit)

As for WMD's examples, at the time Ron Paul was considered by all outlets of the media to essentially be some libertarian longshot kook with a snowball's chance of being in the race a month later. Secondly, online/text polls are in no way shape or form an indicator of actual public opinion. They are an indicator of how motivated and engaged the candidates' supporters are. Nothing else. Therefore the media doesn't cover their results.

So I check Memeorandum today and find an article in the Investor's Business Daily that Harvard University found a highly significant difference in the amount of coverage of Dem candidates and GOP candidates as well as a major difference in the tone in which they are covered (which reminded me of WMD's post)

Reviewing 154 stories on evening network newscasts over the course of 109 weeknights, the survey found that Democrats were presented in a positive light more than twice as often as they were portrayed as negative. Positive tones for Republicans were detected in less than a fifth of stories while a negative tone was twice as common.
There have been other studies that reached the same conclusion however this is the first to come from a highly reputable college that many would label as "liberal elite". Additionally the study reflects my own opinions on the media. I watch/listen to CNN when getting ready for work, I liosten to Morning Edition on the way to work, and if I watch news in the evening I watch PBS. The study confirms my personal opinions of the networks/media in question.

However unlike many that see a sinister cabal of journalists I opt for a simpler explanation. Simply put the personality type that is most likely to stay in journalism tends to lean to the left. Much in the same way that not everyone is cut out to be a police officer, nurse, or mortician not everyone is cut out to be a journalist. WMD while I may find fault in both your evidence and your conclusion I do agree with you on your closing."What we do want is for the news media to return to the ethics of journalistic professionalism. No more editorializing disguised as reporting. Just give us the truth, report the facts and let each and every American decide for ourselves." However, whether you want admit to it or not, the bias exists. You may not, however, recognize it because it's biases may mirror your own.