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The Liberal Media Exposed (PDF Report): Formatted, easy-to-print pages detailing the key results of nearly two dozen surveys about media bias. The report also includes quotes from top journalists denying a liberal media bias, plus comments from journalists acknowledging the problem.

How the Media Vote. Surveys of journalists’ self-reported voting habits show them backing the Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 1964, including landslide losers George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. In 2004, a poll conducted by the University of Connecticut found journalists backed John Kerry over George W. Bush by a greater than two-to-one margin. See Section.

Journalists’ Political Views. Compared to their audiences, journalists are far more likely to say they are Democrats or liberals, and they espouse liberal positions on a wide variety of issues. A 2004 poll by the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press found five times more journalists described themselves as “liberal” as said they were “conservative.” See Section.

How the Public Views the Media. In increasing numbers, the viewing audiences recognize the media’s liberal tilt. Gallup polls have consistently found that three times as many see the media as “too liberal” as see a media that is “too conservative.” A 2005 survey conducted for the American Journalism Review found nearly two-thirds of the public disagreed with the statement, “The news media try to report the news without bias,” and 42 percent of adults disagreed strongly. See Section.

Admissions of Liberal Bias. A number of journalists have admitted that the majority of their brethren approach the news from a liberal angle. During the 2004 presidential campaign, for example, Newsweek’s Evan Thomas predicted that sympathetic media coverage would boost Kerry’s vote by “maybe 15 points,” which he later revised to five points. In 2005, ex-CBS News President Van Gordon Sauter confessed he stopped watching his old network: “The unremitting liberal orientation finally became too much for me.” See Section

Denials of Liberal Bias. Many journalists continue to deny the liberal bias that taints their profession. During the height of CBS’s forged memo scandal during the 2004 campaign, Dan Rather insisted that the problem wasn’t his bias, it was his anybody who criticized him. “People who are so passionately partisan politically or ideologically committed basically say, ‘Because he won’t report it our way, we’re going to hang something bad around his neck and choke him with it, check him out of existence if we can, if not make him feel great pain,’” Rather told USA Today in September 2004. “They know that I’m fiercely independent and that’s what drives them up a wall.” See Section.

Evidence of Bias in News Coverage. The Media Research Center continuously reports on instances of the liberal bias in the mainstream media. Daily BiasAlerts offer a regular roundup of the latest instances of biased reporting, while our NewsBusters blog allows Web users to post their own reactions. Media Reality Check fax reports showcase important stories that the news media have distorted or ignored, and several times each year the MRC publishes Special Reports offering in-depth documentation of the media’s bias on specific issues.

 

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