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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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
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.