Even Liberals (Not in Media) Realize Media Tilt Left
- A poll found
that the more education a person has the more likely they are to
see media bias and "moderates and liberals alike see liberal
bias in the media twice as often as they see conservative
1) The August 21 CyberAlert
offered some examples of leading media figures denying the existence
of any liberal bias. I mentioned how a recent survey, that went
largely unnnoticed, discovered that even liberals realize the media
are biased to the left.
Last fall the Center for
Media and Public Affairs retained the Louis Harris Organization to
conduct a poll of 3,000 people about public attutudes toward the
press. Ted Smith, a communications professor at Virginia Commonwealth
University, developed the questions and the poll results have been
released in stages since early this year.
From the May/June issue of
the CMPA's Media Monitor newsletter, the illuminating section on
"Perceptions of Bias," as typed up for me by MRC intern
Jessica Anderson, now back in college at a competing Richmond
"Concerns about media
intrusiveness and negativism have long been widespread. But complaints
about bias used to come mainly from political conservatives. Our
survey indicates that this limitation no longer exists.
"Majorities of all major
groups in the population, including 70 percent of self-described
liberals, now see a 'fair amount' or 'great deal' of bias in the news.
Only among high school dropouts does the perception of bias drop below
60 percent; among college graduates it rises above 80 percent. In
general, perceptions of bias rise along with levels of education and
political participation, such as contacting an elected official,
contributing money to a party, or writing letters to the editor of a
"Although perceptions of
media bias have become widespread throughout the population, those who
see a liberal tilt outnumber those who detect a conservative bias by
more than a two to one margin. Forty three percent describe the news
media's perspective on politics as liberal, compared to 33 percent who
see it as a middle of the road, and 19 percent who find it to be
"Once again, even
self-described liberals agree: 41 percent see the media as liberal,
compared to only 22 percent who find the news to be conservative.
Among self-designated conservatives, of course, the spread is even
greater: 57 percent say the media are liberal and 19 percent see them
as conservative. Political moderates are less likely to see any
political tilt in the media, with 30 percent rating them as liberal
and 16 percent as conservative.
findings challenge the argument of some journalists that bias is
purely in the eye of the beholder. Although conservatives are three
times as likely to see liberal rather than conservative bias,
moderates and liberals alike see liberal bias in the media twice as
often as they see conservative bias.
"Perceptions of liberal
bias vary along with social characteristics other than personal
ideology. But only African Americans and high school dropouts are more
likely to see the media as conservative that as liberal. Men are
slightly more likely than women to rate the media as liberal, and the
perception of liberal bias also increases along with political
participation -- only 34 percent of nonparticipants find liberal bias,
compared with 54 percent of regular participants.
"But the most striking
differences in perception occur along racial and educational lines.
Black Americans reverse the usual pattern, with 40 percent seeing the
media as conservative and only 24 percent calling the news liberal.
Among whites 46 percent see media liberalism and only 15 percent
perceive media conservatism. The differences in perception are even
stronger according to educational level. Only 29 percent of high
school dropouts regard the media as liberal, compared to 42 percent of
high school graduates and 57 percent of college graduates."
To read more of the poll
results, go to the CMPA web site: http://www.cmpa.com
(I'm pretty sure it's .com, but if that doesn't work then try
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