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The Liberal Media
Every Poll Shows Journalists Are More Liberal than
the American Public — And the Public Knows It

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By Rich Noyes
Director of Research
June 30, 2004

Executive Summary

     Over the next four months, the media establishment will play a central role in informing the public about the candidates and the issues. As the countdown to Election Day begins, it is important to remember the journalists who will help establish the campaign agenda are not an all-American mix of Democrats, Republicans and independents, but an elite group whose views veer sharply to the left.

     Surveys over the past 25 years have consistently found that journalists are more liberal than rest of America. This MRC Special Report summarizes the relevant data on journalist attitudes, as well as polling showing how the American public’s recognition of the media’s liberal bias has grown over the years:

  • Journalists Vote for Liberals: Between 1964 and 1992, Republicans won the White House five times compared with three Democratic victories. But if only journalists’ ballots were counted, the Democrats would have won every time.

  • Journalists Say They Are Liberal: Surveys from 1978 to 2004 show that journalists are far more likely to say they are liberal than conservative, and are far more liberal than the public at large.

  • Journalists Reject Conservative Positions: None of the surveys have found that news organizations are populated by independent thinkers who mix liberal and conservative positions. Most journalists offer reflexively liberal answers to practically every question a pollster can imagine. 

  • The Public Recognizes the Bias: Since 1985, the percentage of Americans who perceive a liberal bias has doubled from 22 percent to 45 percent, nearly half the adult population. Even a plurality of Democrats now say the press is liberal.



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