Friday, January 28, 2011

Understanding Why The Media Are Liberal 'Political Arsonists'

40% of Americans identify themselves as conservatives, 35% consider themselves moderate and 20% consider themselves liberal according to a recent Gallup Poll. 37% of Americans call themselves Republicans and 33.7% call themselves Democrats according to Rasmussen. The rest would be independents. A quick look at these numbers would make one think that we have a robust body politic with a competitive two party system. Then why are the media so biased to the left?

Nicole Coulter at Conservatives4Palin provides us with stunning numbers and a stunning insight into what is happening with our completely out of balance and out of touch media.
After the 2008 election, the right-leaning Washington Examiner learned through a records search that 88% of the campaign donations made by network news employees, including writers, producers, reporters, and executives, went to Democrats. Just 88%, huh?

Not coincidentally, a Harvard study conducted during the 2008 election found that 47% of the print and broadcast stories about Barack Obama were overtly positive vs. only 12% positive for John McCain, while the Washington Post’s own ombudsman acknowledged that Obama received three times more front-page coverage than McCain, and that reporters went over the top in their scrutiny of Gov. Palin compared to then-Sen. Biden.
This demonstrates a tremendous disparity between the real America and those who are charged with the privilege of providing the country information and acting as the fourth estate whose function was considered highly important to the preservation of our republic by our Founders.

These should be seen as highly disturbing numbers by not just conservatives, but by the moderates who make up the 35% of an electorate that when combined with conservatives equals 75% of our country. Yes, 75% of our country do not consider themselves liberal. Yet the press has an almost exactly opposite make up.

Fred Barnes cites a 1985 poll  of 3,200 reporters which "found them to be self-identified as 55 percent liberal, 17 percent conservative." When journalists caught on in 2004, the numbers were "34 percent liberal and 7 percent conservative," according to Pew. Barnes goes on to explain how the media numbers are still completely different from those of the general public.
Over 40-plus years, the only thing that's changed in the media's politics is that many national journalists have now cleverly decided to call themselves moderates. But their actual views haven't changed, the Pew survey showed. Their political beliefs are close to those of self-identified liberals and nowhere near those of conservatives. And the proportion of liberals to conservatives in the press, either 3-to-1 or 4-to-1, has stayed the same. That liberals are dominant is now beyond dispute.
Studies by the Media Research Center going back to 1981 and the Pew Research Center going back to 1971 show a consistent imbalance in the political affilitation of journalists and the American people. Bob Roper of the Columbia Daily Tribune points out an absolutely mind blowing stat.
Polling of MSM journalists showed they voted 9-1 in favor of Bill Clinton over George H.W. Bush in 1992 and voted in the same margin for John Kerry versus George W. Bush in 2004. No surprise, then, that the Center for Media and Public Affairs found Kerry received 77 percent favorable coverage in 2004 while Bush received 34 percent favorable coverage — quite a chasm, in my view.
The public agrees that the media is biased according to Roper.
In 2008, a Rasmussen poll found huge numbers of people are concerned about this issue. The poll showed 55 percent of voters believe MSM bias is a bigger problem than big campaign contributions (the breakdown was 68 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents and 37 percent of Democrats). Several years ago, Brill’s Content showed that 77 percent of Republicans and 47 percent of Democrats believe there is a liberal bias in the MSM.
It's a logical conclusion from looking at these numbers that something like the "Palin problem" is more the result of the fact that the minority has the majority of media platforms from which to shape opinion. Discussions about her electability, qualifications, level of intelligence and why she is mocked are first generated by the media and then discussed by them as if it is news formed outside of their bubble when in fact there is nothing like this going on in real life. In an ideal world, the the media would objectively provide an accurate analysis and provide a proper reflection of actual opinion in the real citizenry.

You see the same dynamic in reporting on the Tea Party, other conservative leaders like Michele Bachmann and Jim Demint and the 2010 midterm elections where conservative candidates, particularly Tea Party candidates, were portrayed by the media as extreme and in some cases outright mocked.

Awareness of this problem really picked up after the 2008 election. Nicole Coulter at Conservatives4Palin quoted a Media Research Study that shows why Obama and Biden were able to skate by their gaffes, but Palin was scrutinized.
The networks downplayed or ignored major Obama gaffes and scandals. Obama’s relationship with convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko was the subject of only two full reports (one each on ABC and NBC) and mentioned in just 15 other stories. [...]

The networks minimized Obama’s liberal ideology, only referring to him as a “liberal” 14 times in four years. In contrast, reporters found twice as many occasions (29) to refer to Obama as either a “rock star,” “rising star” or “superstar” during the same period.

In covering the campaign, network reporters highlighted voters who offered favorable opinions about Obama. Of 147 average citizens who expressed an on-camera opinion about Obama, 114 (78%) were pro-Obama, compared to just 28 (19%) that had a negative view, with the remaining five offering a mixed opinion.
The Tucson shootings broke the thing wide open as mainstream media outlets tossed aside their responsibility of reporting factually on the shootings and instead turned to manufacturing a discussion about blaming conservative rhetoric which they reported as news. A majority of the public never saw this connection. This is an example of how the media manufactures a biased discussion on rhetoric and then reports on it. It's political arson where the arsonist returns to the scene as the firefighter. They have done the same type of "opinion manufacturing" with political candidates like Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell and Rand Paul. This distorts the political landscape and creates a greater margin of error for the public who might mistakenly rely on the media's bad information when making a voting decision.

While the public is about 3-1 non-liberal, the media remains 3-1 liberal. The documentation and chronicling of our center-right country is being done by leftists who come from an academia that has indoctrinated them into a bubble that is completely out of touch with the reality on the ground in the real world.

Nicole Coulter explains why the media is so tilted to the left.
In journalism school, Republicans are viewed largely as caricatures: heartless and greedy, and as always attempting to shove religion down people’s throats by opposing legalized abortion.

If you step foot on any major college campus, you will gain an insight into why journalists are liberal. Colleges bring together large numbers of people who run to the ideological left. Indeed, universities (especially humanities and communication departments) are havens and hotbeds for people who don’t fit in ideologically with the larger community or the center-right country at large. They are mini-Berkeleys and Haight Ashburies.

And so are newsrooms. For three years, I worked for a daily newspaper in Logan, Utah – one of the most conservative cities on the planet. But you’d never know it from the newsroom, which was filled with environmental extremists, hardcore feminists, and leftover 60s radicals. This small-town newsroom was so disconnected from the community it served, it still blows my mind. It was like a time warp. Outside the newsroom it was 1990 … Inside, 1970. Newsrooms, in general, are filled with iconoclasts, curmudgeons, and cultural rebels, even in small towns – and perhaps, especially in small towns. While a whopping 80% of my community was Mormon, I can only recall two reporters out of a dozen or more I worked with who were active members of any faith, let alone the predominant religion. I would dare say 80% of the newspaper staff was either agnostic or atheistic, especially among the editor ranks. Most of the staff, in fact, were secular East Coast and Upper Midwest transplants who flocked to Utah for the outdoor environment, not the cultural landscape.
This troubling imbalance adds an extra level of strategy which will be required by Republicans going into 2012. While they will have Fox News, talk radio and the new media to provide some cover, they will be taking on an opponent who will not only have the incumbency and all the normal Constitutional advantages which come with it, but who will also have a wide swath of the mainstream media to do his bidding at no cost to his campaign.

Getting the American people to go beyond the half hour they spend at dinner time each night watching the same biased nightly news program and to research the candidates and issues through a variety of media will be just as important as getting the people to the polls on election day.

That screen you turn on each day and the newspaper you pick up off your porch may be laced with as much propaganda as the campaign pamphlet a Democrat party activist may have slipped into into your screen door the night before.

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