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« Quotational Therapy: Part 108 -- Kinky Friedman & Texas Early Voting. | WILLisms.com | Quote Of The Day »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 361 -- Our Partisan Media & Economic Coverage.

This Is Stunning, Yet Not Surprising-

All intellectually honest people will admit that our nation's establishment "big media" are decidedly liberal. If you meet someone who talks about the "rightwing media," you are dealing with a nut. At the same time, you'll meet otherwise smart people who honestly believe the "MSM" is doing a great job playing it right down the middle. They may even roll their eyes at the notion of a liberal media.

The empirical evidence against the big networks is piling up. We're now beyond the point of debate; there's no question that the mainstream media are neither mainstream in their politics, nor reliable sources of factual information.

Thank goodness for the Media Research Center's tireless work on this issue. Their latest study exposes the seething partisanship of major media coverage of the economy from August 1, 2005 to July 31, 2006. Here's what they found (.pdf):

Reports Negatively Charged: More than twice as many stories and briefs focused on negative aspects of the economy (62 percent) compared to good news (31 percent). News broadcasts dwelled on one prospective cataclysm after another, yet each time the economy continued unfazed.

Negative Stories Given More Air Time: Bad news was emphasized on all three networks. Negative news appeared in full-length stories twice as often as it appeared in shorter, brief items. Good news was relegated to briefs. More good news appeared in brief form than as full-length stories.

Man-on-the-Street Interviews Spin Stories: Reporters used ordinary people to underscore negative stories by roughly a 3-to-1 ratio over positive. Since these are interviews chosen entirely by the reporter, this shows particular bias. NBC was especially bad at this, featuring negative accounts six times as often as positive ones.

Worst Network: More than 80 percent of the full-length stories on the “CBS Evening News” delivered a negative view of the economy – easily the worst of the three broadcast news programs. The network hid the good news of jobs or economic growth in short items. More than 56 percent of CBS’s brief stories were positive.

Best Network: ABC was hardly the “best” anything for its economic coverage. It simply wasn’t as negative as either NBC or CBS. More than 56 percent of ABC reports were negative compared to slightly more than 36 percent positive

There's no excuse for any of this, given the strength of the American economy of the past 40+ months. These so-called journalists might be able to get away with this sort of distortion if not for the sunshine pumping they did in the 1990s. From a previous MRC study:


The American media are not objective. With 6.6 million new jobs over the past three years, a 4.6% unemployment rate, falling gas prices, historically low inflation, strong consumer confidence, and robust GDP growth, this tax-cut-fueled economy is fantastic. It's too bad the major "old media" organizations, which are struggling financially, can't see through their partisan glasses, or beyond their own dreary economic bubbles, and just report the news as it is (as it is = awesome).


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Bush Tax Cuts Versus Nuancy Pelosi-nomics.

Posted by Will Franklin · 24 October 2006 01:48 PM


The normal excuse is that 'good news is no news.'

But . . . I distinctly remember the media cheerleading and ballyhooing the economy during the Clinton years.

As if Clinton had anything to do with it. The economy did well in spite of Clinton, not because of him.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at October 24, 2006 03:51 PM

Remember folks - to the left, the MSM are all Bush-pumping Republican shills.

They're not objective enough. Regardless of the fact that they break 10-15 to 1 Democrat, on a personal voting basis.

Posted by: Hoodlumman at October 24, 2006 05:23 PM

unless your a socialist this isn't much of an economy. read adam smith, particularly the parts that describe the meanings of "wealth" and "nation"

Posted by: lester at October 25, 2006 01:12 PM