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Media Bias? What Media Bias?

How would we know anything without polls?

Among 1,757 likely voters nationwide, a recent Zogby poll found that -

Nearly two-thirds of those online respondents who detected bias in the media (64%) said the media leans left, while slightly more than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they see a conservative bias on their TV sets and in their column inches . . . While 97% of Republicans surveyed said the media are liberal, two-thirds of political independents feel the same, but fewer than one in four independents (23%) said they saw a conservative bias. Democrats, while much more likely to perceive a conservative bias than other groups, were not nearly as sure the media was against them as were the Republicans. While Republicans were unified in their perception of a left-wing media, just two-thirds of Democrats were certain the media skewed right – and 17% said the bias favored the left.
media poll.gif

 Even many Democrats were forced by this poll to admit the glaringly obvious: that the mainstream media is overwhelmingly liberal in its bent. What surprised me in the Zogby poll is just how many Dems actually think there is a conservative bias in the media. Odd, considering how absolutely saturated the media is with journalists who self-describe themselves as anything but conservative, according to a 2004 Pew Research Center media poll.

The only way I can explain this strange phenomenon is that the stranglehold that the liberal media has had on opinion formation in this country has finally, thankfully, been loosened somewhat, and now Democrats are occasionally and inadvertantly exposed to views from outside the echo chamber. That a liberal should ever have an opinion cross their radar screen that doesn't reinforce and confirm their worldview must be due to conservative bias. And losing the gatekeeper monopoly on information and opinion is causing many of them to lash out in irrational and self-destructive ways, such as cancelling debates on FOX.

Oh, perish the thought that the media might deliver a message you disagree with. That is just so . . . uncomfortable.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 14 March 2007 09:56 PM


The media is conservative... The media is conservative... zzzzzzzz.
Oh, good morning! I was just having the best dream!

Posted by: zsa zsa at March 15, 2007 06:50 AM

Where the bias in the media is depends on where you stand. Eric Alterman insists the media leans right. From where he stands, 90% of the media is to his right, so he's right.

Unbiased = Agrees with me.

Posted by: Leo at March 15, 2007 07:25 AM

Leo... Not always. Sometimes there are those radical way out & off the spectrum individuals.

Posted by: zsa zsa at March 15, 2007 10:28 AM

If the sample is representative, and 2/3rds see the bias as being on the Left, then that leaves 1/3rd of the population to the Left of that dividing line.

Remove the % of the country so mentally challenged they think 9/11 was an inside-job and you really see the problem.

But it's worse then bias. If the MainStreamMedia was only biased the poll should shake out with a large number disputing that bias exists. The lack of a middle ground illustrates the MSMs aren't just biased... but activist.

Posted by: DANEgerus at March 15, 2007 06:15 PM

Excellent point, Dane. I would add that even when overall bias is recognised by many, it does not describe the overall effect. When people notice a bias, they notice that it is liberal. But very few people notice things like choice of story or framing of the question unless they are actively thinking about it. Most of us read or watch and semi-accept what we see unless a) it rises to a threshold level of obvious bias, or b) we are looking for it. Conservatives have the habit of looking for bias. And perhaps because committed liberals have the habit of looking for bias which offends them, they pick up what others miss as well. Neither group - attentive conservatives or attentive liberals - is particularly large, I wouldn't think.

This would suggest that the liberal bias announces itself even to people who aren't paying enormous attention. That's quite a bias, then. Pajamas media linked to Solzhenitsyn's 1978 commencement address at Harvard, in which he comments on related matters. Recommended.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at March 15, 2007 10:02 PM