I believe there is a liberal bias in the media. The Pew Research Center for The People & The Press found five times more journalists described themselves as “liberal” as said they were “conservative.” A 2005 survey conducted for the American Journalism Review found nearly two-thirds of the public disagreed with the statement, “The news media try to report the news without bias,” and 42 percent of adults disagreed strongly.
Media bias is important because while newspaper circulation is declining, the mainstream media still has tremendous influence. The ideology of these journalists is significant because they are selecting the stories we read. That is a major source of bias, because major topics are often ignored. They pick topics which reinforce their mindset. Media bias is “the selection of which events will be reported and how they are covered.”
The responsibility of the news media is to be as unbiased as possible and to present all sides of an argument. That is a primary reason why radio and TV stations are granted public airwaves. Too many journalists have crossed the line and become commentators. The stories they select are often designed to score partisan political points.
Julianne Malveaux is a fine advocate but she should not be a journalist covering the Supreme Court. She use to be with USA Today, and spoke of Justice Clarence Thomas by saying: “You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease. Well, that’s how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible person.”
Surveys of journalists’ self-reported voting habits show them backing the liberal Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 1952, including landslide losers George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. In 2004, a poll conducted by the University of Connecticut found journalists backed John Kerry over George W. Bush by a greater than two-to-one margin. In 2008, the margin was 3 to 1.
A number of journalists have also admitted that the majority of their brethren approach the news from a liberal angle. During the 2004 presidential campaign, for example, Newsweek’s Evan Thomas predicted that sympathetic media coverage would boost Kerry’s vote by “maybe 15 points.” Similar observations were made during the 2008 campaign.