Monday, October 17, 2011

Where's that liberal bias?

It's a well-known fact, constantly reiterated by right-wingers, that the traditional media (newspapers, magazines, network television) in this country are strongly pro-liberal. Except that, like so many other well-known facts parroted by the right-wingers, this, too, is a lie.  Now, someone has actually quantified exactly how false it is.

The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has just released a study delineating the media's coverage of the Republican candidates for president versus coverage of President Obama over the last five months.  Can you guess which one received the most negative coverage?

It turns out that Obama has received the most consistently negative press of any of the presidential candidates, with negative assessments outweighing positive ones by almost four to one.  Again, this is not Rush Limbaugh we are talking about here.  This is the New York Times, Washington Post, CBS News, etc.

Pew found that only 9 percent of the president's coverage was positive and 34 percent was negative.  By contrast, Rick Perry - Rick Perry, for heaven's sake! - had 32 percent positive coverage and 20 percent negative.

Tom Rosenthal, the director of the project stated that Obama had had substantially more negative coverage in every one of the last 23 weeks of the last five months, including the week that Osama Bin Laden was killed.

In contrast, the top four most favorably covered candidates were all favorites of the tea party.  Perry, with his 32 percent positive coverage, rated number one, followed by Sarah Palin (31 percent positive), Michele Bachmann (31 percent), and Herman Cain (28 percent).  Mitt Romney had 26 percent favorable coverage.

The next time Sarah Palin or any of her cohorts start whining about how they are so ill-treated by the "lamestream media," perhaps someone will show them this study.  Not that they would accept it, of course.  Too "scientificky."

2 comments:

  1. I once challenged a colleague to bring me one article that was an example of the liberal media bias she keep citing. I've yet to receive it and at least in my presence she has dropped that accusation. It is just another FOX news cry / lie!

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  2. Exactly, Anonymous. Unfortunately, most news organizations - most especially television news outlets - engage in the "false equivalency" formula in their reporting where any policy statement by a Democrat is "balanced" by a statement by a Republican denigrating the Democrats' policies, no matter how ridiculous or untrue the Republican's statement might be. That's what passes for journalism in our society today.

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