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The major media hate the repeated accusations of liberal bias, particularly by the Right. They've gone out of their way to prove they're not (anymore), but those efforts haven't made a dent.

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Despite Their Efforts, the Media Are Still Seen as Liberal

The major media hate the repeated accusations of liberal bias, particularly by the Right. They’ve gone out of their way to prove they’re not (anymore), but those efforts haven’t made a dent.

For years conservatives have complained about the liberal bias of the national media. According to a Gallup Poll released yesterday, this view has not changed over the last three years.

But the Right’s view of media bias is not the only view that has stayed put — liberals and moderates have remained fairly consistent about their perception of bias in the media, whether that bias is conservative or liberal. In other words, as seen in the charts below based on Gallup’s poll numbers, the media have not improved in the eyes of average Americans when it comes to bias.

In general, do you think the news media is – too liberal, just about right, or too conservative?

Too Liberal

  • September 2001: 45
  • September 2002: 47
  • February 2003: 45
  • September 2003: 45
  • Too Conservative

  • September 2001: 11
  • September 2002: 13
  • February 2003: 15
  • September 2003: 14
  • Just About Right

  • September 2001: 40
  • September 2002: 37
  • February 2003: 36
  • September 2003: 39
  • View of Media Bias by Ideology

     
    Too
    Liberal
    About
    Right
    Too
    Conservative
    Conservatives
    2003 Sept 8-10
    60
    29
    9
    2002 Sept 5-8
    63
    27
    9
    2001 Sept 7-10
    62
    29
    7
    Moderates
    2003 Sept 8-10
    40
    44
    15
    2002 Sept 5-8
    45
    40
    13
    2001 Sept 7-10
    44
    46
    8
    Liberals
    2003 Sept 8-10
    18
    50
    30
    2002 Sept 5-8
    21
    52
    22
    2001 Sept 7-10
    19
    49
    25

    What is really interesting about this poll is that despite increased attention on media bias, the numbers have not bettered. The analysis of the poll notes this as well, saying, “It’s perhaps surprising that there has been such little variation in this sentiment over the last three years — given the continuing focus on alleged media bias over this time period, including best-selling books such as Bias by Bernard Goldberg and Slander by Ann Coulter, which have alleged systematic liberal bias in the news media.”

    Judging from this, one could, it seems, infer that either people are stuck in their views — as the media would likely argue — or, more plausibly, the media have not changed.

    Of course, they would like us to think they have. Sure, they throw out great slogans to make us think they are presenting the news objectively. They might even interview more conservatives than they had before. The problem arises in the fact that the people who are the cause of the perception of bias either have not been fired or have not changed the way they work. It does not matter how pleasant their “look-at-us-we’re-fair” slogan is as long as the people touting the slogan are biased. It does not matter how many conservatives they interview if the people conducting the interviews obviously consider their guests and their guests’ views repugnant.

    If the national media wants to stop being perceived as biased, they need to stop putting ideologues who cannot hide their politics in front of the cameras in the studios or behind the typewriters in the newsrooms.

    ———————-

    Background:

  • Gallup Poll: Are the News Media Too Liberal?
  • Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, by Bernard Goldberg
  • Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, by Ann Coulter
  • ———————-
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