Mission Accomplished for Accuracy in Media: Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) says there is no such thing as liberal media bias.
Within 12 hours, Schatz tweet had nearly 1,000 retweets and more than 8,000 likes. His supporters came out of the woodwork. A woman who calls herself Femme Flawless and whose Twitter bio says she is “Waiting for the great queer awakening. Anti-Fascist. Pro-Human Rights. Designer,” tweeted a graphic from Media Matters for America, a far-left media analysis outfit, entitled “Ideological tilt of panels on Sunday shows.”
The graphic placed “This Week” in the “tilted left” category with 60 percent of its content leaning left and declared “Meet the Press” left-leaning 15 percent of the time and “balanced” 85 percent of the time. Others shot down this argument because of its source.
But others who have looked at media bias have found the senator is not correct. More than 90 percent of the content that has mentioned President Trump since he announced in 2015 he was running for the White House has been negative.
Even among the business press, which had been thought to be conservative, nearly 60 percent of journalists self-identify as “very” or “somewhat” liberal. Another 37 percent claim to be “moderate,” but less than 5 percent identify as “somewhat” or “very” conservative.
Attempts to calculate how much of the media is biased themselves are hurt by bias. In one chart produced by researchers at the University of Michigan, news organizations were placed along a continuum of bias – ranging from -10 for the farthest left to 10 for the farthest right.
On the conservative side, it places Yahoo News and Wall Street Journal just to left side of zero. It places Fox News at the +2 mark, Drudge just beyond the +4 level and Breitbart, the Rush Limbaugh Show, The Blaze, the Sean Hannity Show and Glenn Beck’s program all in a cluster near the +6 mark.
On the left side, CBS News, Google News, Bloomberg, ABC News, USA Today, NBC News, CNN and MSNBC are all placed between 0 and -3. The Daily Show, The Guardian, Al Jazeera America, NPR, the Colbert Report, and the New York Times are all in the -4 to -5 area, and only New Yorker and Slate are to the left of those groups.
In 2016, the Washington Times reported on a study by veteran media researcher Robert Licther that found 81 percent to 94 percent of the nation’s journalists voted Democrat in presidential elections and only 7 percent reported being Republicans.
The Washington Post has felt the need to deny liberal bias on numerous occasions. In “What conservative critics get right – and wrong – about the media,” Kevin Learner argued that it was wrong for the press to present itself as objective or for consumers of media to even judge them on that rubric.
“The New York Times and The Washington Post are not liberal equivalents of Fox News,” he wrote. “They are not partisan news outlets, nor in the employ of the Democratic Party.
“Yet many of the reporters do share a worldview. Most have university educations. Most live in large metropolitan areas on the East Coast, where they ride public transportation with people who aren’t like them, where there are large minority populations and LGBTQ neighborhoods and restaurants serving Ethiopian food or regional Chinese – which they can probably get delivered to their apartments at midnight, when they’re still working on a story.
“In short, the best journalists in the United States are in many ways more elite and more cosmopolitan than the American public in general. That, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Smart people who are aware of different kinds of life experiences make the best journalists. But that does mean that they have a particular way of seeing the world. And they would be much less susceptible to attacks from the Mark Levins of the world if they abandoned the pose of objectivity that opens them to those attacks.”