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Liberal media? I’m shocked!

 
 
Fedral
 
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 08:17 am
Liberal media? I'm shocked!
John Leo
May 31, 2004

A new survey by the Pew Research Center says journalists have political and ideological leanings more liberal than those of the general public. Or, as a sensible headline might have put it: "Researchers ferret out the obvious yet again." One amused blogger wrote: "In other news, a second Pew study shows that the Earth is round and that the government's habit of taxing its citizens is likely to continue."

Pew reports that just 7 percent of journalists and news executives call themselves conservative, compared with 33 percent of the general public. The self-identified liberals (34 percent) are five times more common as conservatives in the news business. As you might imagine, this got very little play in the mainstream media. Howard Kurtz did a good job with it at the Washington Post. But that was about it. Those who did report or comment on the survey tended to play up the large number of news people (54 percent) who call themselves moderate. Why is it such a big deal to have a newsroom that's only a third liberal? asked Eric Alterman, author of What Liberal Media?

I would say that the big deal is that media workers are becoming more liberal at a fairly rapid pace­ -- up from 22 percent nine years ago to 34 percent now, according to Pew. It would be a bigger deal if the hiring of liberals reached the point (as it has in the academic world) where conservatives don't bother to apply for jobs. Immoderate.

In addition, there is debate over what "moderate" means in the survey. My experience is that liberal journalists tend to think of themselves as representing the mainstream, so in these self-identification polls, "moderate" usually translates to "liberal." On the few social questions asked in the survey, most of the moderates sounded fairly liberal. Asked whether homosexuality should be approved of by society, 88 percent of journalists agreed, compared with only 51 percent of Americans.

Some 82 percent of the journalists were able to list a news organization that was "especially conservative" (most named Fox News), but an amazing 62 percent could not name any news organization that struck them as "especially liberal." Good grief. Even 60 percent of the Homer Simpson family could probably figure out that the New York Times or National Public Radio qualify as liberal.

In response to the survey, some argue that personal social and political views make no difference if a reporter plays the story straight. Well, yes. But nearly half of those polled told Pew that journalists too often let their ideological views color their work. This is a devastating admission, something like an umpire's union reporting that half its membership likes to favor the home team. Even apart from loaded reporting, the selection and framing of news stories have a way of reflecting the opinions of editors. That's why the steady march toward a more liberal newsroom is so puzzling. The news media have to cope with a declining readership and viewership and intense scrutiny of their wayward practices by right-wing outlets and relentlessly critical bloggers. Yet the mainstream media have only those few in-house conservatives who might warn their bosses when news reports are skewing left.

Why does the news business keep hiring more and more people who disagree sharply with the customers, many of whom are already stampeding out the door for a variety of reasons? One explanation is that national journalism is now an elite profession, staffed by people­ -- black and white, female and male -- ­who went to elite colleges and who share the conventional social views of their class. This was not true a generation ago. When I was at the New York Times, the leadership was full of people who had gone to the wrong schools and fought their way up with brains and talent. Two desks away from mine was McCandlish Phillips, a born-again Christian who read the Bible during every break, no matter how brief. Phillips was a legendary reporter, rightly treated with awe by the staff, but I doubt he would be hired by most news organizations today. He prayed a lot and had no college degree.

The news business is deeply concerned­ -- I would say obsessed­ -- with diversity, but it has a narrow and cramped view of the word, rarely applying it to background and social attitudes. Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew survey, said the fact that "conservatives are not very well represented" is having an effect. He added: "This is something journalists should worry about. Maybe diversity in the newsroom needs to mean more than ethnic and gender diversity." Do tell. A great many thick skulls still must be penetrated by this idea. But eventually it will get through.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 4,651 • Replies: 75
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Jim
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 08:29 am
I have no great problem with most of the media being liberal, because in this day of communication options, there are always alternatives.

What does irk me though, is when our liberal friends scream bloody murder about Foxnews. Must absolutely every television news organization be solidly liberal? Can't there be even one mildly conservative news organization out there? Isn't "diversity" supposed to be a good thing?
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 08:33 am
fedral fedral fedral

Another townhall piece. Note there's no link to the Pew findings. Guess why.

Here's the Pew data...
http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=214
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 08:36 am
Thanks, blatham!!!

(And thanks to Fedral as well for giving this opportunity of showing, how conservatives score an own goal :wink: )
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 08:44 am
walter

I think your country and mine ought to join in a political union - I prefer Germanada over Canmany - and we'll get this world shipshape quicker than any neocon can say "unilateral".
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 08:46 am
blatham wrote:
fedral fedral fedral

Another townhall piece. Note there's no link to the Pew findings. Guess why.

Here's the Pew data...
http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=214


And what pray tell was incorrect about the posting ...

Or shall I quote the Pew data directly...

The Pew Research Center wrote:

Journalists at national and local news organizations are notably different from the general public in their ideology and attitudes toward political and social issues. Most national and local journalists, as well as a plurality of Americans (41%), describe themselves as political moderates. But news people ­ especially national journalists ­ are more liberal, and far less conservative, than the general public.

About a third of national journalists (34%) and somewhat fewer local journalists (23%) describe themselves as liberals; that compares with 19% of the public in a May survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. Moreover, there is a relatively small number of conservatives at national and local news organizations. Just 7% of national news people and 12% of local journalists describe themselves as conservatives, compared with a third of all Americans.

In this regard, Internet journalists are similar ideologically to local journalists: 57% describe themselves as moderates, while 27% say they are liberals and 13% conservatives. Local TV and radio journalists include the lowest percentage of liberals of any of the journalist groups surveyed (15%). Even among local TV and radio journalists, however, just 13% describe themselves as conservatives.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 08:52 am
blatham wrote:
I think your country and mine ought to join in a political union - I prefer Germanada over Canmany - and we'll get this world shipshape quicker than any neocon can say "unilateral".


I'd prefer the last one - the first reminds me terribly of Grenada and that .... :wink:
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 08:57 am
blatham

Btw: your forces still could refurnish their old barracks Fort Prince of Wales, Fort Henry, Fort York, Fort St Louis, Fort Anne and Fort Victoria in my home-county. And if good old CFN/RFC came back, too, ... :wink:
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 09:06 am
I've been saying all along the so-called liberal media has been giving Bush a free ride. If they reported events honestly, Bush might register approval in single digits.
0 Replies
 
doglover
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 09:19 am
Jim wrote:
What does irk me though, is when our liberal friends scream bloody murder about Foxnews. Must absolutely every television news organization be solidly liberal? Can't there be even one mildly conservative news organization out there? Isn't "diversity" supposed to be a good thing?


You call FoxNews 'mildly conservative'? They are the spokespeople/advocates for everything Bush and his administration does. LOL
0 Replies
 
NeoGuin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 12:45 pm
edgar:

This may explain part of it http://www.fair.org
0 Replies
 
Rick d Israeli
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 01:01 pm
With 'Liberal' you mean 'Leftish' right? Because here in the Netherlands, Conservatives are called Liberals, and your Liberals are called Socialists...although the American term 'Liberal' is not really the same as 'Socialistic' is in Europe....that, if you see the American Democrats as Liberal.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2004 08:51 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Thanks, blatham!!!

(And thanks to Fedral as well for giving this opportunity of showing, how conservatives score an own goal :wink: )


And how is that Walter?
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 06:07 am
First, let's talk about townhall. Self-described as
Quote:
Townhall.com is a one-stop mall of ideas in which people congregate to exchange, discuss and disseminate the latest news and information from the conservative movement.

Townhall is not a money-making enterprise (like a newspaper or news magazine or a TV station), but rather, it is a money-receiving enterprise, that money coming from Scaife, the Coors family, and others...all of whom fund ONLY conservative causes.

It lists, and carries, some seventy writers/commentators, not one of whom is a moderate or left-leaning voice (in contrast with the NY Times who carries regular rightwing voices such as Brooks, Safire, and others; or with Salon who carries Andrew Sullivan and David Horowitz on a near daily basis; or slate who has Chris Hitchens and a crew of actual moderates like will Saletan)

In other words, townhall is not properly understood as a free-wheeling free-enterprise news outlet, but as a funded and content-mandated propaganda organ.

This does not mean that the information it will carry is false. But it does mean that it will simply exclude all information which might support a viewpoint not in agreement with conservative values. Thus the site is not comparable to other media outlets which are inclusive of contrasting viewpoints.

Given all that, let's look at John Leo's interpretation of the Pew Report. This is a large report, so we'll take it bit by bit as I have time.
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 06:10 pm
bernie, how dare you bring reason and the facts into this discussion. you know its like a dose of sunshine to those bloodsucking vampires on the right.

townhall.com is about as balanced as george bush on a bike.

btw: liberal media?

90% of what americans see from the print news and airwaves is run by 7 multinational companies whose ceos would be boiled in oil for advocating anything but the bottom line to their stockholders.

The major media are large corporations, owned by and interlinked with even larger corporations, they sell a product to a market. The product they sell is the popular viewer, their customers are the corporations that buy advertising, and the picture of the world represented reflects the narrow and biased interests and values of the sellers, the buyers, and the product. Profits and the issues drive the media and items reported are for the financial benefit of the companies that own these enterprises. The fact that the posing of the information delivered is not for the benefit of the people, as we would define the presses role is obvious. No issues will be debated or given much play that make the audience, advertisers or press them uncomfortable, regardless of its value to the nation and its people.

n chomsky

Media control
http://www.wolfenet.com/~lzerfred/LFPS/Resume/Samples/Media.html
http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR23.3/mcchesney.html
http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/talks/9103-media-control.html
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Media/MediaCensorship.html
http://www.radioproject.org/transcripts/0014.html
http://www.mediaguardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4058010,00.html
http://www.ieee.org/organizations/rab/sc99/1999/Presentations-html/Green_Track/mccarter/tsld019.htm (especially slide 5, scary)

these right wing yahoos are like the Chincoms coming over the hill in korea with no weapons, but think that their ignorant masses of disinformation alone will overrun reason.

cue buddy holly...that'll be the day.
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 06:20 pm
Maybe the people that go into media jobs aren't more liberal when they first get hired. Maybe after seeing the real story of government, which the people don't get to see unless the news reports it, they start to see the whole story. Maybe they are reacting to the truth that they see from the inside, rather than going in with these preconceived notions.

Didja ever think of that?
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 06:38 pm
blatham wrote:
First, let's talk about townhall.


I guess it's too late to cast my vote that we not.

Let's talk about the Pew Report

"There are significant ideological differences among news people in attitudes toward coverage of Bush, with many more self-described liberals than moderates or conservatives faulting the press for being insufficiently critical. In terms of their overall ideological outlook, majorities of national (54%) and local journalists (61%) continue to describe themselves as moderates. The percentage identifying themselves as liberal has increased from 1995: 34% of national journalists describe themselves as liberals, compared with 22% nine years ago. The trend among local journalists has been similar 23% say they are liberals, up from 14% in 1995. More striking is the relatively small minority of journalists who think of themselves as politically conservative (7% national, 12% local). As was the case a decade ago, the journalists as a group are much less conservative than the general public (33% conservative)"

Do you think it's possible that some percentage of those who describe themselves as "moderates," might better be described as "liberals?"

In any case, 34% identify themselves as "liberal" and 7% identify themselves as "conservative."

This is a meaningless statistic in terms of the question of bias?
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 06:40 pm
kickycan wrote:
Maybe the people that go into media jobs aren't more liberal when they first get hired. Maybe after seeing the real story of government, which the people don't get to see unless the news reports it, they start to see the whole story. Maybe they are reacting to the truth that they see from the inside, rather than going in with these preconceived notions.

Didja ever think of that?


That must be it.
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 06:44 pm
Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
kickycan wrote:
Maybe the people that go into media jobs aren't more liberal when they first get hired. Maybe after seeing the real story of government, which the people don't get to see unless the news reports it, they start to see the whole story. Maybe they are reacting to the truth that they see from the inside, rather than going in with these preconceived notions.

Didja ever think of that?


That must be it.


I sense sarcasm.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 06:55 pm
Bingo
0 Replies
 
 

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