Thursday, October 30, 2008

media bias

Anyone who doesn't think there is a media bias either doesn't watch the news or is biased themselves. But for all those who think conservatives are just a bunch of cry babies when it comes to the news, it is time to go to the research.

The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has the raw data on just how bias the media really is. This non-partisan research group reveals with numbers what conservatives have known intuitively for decades. What the chart below makes obvious is that the media's reporting of Obama is mostly favorable while for McCain it is overwhelmingly negative.

Between September 8 and October 16th the media had a field day. The report shows that, "For Obama during this period, just over a third of the stories were clearly positive in tone (36%), while a similar number (35%) were neutral or mixed. A smaller number (29%) were negative."

It also shows that, "For McCain, by comparison, nearly six in ten of the stories studied were decidedly negative in nature (57%), while fewer than two in ten (14%) were positive."

This isn't the opinion of conservative talk radio. This is based on non-partisan factual research.

Here is another chart showing the way two very different outlets covered the same stories. MSNBC could be renamed the Obama network. And Fox News is much more favorable to McCain than the rest of the media outlets. Even still, if you look below at Fox's chart for Obama, it almost looks identical to their chart for McCain. Maybe this is what fair and balanced looks like?

The numbers for NBC aren't as bad as MSNBC and CNN is kind of down the middle. CNN tends to be just as negative toward McCain as the average of the rest of the media. They aren't as biased as MSNBC. That would be tough to accomplish. But the stats don't lie. They are overwhelmingly favorable toward Obama and negative toward McCain. And if you think it is just the networks, think again. The newspapers are in on it too. Just check out the chart below.

The bias in the media is not up for debate any longer. It's not an opinion. We have the hard data to back up what many conservatives have known for years. The media will always lean left.

There are many more charts and much more data at The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. If you want to learn more about the bias in the media, go to their site and read their latest report called "The Color of News."


At 7:36 PM, Blogger JTapp said...

I saw one of the authors of the report on PBS the other night. I think he'd say you've left out a key point:
The media coverage was most negatively biased toward whoever was losing. When McCain briefly led in the polls during the Palin bounce, media coverage was very favorable of him and more negative towards Obama.
There wasn't any conclusive evidence that the media favored one candidate over the other when controlling for who was winning in the polls. The fact that more McCain received more negative coverage is a problem of endogeneity-- McCain was losing, thus he was cast in the negative light.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Thanks for your comments. You are partly right. For the two weeks that the survey was done, the media was generally negative toward McCain because he was losing in the poles.

But, the bias is clear when you read the research. When you see just how much more negative some outlets are compared to the average negativity of the media, it is obvious that they favor Obama.

MSNBC was by far the worst. I would encourage a read through of the research by going to the link I posted. There wasn't space to put all of it on this blog post.


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