Bias and the Media

Ask any leftist and odds are that they think that Fox News is “far right wing” and just repeats what the RNC tells them.

If you ask a few more questions, you’ll find out that these same people think CBS/ABC/MSNBC/CNN & the New York Times are “centrist” and not pushing any agenda.

Then they will tell you that they get most of their “news” from Jon Steward, that Olbermann really is continuing in the footsteps of Morrow, and that Michael Moore makes documentaries.

They passionately believe all of this,even though none of it has any basis in reality.

For example, let us look at what the scholarly journal Mass Communication and Society, which is edited at Illinois State University, found when they researched the media in the 2004 election cycle.

…Fox News showed more structural bias toward Democratic candidate John Kerry than any other network, and that its bias was stronger than that on other networks. This was true contrary to criticism cited by Fico in which former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite labels Fox News as a “far-rightwing organization.”

That means Kerry and his supporters received more air time on Fox and were more likely to receive primary placement in stories. The four determinants of structural bias were the number of supporters quoted or given a chance to speak, the candidate whose supporters spoke first, the time they spent speaking, and whether there were visuals of both candidates or only of one. Neither the tone of the quotes used nor talk and commentary were analyzed, but only packaged news stories and segments.

Not quite what you would expect from a “far right wing” news organization.

Let us look at another example. The Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University had this to say on bias and coverage of the News media.

“…Fox News Channel’s evening news show provided more balanced coverage than its counterparts on the broadcast networks.”

Wow! Balanced coverage from Fox News? Point this simple and verifiable fact out to a leftist and it’s a safe bet that they will deny it.
The CMPA goes on:

Fox News Channel’s coverage was more balanced toward both parties than the broadcast networks were. On FOX, evaluations of all Democratic candidates combined were split almost evenly – 51% positive vs. 49% negative, as were all evaluations of GOP candidates – 49% positive vs. 51% negative, producing a perfectly balanced 50-50 split for all candidates of both parties.

On the three broadcast networks, opinion on Democratic candidates split 47% positive vs. 53% negative, while evaluations of Republicans were more negative – 40% positive vs. 60% negative. For both parties combined, network evaluations were almost 3 to 2 negative in tone, i.e. 41% positive vs. 59% negative.

If the leftists are getting a simple and basic fact about media bias wrong, it begs a couple of questions. One, are they seeing MSNBC, the self proclaimed “Obama network”, as “centrist” because they are personally skewed to the Far Left? Two, what other simple and basic facts are they getting wrong?