The Media Research Center has just concluded an update of our “Media Bias 101” Web package, with more than 40 articles detailing scholarly research of the past 30 years showing the mostly liberal attitudes of American journalists and opinion polls showing the public’s growing recognition of the media’s liberal bias.
We can expect media bias to be big news this year. Going into the 2012 campaign, a Pew Research Center poll found a record high 67% of Americans saw “a great deal” or “fair amount” of “political bias” in the news media. At the end of the last campaign, Pew found the public “overwhelmingly” — by a 70% to 9% margin — believed that most journalists wanted to see Barack Obama, not John McCain, emerge victorious on Election Day.
Polls also show the public is troubled by the media’s favoritism: Scott Rasmussen in August 2008 found “55% believe media bias is more of a problem than big campaign contributions.”
The polls and studies found at our “Media Bias 101” page include 18 surveys of journalists themselves, documenting how a disproportionate share of reporters call themselves “liberal,” and how the Democrats would have won every election in the past 50 years if only the media were permitted to vote:
■ For their 1986 book, The Media Elite, political scientists S. Robert Lichter, Stanley Rothman and Linda S. Lichter surveyed journalists at top media outlets. They found 94% reported voting for Lyndon Johnson in 1964; 86% for Hubert Humphrey in 1968; 81% for George McGovern in 1972 and 81% for Jimmy Carter in 1976. (More)
■ In 1982, scholars at California State University at Los Angeles asked reporters from the fifty largest newspapers for whom they voted in 1980. The breakdown: 51% cast a ballot for Jimmy Carter and another 24% chose the liberal independent candidate John Anderson. Only 25% picked conservative Ronald Reagan, who won 51% of the public’s vote that year. (More)