Our problems remain epistemological.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Poll Reveals Perception of Media Bias

Can you believe it; the vast majority of Americans believe the mainstream media is biased. I guess the MSM isn’t doing a very good job of convincing their audiences of how objective they are. I love the reaction journalists give when they are questioned about media bias. Basically they are incredulous. What? Us? Biased? Not a chance. Yet according to a new Zogby poll with a very large sample, 83% of likely voters believe bias is “alive and well” in the mainstream media. Who would of thunk it?

What is interesting about the poll is that while 64 percent believe there is a left-wing bias, 28 percent believes the press tilts right. What planet are they from? That 28 percent number is consistent with voters who are self-described liberals in many polls, which explains their divorce from reality.

Even though there was a partisan divide in the poll, a large majority of independents see a liberal bias. And where Republicans are uniformly of the conviction that there is liberal bias (97%), Democrats are not so uniformly convinced of the opposite. Which just goes to show that as hard as they might try to claim the mantel of high-minded objectivity, the MSM cannot pull the wool over many people’s eyes.

1 comment:

Tom Van Dyke said...

MDV, I was doing a little backchecking in my reply elsewhere to our friend James Elliott, and ran across the Washington Post story on the Duelfer Report.

Google, in its unthinking, unwitting and dispassionate honesty, reveals the bias of the piece for all to see. It's seldom you can get a computer program to parse the rhetoric of the day, but here it is:


Report Discounts Iraqi Arms Threat (washingtonpost.com)

From the Googlized text:
Duelfer's report said Hussein was pursuing an aggressive effort to subvert the international sanctions through illegal financing and procurement efforts, ...

Of course, the text betrays why Bush and Blair actually decided to go to war, and why their respective legislatures agreed at the time.

The Duelfer Report concluded we found little in the way of WMDs. Well, duh.

However, the real rationale for the war was not so much Saddam's cocked WMD pistol, but his history of fascination with WMDs, his willingness to use them, and his pathological need to get them back. That was the focus of the Duelfer Report.

Of course, having found what they wanted in the headline and first few paragraphs, who would bother to read on?

Just another example of the media bias. In fairness to the WaPo reporters' fairness, they did bring themselves to include the salient facts. But they and the headline writer did their level best to bury them.

That's the real media bias---not so much the what but the how.