Thursday, December 01, 2005

I have been reading Bias by Bernard Goldberg (Regnery Publishing, Inc; One Massachusetts Avenue, NW; Washington, D.C. 20001; 2001.)
The major premise of the book is that the mass media in general and TV news in particular has a strong liberal bias (not a surprise to anyone who actually does any critical thinking).  He was a CBS news correspondent and identifies himself as a liberal Democrat.  

We know how the media loves to use public opinion polls and surveys especially ones that support their own biases.  Mr. Goldberg identifies some opinion poll results that I don’t think you will find too many reporters reporting on the air or in newspapers.  Of course, they select what is news worthy and what is not news worthy.  Here are some selected quotes from his book.

“In 1985 the Los Angeles Times conducted a nationwide survey of about three thousand journalists and the same number of people in the general public to see how each group felt about the major issues of the day:

23 percent of the public said they were liberal; 55 percent of the journalists described themselves as liberal.

56 percent of the public favored Ronald Reagan; 30 percent of the journalists favored Reagan.

49 percent of the public was for a woman’s right to have an abortion; 82 percent of the journalists were pro-choice.

74 percent of the public was for prayer in public schools; 25 percent of the journalists surveyed were for prayer in the public schools.

56 percent of nonjournalists were for affirmative action; 81 percent of the journalists were for affirmative action.”  (page 126)

“… in 1996, the Freedom Forum and the Roper Center released the results of a now famous survey of 139 Washington bureau chiefs and congressional correspondents.” (page 123)

“What these two groups found was that Washington journalists are far more liberal and far more Democratic than the typical American voter:

89 percent of the journalists said they voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, compared with just 43 percent of nonjournalist voters.

7 percent of the journalists voted for George Bush; 37 percent of the voters did.

2 percent of the news people voted for Ross Perot while 19 percent of the electorate did.” (page 123)

“What party do journalists identify with?

50 percent said they were Democrats.

4 percent said they were Republicans.

When they were asked, ‘How do you characterize your political orientation?’  

61 percent said ‘liberal’ or ‘moderate to liberal.’  

Only 9 percent said they were ‘conservative’ or ‘moderate to conservative.’” (page 124)

“A poll back in 1972 showed that of those reporters who voted, 70 percent went for McGovern, the most liberal presidential nominee in recent memory, while 25 percent went for Nixon—the same Richard Nixon who carried every single state in the union except Massachusetts.” (page 125)

If you have bothered to read the editorials written by employees of the Peoria Journal Star (I generally don’t unless they deal with the murder of unborn babies, religion, homosexuality, or similar value, moral related issues), I ask this question.  How would you identify their political philosophy?  Conservative, conservative to moderate, moderate, moderate to liberal, liberal.
Do the views represented in the editorials reflect the views of the majority of the voters in central Illinois?  Do they represent your views?


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