Menken: Bias has consequences
According to a new book from a professor at UCLA, the media's left-wing bias is so overwhelming and pervasive that the few balanced news outlets appear to have a conservative slant.
"It's like concluding that six-three is short just because it is short compared to professional basketball players," writes Professor Tim Groseclose. He asserts that by a neutral standard, Fox News and the Drudge Report are centrist, with perhaps even a minor left-wing tilt -- but due to the steep liberal bias of every other major outlet, "commentators mistake relative bias for absolute bias." From the article:
Groseclose opens his book quoting a well-known poll in which Washington correspondents declared that they vote Democratic 93 percent to 7 percent, while the nation is split about 50-50. As a result, he says, most reporters write with a liberal filter. "Using objective, social-scientific methods, the filtering prevents us from seeing the world as it actually is. Instead, we see only a distorted version of it. It is as if we see the world through a glass—a glass that magnifies the facts that liberals want us to see and shrinks the facts that conservatives want us to see."
If the liberal media tends to "shrink" conservative facts, this is true to a still more extreme degree with anything concerning religion. The Deseret News, the commercial paper of the Mormon Church, recently published a two-part series on news coverage of religion -- or the lack thereof. Journalists not only tend to be much more liberal, but much less religious, then the American population.
A 2002 survey (the most recent data available) of 1,149 randomly selected journalists conducted by the Indiana University found that 34 percent of journalists say they have no religious affiliation, compared with 13 percent among the general population who said the same in a 2002 Pew Research Center survey.
The journalists were also asked how important religion or religious beliefs were to them. Roughly a third (35 percent) said they were “very important.” By comparison, the figure among the general population, as measured that same year by Gallup, was nearly double at 61 percent.