The folks at the L.A. Times are busy trying to convince readers of the Myth of Liberal Bias in Big Media. The arguments aren’t too successful when scrutinized, however.
First, blogger Andrew Malcolm takes on a study that shows journalists contribute far more money to Democrats than Republicans.
According to this article, the study shows quite a disparity in contributions:
An analysis of federal records shows that the amount of money journalists contributed so far this election cycle favors Democrats by a 15:1 ratio over Republicans, with $225,563 going to Democrats, only $16,298 to Republicans .
Two-hundred thirty-five journalists donated to Democrats, just 20 gave to Republicans — a margin greater than 10-to-1. An even greater disparity, 20-to-1, exists between the number of journalists who donated to Barack Obama and John McCain.
Searches for other newsroom categories (reporters, correspondents, news editors, anchors, newspaper editors and publishers) produces 311 donors to Democrats to 30 donors to Republicans, a ratio of just over 10-to-1. In terms of money, $279,266 went to Dems, $20,709 to Republicans, a 14-to-1 ratio.
Those same donation figures could also be used to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Republican journalists are a whole lot stingier than their liberal colleagues.
Very cute. Of course, that particular spin ignores research that shows that conservatives are generally less stingy than liberals, at least when it comes to charitable donations:
Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).
I suppose the argument could be made that there are equal numbers of conservatives and liberals, but conservatives save their money for charity while liberals donate to political candidates. But that argument ignores another well-known study that showed “89 percent of Washington-based reporters said they voted for Bill Clinton in 1992. Only seven percent voted for George Bush, with two percent choosing Ross Perot.” That study and many, many more discussed here.
Next we have a study touted by the L.A. Times‘s James Rainey (h/t Tom Maguire). Here’s Rainey:
The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, where researchers have tracked network news content for two decades, found that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain during the first six weeks of the general-election campaign.
You read it right: tougher on the Democrat.
During the evening news, the majority of statements from reporters and anchors on all three networks are neutral, the center found. And when network news people ventured opinions in recent weeks, 28% of the statements were positive for Obama and 72% negative.
Network reporting also tilted against McCain, but far less dramatically, with 43% of the statements positive and 57% negative, according to the Washington-based media center.
Well, I’d like to see the full list of allegedly critical statements. How are we to know that they aren’t attacks from the left? “Obama sold out the left on FISA” would be a critical statement. So would “I hate the fact that Obama is moving to the middle on the Second Amendment and the death penalty for child rape.” That Rainey would seize upon this study as evidence that there is no liberal bias in Big Media, without asking these questions, says to me that Rainey really wants to believe that there is no liberal bias in the media.
Which suggests to me that Rainey is biased towards liberals.
Nor does Rainey appear to have ever watched Special Report with Brit Hume. Witness:
By the way, Lichter’s group also surveys the first half-hour of “Special Report With Brit Hume,” Fox News’ answer to the network evening news shows.
The review found that, since the start of the general-election campaign, “Special Report” offered more opinions on the two candidates than all three networks combined.
No surprise there. Previous research has shown Fox News to be opinion-heavy.
I’m not going to defend Fox News outside of Fox News Sunday or Special Report. The network is generally wretched except for those two shows.
But to accuse Special Report of having a lot of opinions misses a major point: Special Report each night features an entire segment of pundits giving their opinions about the stories of the day.
Of course they have more opinions. It’s like saying that the section of the newspaper containing editorials and op-eds has more opinions than the other sections.
Keep claiming that there’s no liberal bias in Big Media, L.A. Times. And keep using these laughable, easily refuted arguments!
It’s one of the ways we know you’re still liberal.