Friday, May 23, 2008

Media Bias and Spin...

We just completed voting in Kentucky for the 2008 Presidential Primary on May 20th. Out of curiosity I asked my co-workers if they would be willing to discuss who they voted for and why. Almost everyone I asked agreed to share with me their choices and reasons why. The results of those conversations were staggering, to say the least.

One person, a registered Democrat, voted for John Edwards because they did not think America was ready for a Black President. This same person did not like Hillary Clinton because, "she was a crook involved in that White Water scandal". They also told me that come November, they would vote Republican no matter who the nominees were because they always has in the past. Another colleague voted for Hillary Clinton because it was historical. I asked them what policies they liked of Clinton's and they could not name one. They just wanted to vote for a woman. The last person I will write about here, there were several more but I don't like typing so much, voted for Hillary Clinton as well. This person is a die-hard Democrat, or so they thought. I had them take a voters guide test back in January and those results were hilarious. Their top choice candidate, based on the answers to several questions, turned out to be Duncan Hunter with Mike Huckabee coming in second. The highest rating Democrat was Joe Biden at number 6.

The common theme I discovered by talking to these people is just how misinformed they were. All three of these individuals watched network news once a week on average but not any cable news. None of them used the internet or talk radio to gather information about candidates either. You have to wonder, how many people in our great Country fall into this same category? How many people are voting for leaders of our Nation and have no idea what they stand for? Worse yet, how many people are voting for leaders of our Nation who hold the direct opposite views from themselves?

Surveys and other research dating back to 1964 have shown a clear tilt toward Liberal views in the media. Why is this, you ask? Journalists are far more likely to say they are Democrats or Liberals, and they espouse Liberal positions on a wide variety of issues. A 2004 Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found five times more journalists described themselves as "Liberal" as opposed to "Conservative". In most cases, journalists voted Democrat over Republican by at least a 10-1 margin. The big culprits in this category would be ABC, CBS, and NBC which just so happens to be what most people receive for free via broadcast. They are not alone however. CNN, MSNBC, HBO, and most newspaper organizations also tilt to the left according to research and polling.

Now you are sitting there and wondering why Conservative media is not biased? Well, they are, maybe even more so. While most of the research I read show a majority of major media leaning left by at least 58%, the talk radio industry and FOXNEWS overwhelmingly lean right by as much as 72%. Granted, there is not as much Conservative media in the grand scheme of things as there is Liberal but the bias is still there, and don't even get me started on the Internet.

Now let's discuss some of the media darlings that work for these organizations and see if we can find some trends. We have Chris Matthews with MSNBC, Keith Olberman with MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell with MSNBC, Brian Williams with NBC, Katie Couric with CBS, and the list goes on and on. See the trend? NBC and it's cable sister MSNBC are notorious for leaning way left (Liberal or Democrat). As for Conservatives, this list is much easier since most are either on FOXNEWS or talk radio. We have Rush Limbaugh with EIB network, Sean Hannity with FOXNEWS, Britt Hume with FOXNEWS, Fred Barnes with Weekly Standard and FOXNEWS, Karl Rove with FOXNEWS, Matt Drudge with Drudge Report, Laura Ingram, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and the entire NRO staff. There are several more but you get the idea. All of these media darlings are extreme in their tilt for either Liberal or Conservative views.

So what is the point of this post, you ask? Educate yourself and think for yourself. If you watch or listen to only one source to get your information, chances are, you are only supporting views of that source and not your own. My three colleagues I mentioned above are prime examples of this.



Andrew T. Biddinger said...

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The New Conservative said...

I had a girlfriend just like this once. She swore she was a democrat, but everything she said sounded like a Republican.