Sophisticated and enlightened news consumers lean left, conservatives are dolts
Conclusions reached in a bizarre report by Pew Research Center regarding media coverage of President Trump and the political bent of the audiences they aim for is nothing short of insulting.
A summation of Pew’s assumptions:
“News outlets with a right-leaning audience cited fewer types of sources in their reporting, offered more positive and fewer negative evaluations of President Donald Trump and his administration, and had reporters who were less likely to challenge something the president said than outlets whose audience leans to the left or those with a more evenly distributed audience.
Seven-in-ten stories from outlets with a left-leaning audience and 62% from those with a more mixed audience included at least two of nine types of sources evaluated, such as a member of the administration, a member of Congress, or an outside expert. That was true, however, of less than half the stories (44%) from outlets with a right-leaning audience. In particular, outlets whose audience leans right of center were less likely to include Trump and his administration, outside experts or interest groups as sources. They were also about half as likely to include voices from both Democratic and Republican members of Congress (7% of stories vs. 14% for outlets with a left-leaning audience and 15% for outlets with a more mixed audience).”
Pew did admit that compared with past administrations, coverage of Trump’s early days focused less on policy and was more negative overall. But it ignored the uniformly positive coverage of Barack Obama which occurred from the onset of his presidential candidacy.
Scant coverage was given to Obama’s questionable associations such as his campaign kickoff in the home of former Weather Underground bombers of the NYC police department and DC government buildings, Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn — former fugitives who morphed into respected educators, as could only happen in Chicago. Remorseless years later, Ayers said, “I don’t regret setting bombs, I feel we didn’t do enough.”
Then there was Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the preacher who officiated at the Obama’s wedding and baptized their daughters. They sat in his black nationalist church for 20 years, listening to him spew race-based hatred.
Either of these associations — and there were many others — would have brought a screeching halt to other campaigns, but Obama got a pass by his adoring liberal media.
It’s no secret reporters are overwhelmingly liberal. Over a decade ago, the same Pew Research Center released a survey of 547 journalists and news media executives, including 247 who worked for national news organizations. Pew found that the proportion of liberals in the national media had increased over the previous nine years, from 22 percent in 1995 to 34 percent in 2004. Meanwhile, the percentage of conservatives remained minuscule: just four percent in 1995, seven percent in 2004. As for local reporters, liberals dominated conservatives by a nearly two-to-one margin (23 to 12 percent).
Pew also asked journalists to name a news organization that seemed to cover the news from an especially liberal or especially conservative angle. When it came to a liberal news outlet, most of the national journalists were stumped. A fifth regarded the New York Times as liberal; ABC, CBS, CNN and NPR were each named by just two percent. One percent of reporters said NBC was liberal.
But journalists did see ideology at one outlet: “The single news outlet that strikes most journalists as taking a strong ideological stance — either liberal or conservative — is Fox News Channel,” Pew reported. More than two-thirds of national journalists (69 percent) tagged FNC as a conservative news organization, followed by the Washington Times (9 percent) and the Wall Street Journal (8 percent).