When I worked in DC in the summer of 1984, a politically conservative friend introduced me to the idea that the media had a liberal bias. Being fairly conservative at the time, I could see what he meant. While Ronald Reagan seemed to rise above too much harsh criticism, the newspapers and nightly news regularly took shots at the administration’s policies. Maybe that is the press’s role, but it seemed unfair at the time. Now that I’ve moved to the left, I often see media coverage slanting to the right. Like a fun house mirror, the news seems to skew from your own point-of-view.
Most of us are defensive of our strong held beliefs, making it easy to sell a “liberal bias” to conservatives. Actual bias is more difficult to quantify; however, there was a survey in the 1990s that said 60% of newspaper reporters identified more with the Democrat Party. Even if those numbers are accurate, I don’t necessarily see a communist plot. Journalists are typically intelligent, inquisitive people who have to research their stories. It’s just possible they may know more about specific topics than the average guy. And, as Stephen Colbert said, “Reality has a well known liberal bias.” (more…)