6th Poll in a Year Finds Public Recognizes Liberal Tilt to Media --1/21/2008
2. Shuster: Romney's Insane, O'Reilly's 'A Buffoon and a Jerk'
3. Thompson Challenges CNN's Soundbite Editing to Fit an Agenda
4. Lauer Seeks Assurance Tax Rebates Won't Go to 'The Rich'
5. ABC's Kate Snow Tags Along With Spotlight-Hating Chelsea Clinton
For the sixth time in a year, a national survey has found many more Americans see a news media bias to the left than to the right, and the latest poll released earlier this month by the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute, discovered "significantly declining percentages of Americans saying they believe all or most of media news reporting," with MSNBC (at a piddling four percent) and PBS (three percent) the least trusted for accurate reporting. Fox News, at 27 percent, was the most trusted, way ahead of second-best CNN at 14.6 percent. The Fairfield, Connecticut university's January 8 press release reported: "Just 19.6 percent of those surveyed could say they believe all or most news media reporting. This is down from 27.4 percent in 2003."
By a three-to-one margin "Americans see news media journalists and broadcasters (45.4 percent to 15.7 percent) as mostly or somewhat liberal over mostly or somewhat conservative," but for NPR and the New York Times recognition of a liberal tilt is closer to four-to-one.
That ratio for the New York Times matches a July poll by Rasmussen (see below).
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted early Monday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
An excerpt from the January 8 press release about the survey, based on 800 interviews, conducted November 26 to December 5:
AMERICANS SLAM NEWS MEDIA ON BELIEVABILITY
A Sacred Heart University Poll found significantly declining percentages of Americans saying they believe all or most of media news reporting. In the current national poll, just 19.6% of those surveyed could say they believe all or most news media reporting. This is down from 27.4% in 2003. Just under one-quarter, 23.9%, in 2007 said they believe little or none of reporting while 55.3% suggested they believe some media news reporting.
....The perception is growing among Americans that the news media attempts to influence public opinion -- from 79.3% strongly or somewhat agreeing in 2003 to 87.6% in 2007.
And, 86.0% agreed (strongly or somewhat) that the news media attempts to influence public policies -- up from 76.7% in 2003....
By four-to-one margins, Americans surveyed see The New York Times (41.9% to 11.8%) and National Public Radio (40.3% to 11.2%) as mostly or somewhat liberal over mostly or somewhat conservative.
By a three-to-one margin, Americans see news media journalists and broadcasters (45.4% to 15.7%) as mostly or somewhat liberal over mostly or somewhat conservative.
And, by a two-to-one margin, Americans see CNN (44.9% to 18.4%) and MSNBC (38.8% to 15.8%) as mostly or somewhat liberal over mostly or somewhat conservative.
Just Fox News was seen as mostly and somewhat conservative (48.7%) over mostly or somewhat liberal (22.3%).
The most trusted national TV news organizations, for accurate reporting, in declining order included: Fox News (27.0%), CNN (14.6%), and NBC News (10.90%). These were followed by ABC News (7.0%), local news (6.9%), CBS News (6.8%) MSNBC (4.0%), PBS News (3.0%), CNBC (0.6%) and CBN (0.5%).
In 2003, CNN led Fox News on "trust most for accurate reporting" 23.8% to 14.6%.
END of Excerpt
For the press release in full: www.sacredheart.edu
As noted above, this was the sixth national poll in just a year to document the widespread public recognition of liberal over conservative bias:
The November 29 CyberAlert item, "Poll: Twice as Many See Media as Too Liberal as Too Conservative," summarized two surveys:
By two-to-one, 40 percent to 21 percent, Americans "believe the media is too liberal" over "too conservative," the just-released "National Leadership Index" poll by the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, determined. Harvard's findings in the survey taken in September match a Gallup poll, also conducted in September, which found "more than twice as many Americans say the news media are too liberal (45%) rather than too conservative (18%)." In the Harvard poll, while 68 percent of Republicans said they think "the press is too liberal," 35 percent of independents agree and even 25 percent of Democrats consider the media to be too liberal, nearly as many as the 28 percent who see it as too conservative.
The Harvard survey discovered widespread dissatisfaction with how the media are coving the presidential campaign as 64 percent "say they do not trust the news media's campaign coverage," 88 percent "somewhat or strongly agree that the news media focuses too much on trivial rather than important issues," 84 percent "believe the news media has too much influence on voters' decisions" and 83 percent think "large corporations have too much influence over what information the news media reports during the campaign."
For the CyberAlert rundown in full, with links: www.mediaresearch.org
The August 13 CyberAlert article, "Most See Media as Liberal, More Trust Military than Media on Iraq," recounted:
Many Americans do not believe the news media are fair, accurate or even moral, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. The poll of 1500 Americans conducted late last month found that most of the public thinks news organizations are politically biased (55%) and often publish inaccurate stories (53%), and that roughly a third of the audience say the media are too critical of America (43%), hurt democracy (36%) and are immoral (32%).
Half of Americans (52%) label the media as liberal, led by self-described Republicans (75%) but also large percentages of independents (49%) and even Democrats (37%). And while journalists tout themselves as the public's objective eyes and ears, many more Americans are confident that the military provides an accurate view of the war in Iraq (52%), compared with 42 percent who trust that the press offers accurate reports.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Pew discovered that those who have chosen to bypass traditional news outlets in favor of the Internet give the "harshest indictments of the press."
For the CyberAlert posting, by Rich Noyes, in full: www.mrc.org
The July 17 CyberAlert item, "Rasmussen Poll: By 2-to-1, Nets Biased to Left; FNC Less Biased," reported:
As highlighted by FNC's Brit Hume, a new Rasmussen Reports poll discovered that, by about two-to-one or greater, the public recognize a liberal bias over a conservative bias on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, NPR as well as in the New York Times and Washington Post. "By a 39 percent to 20 percent margin," a Friday summary of their survey relayed, "American adults believe that the three major broadcast networks deliver news with a bias in favor of liberals." The public perceive liberal bias by 33 percent to 16 percent for CNN and 27 percent to 14 percent for NPR. More believe FNC delivers the news with "neither" a bias in favor of liberals or conservatives than see ABC, CBS, CNN or NBC as unbiased: While 25 percent consider the broadcast networks to be without a slant, 32 percent think CNN is "without bias," but even more, 36 percent, say that about the Fox News Channel.
On the newspaper side, Rasmussen learned than Americans see the Washington Post as liberal over conservative by about two-to-one (30 to 16 percent) while it's closer to four-to-one (40 to 11 percent) for the New York Times. "One of the more startling details," Rasmussen proposed, is that while liberals see all broadcast outlets and most newspapers as having a bias in favor of conservatives, even "25 percent of liberals see a liberal bias at the New York Times while only 17 percent see a conservative bias. This makes the New York Times the only media outlet that liberals are more likely to see as having a liberal bias than a conservative bias."
For the entirety of the July CyberAlert item: www.mrc.org
The March 15 CyberAlert posting, "Poll: Overwhelming Majority See Media Bias, Mostly to the Left," summarized:
The "vast majority of American voters believe media bias is alive and well" with 83 percent seeing bias in the media and of those, "nearly two-thirds (64 percent)...said the media leans left" while only "slightly more than a quarter of respondents (28 percent) said they see a conservative bias," determined a Zogby Interactive survey of 1,757 likely voters nationwide which was released on Wednesday.
For that CyberAlert with an excerpt of the poll finding: www.mrc.org
For many more polls on how the public perceive the media, as well as for the views held by journalists, check the MRC's "Media Bias Basics" section: www.mediaresearch.org
MSNBC's Live With Dan Abrams may not be a house on fire ratings-wise (Hannity & Colmes almost quadrupled it Thursday night among all viewers, and it has about half of Larry King's audience), but they're still flailing away against the Fox News Channel after Keith Olbermann's retired for the night. On Thursday night, MSNBC reporter David Shuster accused Mitt Romney of "insanity" and spewed at Fox News star Bill O'Reilly as a "buffoon and a jerk" within about one minute. The topic was AP reporter Glen Johnson angrily accusing Mitt Romney of lying, and Abrams showed footage of Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom telling Johnson to be a professional and don't be argumentative with the candidate.
Shuster erupted in outrage:
DAVID SHUSTER: Don't be argumentative with the candidate? Don't be argumentative? What does Mitt Romney think is going to happen to him when he's president? Are all the world leaders going to be nice and respectful? If he and his campaign have a problem with reporters being rude, what does he think is going to happen when he's sitting in the Oval Office? It's insanity.
[This item, by the MRC's Tim Graham, was posted Friday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The segment was an ideologically monotone debate between Shuster and liberal Huffington Post blogger Rachel Sklar, who maintained Glen Johnson was unnecessarily rude. (Imagine that, the Huffington Post being against rudeness. See the MRC Special Report on that record: www.mediaresearch.org )
But Shuster's blast at O'Reilly came out of nowhere. It had not been discussed earlier in the segment.
As for O'Reilly's lunge to snag Obama for his show (a chance slimmer than the most anorexic runway model), isn't it hard for a journalist to be both lazy AND aggressive at the same time? You can't compare a host like O'Reilly to a street reporter like Shuster or a David Gregory. He's trying to book a guest, not interview them on the spot. That's not lazy. It's trying to save the fireworks for the studio. And Shuster definitely brought the fireworks for his MSNBC bosses when it came to slamming FNC -- his former employers.
During a live interview on Friday's American Morning, Fred Thompson lived up to his reputation as the GOP presidential candidate most willing to challenge the media, as the former Senator complained to CNN anchor John Roberts that the show used a clip of him joking about Fed Chair Ben Bernanke to make it appear Thompson was not interested in a stimulus package for the economy: "You sit there and you take an hour's worth of tape, of course, and we have a little fun every once in a while, and sometimes you guys pick that out and have a little fun with it yourself..." When Roberts suggested he was being "dismissive" of a stimulus package, Thompson continued: "You know better than that....From time to time, things come up, and I poke fun at it...And you guys pick it out, you know, and leave it lying out there. We proceeded to talk about the economy and talk about a stimulus package, which I've been talking about for two or three days, but if this is your highlight event, it's your highlight event."
[This item, by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The interview, which seemed to suffer a bit from a satellite delay as Thompson was appearing from Seneca, South Carolina, started on a note of levity as Roberts described the state's primary as a "moment of truth" for Thompson, and the former Senator quipped that "every moment is a moment of truth." Roberts showed a clip of Thompson at a campaign event joking about wanting to change the channel away from Bernanke's speech over to Law and Order because Bernanke's speech was "a little boring." Roberts set up the clip: "Just as you were speaking, Ben Bernanke was on the television screen behind you talking about his support for an economic stimulus package. Let's take a listen how that unfolded."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE: And as we sit here, you know, we can take a look at the monitor, and Chairman Bernanke is talking right now. I would imagine you would probably say that the economy perhaps is the most important issue that's facing us?
Roberts continued: "I know, Senator Thompson, you were just joking a little bit there, but you did sound to be a little bit dismissive of the idea at least of an economic stimulus package."
When Roberts interjected that "the question I was trying to ask you, Senator, is you don't seem to have a lot of faith in a stimulus package," Thompson responded that "that's not totally accurate either," and that "I'm not sure what part of that, that you're talking about," before elaborating on what he wants in a stimulus package.
See the NewsBusters posting for a transcript of the entire segment.
Class warfare seeped into Friday's Today show on NBC. Upon interviewing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on the Bush administration's proposed economic stimulus package centered on tax rebates, Matt Lauer pitched the liberal "tax cuts for the rich" line, seeking assurance: "You're not going to give rebates to the rich here, correct?" Secretary Paulson declined to answer the question, saying he does not "want to get ahead of the President."
Lauer did raise the media's role in creating what they are obsessing over: "Do you ever worry that the media, we get the 'r' word on our lips, recession and we chant it and that eventually it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, the consumers of TV and the media hear it and they are also consumers of the economy and they spend themselves into a recession or don't spend themselves?"
[This item was adapted from a Friday posting, by the MRC's Justin McCarthy, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The January 18 segment:
MATT LAUER: So can the President and Congress reach a deal to boost the economy and even if they do may it be too little too late? Henry Paulson is the secretary of Treasury. Mr. Secretary, good morning to you.
ABC reporter Kate Snow continued her long history of delivering generous Clinton spin during a segment on Friday's Good Morning America. The GMA correspondent followed Chelsea Clinton as the former first daughter campaigned for her mother, repeating talking points along the way. Snow announced: "To be honest, [Chelsea] doesn't like cameras much. She let us tag along, but takes no questions." Later Snow repeated: "She doesn't want to be in the spotlight." The ABC reporter, who often covers the Clintons, didn't ask the obvious question: If Chelsea doesn't like the spotlight or cameras, why, exactly, did she allow ABC to follow her around with a camera crew?
GMA did balance the piece on the Clinton daughter with a sympathetic take on Mike Huckabee's wife, Janet. (At one point, reporter Claire Shipman asked about Mike Hucakbee's "legendary guitar playing.") However, Snow has developed a pattern of vigorously lauding the actions of various Clintons. On January 7th of 2008, she praised Hillary Clinton for seemingly ordinary actions: "No subject is too small. No issue too dense," Snow raved.
In early October of 2007, the ABC reporter complimented the much derided laugh of Chelsea's mother, labeling the New York Senator "the master of a shrewd political skill, disarming her critics with a gleam in her eye and a roar straight from the belly." For more on Kate Snow, see the January 8 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
And the December 3 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
That same month, Snow extolled the strength of the Clinton marriage: "On the eve of [Hillary's 60th birthday,] Hillary is trumpeting the strength of their marriage."
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
It should be noted that the January 18 Good Morning America actually displayed some balance. In addition to the Clinton piece, the show featured a friendly and complimentary segment on a Republican family member, Janet Huckabee. Reporter Claire Shipman seemed enamored of the outgoing former first lady of Arkansas. After praising Mike Huckabee for his guitar playing, the GMA reporter closed the report with unabashed adulation for Mrs. Huckabee: "You know, her straight shooting style and her sense of humor got her dubbed the queen of fun in Arkansas. And goodness knows...Washington can always use a dose of that."
A transcript of the Chelsea Clinton segment, which aired at 7:31am on January 18:
DIANE SAWYER: But first, we have an exclusive behind the scenes access to Chelsea Clinton who is on the campaign trail. We've seen her out there but she's been a quiet but steady presence standing next to her parents. Well, now she's branching out on her own. She's starting to talk and she's going to meet with voters one on one. Weekend anchor Kate Snow found Chelsea has come a long way from the young girl in braces that we remember from the Clinton years at the White House.
-- Brent Baker