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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bias exposed by Pew

The Pew Foundation performed a study of the negative and positive coverage of Obama and Romney during this election season. It's a long and detailed report of many kinds of media. One striking result: MSNBC is more biased for Obama than Fox is for Romney! This isn't news to conservatives, but it may come as a shock to people who actual believe media claims of balanced coverage.

I told you so. Obama isn't as great as the liberal news media indicates, and Romney is much better than they indicate. They caricatured Romney past the point of recognition with personal accounts of him! Those accounts all agree Romney is kind, caring, honest, hardworking, helpful, humble, thrifty, and funny. That's the guy we met at the debates - though if the news media were worth their salt we would already have known his real character. I've never found personal accounts of Obama besides his own - and I've looked. Obama is also the guy we met at the debates: arrogant, dismissive of alternative points of view, a liar, and egotistical. That should also not have been news to us, in a fair and balanced news world.

Read or watch both sides, because balanced coverage doesn't exist in one place. Never has, never will. And how can anyone make an informed opinion if relying on only one point of view? Impossible.


  1. I just read the Pew Research Center's report on winning the media campaign 2012, and I fail to see how it supports your claim of a systematic bias toward Obama in the mainstream media.

    From the report, "a good deal of the difference in treatment of the two contenders is related to who was perceived to be ahead in the race. When horse-race stories-those focused on strategy, tactics and the polls-are taken out of the analysis, and one looks at those framed around the candidates' policy ideas, biographies and records, the distinctions in the tone of media coverage between the two nominees vanish."

  2. Yes, but that's averaging together all media, which you would expect to become neutral when taken together. At least by how I read it. When I say news media, I mean leftist news media such as MSNBC, NBC, etc. I should have clarified that for newcomers to the blog. Oldtimers already know that's what I mean.

  3. MSNBC is definitely (and I might say defiantly) a leftist outlet, though I don't actually consider it a news organization (the same way that I do not consider Fox News or The Jon Stewart Show news organizations). However, I expect these channels and show to be biased, and I would be surprised if either conservatives or liberals were shocked that they aren't balanced.

    I thought you were claiming that the mainstream media (which includes The New York Times and NBC) is biased, which this report doesn't appear to back up.

    From the Pew Research Center's report:

    The study also reveals the degree to which the two cable channels that have built themselves around ideological programming, MSNBC and Fox, stand out from other mainstream media outlets. And MSNBC stands out the most. On that channel, 71% of the segments studied about Romney were negative in nature, compared with just 3% that were positive-a ratio of roughly 23-to-1. On Fox, 46% of the segments about Obama were negative, compared with 6% that were positive-a ratio of about 8-to-1 negative. These made them unusual among channels or outlets that identified themselves as news organizations.

    1. I'd still say that the NYT etc. are biased, even if it doesn't show up in the Pew study. You can tell by how the subjects are treated. If it's a Republican, bad news is listed first, then better stuff hidden at the bottom. If it's Democrat, it's the opposite. Also the kinds of words chosen are usually less than kind to the GOP and compartively kind to the Democrats. It's the little things. And even more, the things that are left out.