published Sunday, December 4th, 2011

News media labeling game

Liberal bias in the news media is scarcely news. The general preference for Democrats among elite national journalists in particular is amply documented, and too many reporters and editors let their personal views color their reporting -- whether that means slanting a story or simply declining to cover a story that doesn't suit their agenda.

That bias showed up clearly in a recent analysis of news coverage of President Barack Obama and the Republican presidential hopefuls who want to replace him in 2012.

A watchdog group, the Media Research Center, reviewed all of the 723 campaign segments that appeared on the weekday morning programs of the three broadcast networks from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31 of this year.

One of the most interesting findings from the analysis pointed out the disparity in how reporters label the president and his GOP opponents.

In almost 50 cases over the months of network programs that were studied, the Republicans were labeled "conservative." But in only one instance was Obama labeled "liberal."

Now, to be sure, the Republican candidates are more than happy to be called conservative -- as well they should be. A recent Gallup poll found that 41 percent of Americans identify themselves as politically conservative, compared with 36 percent who call themselves moderate and only 21 percent who consider themselves liberal.

But the networks' unwillingness to call President Obama liberal at the same time that they are calling the GOP candidates conservative is telling.

With so few Americans identifying themselves as liberals -- and twice as many calling themselves conservatives -- it appears the news media are trying to shield the president from the unpopular, but very accurate, "liberal" label.

That unequal coverage is sadly predictable, but it's still wrong. If reporters are going to label conservative candidates as such, they should do the same with obvious liberals such as Obama.

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conservative said...

Since lieberals are inveterate liars, hypocrites and socialists, most are very reluctant to admit they are indeed lieberals because of the moral stigma. However, they are very easy to identify. Just get them to talk or write their beliefs on such things as the role of government, their stand on abortion, belief in God, marriage and homosexuality to name a few. Also, the 21 percent who identify themselves as lieberal is ridiculously low but further proves the point that most lieberals don't want others to know.

December 4, 2011 at 9:08 a.m.
LibDem said...

It's obviously bias when the news media complies with only half the Republicans' preferences on labels. Are we two years old?

December 4, 2011 at 9:21 a.m.
acerigger said...

""Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things...every one! So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, 'Liberal,' as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won't work,-- Matt Santos

December 4, 2011 at 9:52 a.m.
conservative said...

So why are you so miserable?

December 4, 2011 at 10:10 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Yawn. Here we go again with this right wing canard about the "liberal" media. This is a perfect example of the right's belief that if you keep repeating a lie often enough the sheeple will eventually believe it. With Faux News sucking in such a large number of zombified viewers across the country I don't see how the right has any room to complain whatsoever. Add to that the overwhelming preponderance of right wing talk radio hosts and the very term "liberal media" is a joke.

Our corporate-owned media is in reality nothing but a propaganda machine for our plutocratic government, much more right leaning than left. Recall Bush's invasion of Iraq in '03: any reporter who even suggested that we were making a mistake was immnediately censored. Anti-war dialogue was not even allowed.

For the righties to still be whining about a "liberal" media is like a 2-year-old throwing a hissy fit over a lollipop it can't have, all the while clutching the lollipop in his hands. You guys are really a piece of work. Just go suck your lollipop, keep your heads buried in your Faux News like you always do, and STFU.

December 4, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
LibDem said...

Wait, Rickaroo. I'm pretty sure we Liberals control the news media. After all, Conservatives concede we have the money and the brains.

December 4, 2011 at 12:25 p.m.
conservative said...

" compared with 36 percent who call themselves moderate and only 21 percent who consider themselves liberal."

Moderates are lieberals who are either delusional or think they are fooling everyone. They may have a couple of economic or Constitutional issues in common with conservatives but their morality is no different than lieberals. If you are mostly lieberal, you ARE lieberal. Combined with the 21% who have no shame, we have at least 57% who are lieberal.

December 4, 2011 at 1:56 p.m.
LibDem said...

Wouldn't 57% be a majority in a democracy? Is this why the last thirty or forty presidents have been liberals?

December 4, 2011 at 4:14 p.m.
conservative said...

Yes, 57% is a majority. Since you admit to being a lieberal, I can understand why you had to ask. However, a democracy was the last thing our founders wanted. I admit the lieberal courts have greatly undermined our republic and that we do have an unconstitutional democracy in a de facto sense. The chaos liberals have caused in our society is the proof of this. Whatever lieberals rule, they ruin! BTW, most of those claiming to be conservative are lieberals too, so the percentage of lieberals is much greater.

December 4, 2011 at 4:47 p.m.
carlB said...

When the Republicans took office in 2001, The total National Debt was about $5.4 Trillion Dollars with a budget surplus of $200 billion dollars. The Republicans made it clear that they did not intend to balance the budget or start paying down the National Debt. In fact, again they made it a point to destroy the entire financial status so our Government would be weakened as it took on the more than doubling of the National Debt. If we take a hard look at all of the Republicans' actions, it would be easy to say their actions were deliberate in putting this Republic on the verge of another great depression, into the unfinished crisis conditions which were passed onto President Obama. How easily the voters are fooled into turning the blame for this Republic having the crisis issues when it was the Republicans that allowed the country to get into the conditions that they apparently wanted and are now doing everything to continue to destroy every part of FDR's new deal. It would be hard to argue otherwise since they appear not to be doing what is best for this Republic, but are putting their political and ideologies ahead of "fixing" all of the wrongs that they complaining about.

December 4, 2011 at 10:18 p.m.
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