The Decline of Mainstream Media
By: Matthew A. Roberts
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, March 15, 2006
What common sense has comprehended for decades now finds support by yet another scholarly study: The media has a leftist bias. Jeffrey Milyo, an economist from the University of Missouri, and Tim Groseclose, a political scientist at UCLA, have published their results in the November 2005 issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economics. As if to confirm that bias, over the past few months, the media have given this research scant coverage.
With the aid of many research assistants, Milyo and Groseclose conducted a ten-year study, in which they collected from news sources the citations of think tanks and policy groups. They then compared these media citations to how often they were cited by members of Congress, and accordingly assigned scores.
The results? The researchers expected to find a left-leaning bias, but were astonished at just how behemoth this left-wing bias is. All the major news outlets (except Fox News' Special Report and the Washington Times) scored far to the Left of the average member of Congress. These include (from least to most left-leaning): ABC Good Morning America, Drudge Report, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, USA Today, Time Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, NPR Morning Edition, Washington Post, L.A. Times, New York Times, CBS Evening News, and, yes, the Wall Street Journal. Surprising many, the WSJ (the news, not the op-ed pages) brought home the biggest-leftist-bias award of all.
This study, with its unique approach, supplements other recent findings. Elaine Povich (1996) found that only 7 percent of all Washington correspondents voted for George H. W. Bush. More recently, John Tierney (2004) reported that only 8 percent of New York Times Washington correspondents thought George W. Bush would be a better president than John Kerry. As pointed out by Milyo and Groseclose, these studies further demonstrate that Washington correspondents are more leftist than any congressional district in the country.
These findings bear bad news for conservatives, who still fight an uphill battle to voice their views. Thanks to alternative media formats (esp. on the internet) conservatives have eked out a friendly forum or two, but are absent in the "mainstream" media. Will the Left's media monopoly ever end? Or should conservatives focus on cultivating alternative media until it is no longer an alternative?
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