Something to chew on while reading and viewing and listening about the coming campaign:
Just 17% of voters nationwide believe that most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage of election campaigns. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that four times as many—68%–believe most reporters try to help the candidate that they want to win.
To some that’s no surprise. Neither is this:
Voters have little doubt as to who is benefitting from the media coverage this year—Barack Obama. Fifty-four percent (54%) say Obama has gotten the best coverage so far. Twenty-two percent (22%) say McCain has received the most favorable coverage while 14% say that Hillary got the best treatment.
At the other extreme, 43% say Clinton received the worst treatment from the media. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say the media was roughest on McCain and only 15% thought the media coverage was most unfair to Obama.
And naturally, the left is least critical, the right most critical:
Ideologically, political liberals give the least pessimistic assessment of reporters, but even 50% of those on the political left see bias. Thirty-three percent (33%) of liberals believe most reporters try to be objective. Moderates, by a 65% to 17% margin, see reporters as advocates, not scribes. Among political conservatives, only 7% see reporters as objective while 83% believe they are biased.
Of course, these media are less influential these days, as people go to Internet, radio talk, and other sources, which have proliferated — to a chorus of tut-tuts from mainstreamers.
It’s how Newsweek’s Evan Thomas put it in July, 2004, when he said the media “want Kerry to win.” Caveat lector.