Saturday, August 16, 2008

Media Bias, Part XXII

There's little doubt the mainstream media swoons over Obama:



source: cartoonist Glenn McCoy

Except among MSM members, who deny the charge. Faced with accusations of liberal media bias, the press and other "progressives" push back with claims that today's "corporate media" conglomerates actually slant news coverage to the right. This has always been nonsense--as demonstrated by this Kos Diarist complaining corporate media was blocking coverage of John Edwards; amusingly, in recent weeks, Kos itself stifled Edwards stories.

I've countered the claim in various ways, including the polled preferences of reporters, plus admissions by journalists. Moreover--and, to me, the most telling rebuttal--is the fact that MSM endorsements, the area most under control of management, overwhelmingly go to Democrats: the NY Times and Washington Post haven't endorsed a Republican for President since 1952.

Last month, Investor's Business Daily offered another useful bias metric--money:
An analysis of federal records shows that the amount of money journalists contributed so far this election cycle favors Democrats by a 15:1 ratio over Republicans, with $225,563 going to Democrats, only $16,298 to Republicans.

Two-hundred thirty-five journalists donated to Democrats, just 20 gave to Republicans — a margin greater than 10-to-1. An even greater disparity, 20-to-1, exists between the number of journalists who donated to Barack Obama and John McCain.

Searches for other newsroom categories (reporters, correspondents, news editors, anchors, newspaper editors and publishers) produces 311 donors to Democrats to 30 donors to Republicans, a ratio of just over 10-to-1. In terms of money, $279,266 went to Dems, $20,709 to Republicans, a 14-to-1 ratio. . .

The contributions of individuals who reported being employed by major media organizations are listed in the nearby table.




source: IDB


The contributions add up to $315,533 to Democrats and $22,656 to Republicans — most of that to Ron Paul, who was supported by many liberals as a stalking horse to John McCain, a la Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos with Hillary and Obama.

What is truly remarkable about the list is that, discounting contributions to Paul and Rudy Giuliani, who was a favorite son for many folks in the media, the totals look like this: $315,533 to Democrats, $3,150 to Republicans (four individuals who donated to McCain).

Let me repeat: $315,533 to Democrats, $3,150 to Republicans — a ratio of 100-to-1. No bias there.
BTW, note how much Fox journalists gave to Republicans: squadouche.

(via Willisms, Wolf Howling)

7 comments:

Geoffrey Britain said...

"BTW, note how much Fox journalists gave to Republicans"

I'm having trouble swallowing that 'fish'...something 'stinks'

bobn said...

I echo GB re: Fox News. They give Hannity tons of time.

The MSNBC numbers seem wrong the other way - that channel is "All Pro-Obama, Anti-McCain" all the time (except when they're endlessly looping their series on jail inmates and internet sex predators). The bias displayed there by Olbermann and Abrams is unbelievably blatant.

It's gotten to where I can't even watch it - and I used to like Olbermann's excoriations of Bush.


Not as sure for CNN - seemed like they endlessly looped the Swiftboat Vets in 2004, massively amplifying the effect.

OBloodyhell said...

> Not as sure for CNN - seemed like they endlessly looped the Swiftboat Vets in 2004, massively amplifying the effect.

Only after ignoring it for months, IIRC.

Carl said...

I've worked in media, and I have no trouble believing the numbers, even at Fox. Not that the #s, and thus sample size, here actually are fairly small--most of the listed media outlets formally bar talent and non-union workers from contributing.

bobn said...

Not[e] that the #s, and thus sample size, here actually are fairly small--most of the listed media outlets formally bar talent and non-union workers from contributing.

In other words, this data set really isn't worth much, is it? Interesting, yes. Statistically significant, maybe not so much.

I've had my own counter-hypothesis on media liberal bias - though no way to prove it.

bobn's hypothesis: that working journalists see everyday how often big business wins in every venue, due to preferences extended to them by TPTB, over public interest. Of course this fails the test that thre Clintons were mostly indistinguishable from the republicans in this regard.

Once again, no proof offered, hence its status as hypothesis rather than theory.

OBloodyHell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OBloodyHell said...

> In other words, this data set really isn't worth much, is it? Interesting, yes. Statistically significant, maybe not so much.

Do not underestimate the ability of statistics to extend properly to larger populations from small samples.

During a second-level statistics course some years ago, a professor put up a graph showing the end results of some statistical "extrapolations".

During WWII, the military had the men go out and collect the serial numbers off of specified parts from captured and destroyed equipment. The Germans, with teutonic thoroughness, put serial numbers on everything. Sequential serial numbers. Using this battery of statistical instances, the US statisticians estimated actual German production of various things -- planes, tanks, etc., rather than reported production. Data captured at the end of the war showed that they were more than 10% off in only one arena -- artillery pieces.

Nowadays, all such serial numbers on parts of US military-related manufacture are randomized and hashed, to prevent this kind of statistical analysis and estimation.