Organizations like the Media Research Center and Accuracy in Media have been tracking liberal media bias in the press for decades, citing the negative effects on politicians, culture and the public that result. Evidence of significant bias was first detected in the 1970s and later confirmed by such researchers as Robert Lichter, the distinguished Harvard-educated founder of the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University.
The intrepid Mr. Lichter polled journalists to find that up to 94% of them supported Democratic presidential candidates, while only 17% described their ideology as “right of center.” That was in 1980.
Mr. Lichter called this group the “media elite.”
Over the decades, this population has honed their unfriendly craft to high art, which appears to have reached a reckless apex the moment President Trump took office. The aforementioned Media Research Center, in fact, has conducted multiple studies revealing that 91% of the broadcast coverage of Mr. Trump has been consistently negative in content and tone since 2016.
Now comes a comprehensive survey by veteran pollster John McLaughlin which reveals that Americans, finally, are not ignoring this phenomenon as it grows more extreme.
“Regarding the national media’s coverage of President Trump’s handling of coronavirus emergency, would you say that too many members of the media have been unfair, biased and even disrespectful to the president, or the media has been fair, unbiased and always respectful to the president?” asked the poll.
It revealed that almost half — 48% of the respondents overall — agreed that the media was unfair, biased and rude. That includes 81% of Republicans, 50% of independents and even 15% of Democrats.
The poll also asked whether both Democrats and news media are “trying to move blame for the spread of the coronavirus away from China to President Trump for partisan political gain just to win the November elections.”
Again, half the respondents — 49% — agreed, along with 80% of Republicans, 47% of independents and 22% of Democrats.
Meanwhile, another 51% agreed that Mr. Trump should continue to fight for “change in Washington,” an idea that appealed to 88% of Republicans, 52% of independents and 16% of Democrats.
Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll finds Mr. Trump with a 49% approval rating while a Hill/HarrisX poll finds the president with 50% approval.
“As the media barrage intensified, Trump’s approval ratings have climbed. Could it be that the public is starting to notice that the attacks on Trump are often ill-founded?” notes an editorial from Insights and Issues.
“My already intense dislike for the mainstream political media in America has managed to deepen during this pandemic insanity that we have all been going through. I have been writing about liberal media bias for almost two decades now and I really didn’t think the media could sink any lower in my estimation but they’ve really been plumbing the depths of dereliction in the past couple of months,” writes Stephen Kruiser, associate editor of PJ Media.
ALSO QUITE ANNOYED
It’s not just Republicans who are vexed at the press at the moment. Progressives appear disenchanted as well.
“The corporate media wants to crush our movement,” declares Our Revolution, a grassroots group which grew out of Sen. Bernard Sanders‘ quest for the White House in 2016 and beyond and supports progressive candidates around the nation.
“The systemic corruption of our political system is held in place by a corporate media that relies on advertising dollars from the same corporations that pollute our planet, profit from lack of affordable health coverage and rig the economy in their favor. That’s why publications like Politico have recently been so eager to attack Our Revolution and our progressive allies,” the organization notes in a public outreach.
“They hope to demoralize our movement because, like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, they see COVID-19 as an opportunity to crush progressive policies that are becoming more popular every day. We won’t stand for it.”
HEADLINE OF THE DAY
“Florida’s Governor DeSantis brings out his inner Trump.”
And so read a headline in American Thinker.
“Governor Ron DeSantis gave conservatives a thrill when he let the media know how awful their behavior has been regarding Florida’s approach to the coronavirus. It was a performance that would have made President Trump proud, because DeSantis, instead of accepting and defending against the media’s pro-Democrat narrative, attacked the media for having a narrative in the first place,” Andrea Widburg, a contributor to the publication.
FIRESIDE CHAT OF THE DAY
Many in the press have picked up on the fact that Andrew Weissmann — a former Department of Justice lawyer who served as lead counsel on Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election — soon will host a fundraiser for Joseph R. Biden.
It’s a virtual ‘fireside chat” staged via Zoom, scheduled for June 2.
“As if we didn’t already know, Andrew Weissmann’s politics are officially unmasked,” former White House press secretary Sean Spicer noted in a tweet.
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POLL DU JOUR
• 77% of U.S. adults overall are concerned there will be a second wave of coronavirus after states reopen; 57% of Republicans, 76% of independents and 93% of Democrats agree.
• 52% of registered voters would cast their vote for the presidential election by mail if the coronavirus pandemic affected the election; 42% of Republicans, 53% of independents and 61% of Democrats agree.
• 42% of registered voters would prefer to cast their vote in person; 56% of Republicans, 38% of independents and 35% of Democrats agree.
• 4% of voters do not intend to vote; 2% of Republicans, 6% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.
Source: AN NPR/PBS/Marist poll of 1,007 U.S. ADULTS conducted May 12-17.
• Have a productive and meaningful Memorial Day, and thanks for reading Inside the Beltway.
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