The nonpartisan data analysis company Crowdpac decided to research the political leanings of various professions to see which were more liberal and which were more conservative. The results overall are interesting, and I recommend the article at Business Insider, but one chart showing the leanings of the newspaper and print MSM is just amazing:
The X-axis shows how liberal or conservative a respondent is, while the Y-axis gives the number at each level. Not only does print journalism skew Left, but the vast majority of the industry’s liberal members fall into the three most-liberal grades.
And yet liberals scoff when we complain of “media bias.”
This is not a healthy situation, just as it wouldn’t be if the vast majority of journalists leaned Right. When news media is so skewed in one direction, it loses any sense of other perspectives or opinions on important issues, or even what qualifies as an “important issue.” And this limited perspective is transmitted to its audience, which winds up being under- or misinformed. Or they dismiss the MSM altogether, having realized thanks to alternative media that there is so much they aren’t being told, if not outright mislead about. And that isn’t healthy for the print media, as their crashing circulation numbers attest.
Mollie Hemingway* at The Federalist gives several examples of why people hate the media (including TV), beginning with the recent resignation under fire of Elizabeth Lauten, an obscure Republican congressional staffer who said some unkind things about the Obama daughters on Facebook. But she doesn’t stop there (there are oh so many examples to work with) and includes a rant from Florida’s Rick Wilson that’s worth quoting:
Republican media operative Rick Wilson went on a beautiful rant last night about this embarrassing Lauten debacle. You can read the whole thing here. This is edited down but he wrote, “Reporters and media folks wondering, ‘Why don’t people trust us?’… The last couple weeks should be clarifying for you… But the endless, agenda-driven games are repellent to readers/viewers. Your sins are of omission and commission both… You used to be able to claim news judgement and ignore stories you hated. You still do, but now people see it, and you loathe it… So you’ll do one piece on Gruber, then pretend you dug in hard. But god forbid a staffer dings the Obama kids. Then you flood the zone… You pick and choose when to provide context… I love pros in the business. Love them. And most of you ARE pros. Most of you DO work stories, look for interesting angles… But you tolerate (and your editors tolerate) a lot of outrageous, absurdly bad practices. Gruber? Unforgivable… the frustration Americans feel about media isn’t getting any less acute, and some introspection might go a long way…”
This speaks to a media driven by an agenda, one formed by a self-reinforcing ideological monoculture — the fabled “echo chamber.” But the health of the Republic depends on an honest news media that contains a wide range of viewpoints, one that makes intellectual diversity a higher priority than that of skin color or gender.
Maybe it’s time for an “affirmative action of the mind?”
*hat-tip for the chart and BI article, by the way.