The Men Behind the Curtain
Eighty three percent of American voters think the media is biased one way or the other, according to a Zogby poll. But most believe that media is biased in the liberal direction.
While 97% of Republicans surveyed said the media are liberal, two-thirds of political independents feel the same, but fewer than one in four independents (23%) said they saw a conservative bias. Democrats, while much more likely to perceive a conservative bias than other groups, were not nearly as sure the media was against them as were the Republicans. While Republicans were unified in their perception of a left-wing media, just two-thirds of Democrats were certain the media skewed right – and 17% said the bias favored the left.
Maybe voters now accept media "bias" as the actual state of the world and in an era of wider consumer choice, will simply patronize outlets reflecting their point of view. British newspapers have longed been aligned with political parties. No one was foolish enough to think the Guardian was neutral; it was the house organ of a particular point of view. But if this change in voter attitude persists it will create problems for media empires which strive to project themselves as being "above it all". In what sense can the New York Times remain the 'newspaper of record' in a marketplace where 83% of the readers think that the media is partisan? Maybe it is better for them to simply nail their colors to the mast and let their readers allow for point of view.