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Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Political bias in the media
While many simply accept the idea that broadcast news outlets tilt to the left, in recent years several organizations and groups have challenged this assertion, and have offered some convincing arguments to the contrary.
It is hard to imagine that they have enough interns to keep up with the recent antics by Ann Coulter, but they have chronicled her latest on-air tirades against the 9-11 widows in great detail. Moreover, they have been monitoring Coulter -- who gets plenty of face time on the media -- for some time now. They have also kept a watch on others, such as Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh.
Media coverage may indeed have serious implications on politics and world events. A study done by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), which interviewed 1,617 on-camera sources for six US television networks' evening newscasts, found that in the first three weeks of the Iraq war, only 3 percent of American guests were opposed to the invasion. That may help explain why there was so much support for the war in 2003.
There are still many groups that make a different case, but it is good to know there is at least a debate on what the media does right, and what they do wrong.