On April 21, the Business and Media Institute's Dan Gainor testified before the House Judiciary Committee's Courts and Competition Policy in a hearing on "A New Age for Newspapers."
As MRC's Tim Graham wrote on April 22, the hearing was spurred by the steady drumbeat of newspaper closings around the country, and calls from some Democrat lawmakers to bail out and subsidize the newspaper business.
While others testified on newsprint business models and the impact of the Internet, Gainor's statement to the subcommittee highlighted liberal bias as a major factor in the industry's decline. "The concept of a journalist as a neutral party has become a punch line for a joke, not a guideline for an industry," he said.
Gainor pointed to the scant newspaper coverage of last week's tea party protests as an example of editorial bias. He also cited a number of surveys and polls: "'By a margin of 70%-9%, Americans say most journalists want to see Obama, not John McCain, win,' Pew reported. Other surveys confirmed it: According to Rasmussen, 'Over half of U.S. voters (51%) think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin.'"
He specifically called out the New York Times. "The number who believe 'almost nothing' in the newspaper is nearly identical to those who do believe," he told the subcommittee. "And while newspaper credibility has taken a hit among both Democrats and Republicans, it is lowest among Republicans with the Times having just a 10 percent credibility rating in that group. One person in 10? You could write graffiti on a wall and have more people believe you."