Polls: Public Dislikes Bias, Dems Want 'Fairness'

"The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 55% believe media bias is more of a problem than big campaign contributions." As Tom Blumer pointed out when first reporting on this poll on Monday,

it looks like twenty or so years of very hard work by the Media Research Center and affiliates, including just over three years at NewsBusters, has paid some dividends.

But we--including those of us new to the fight--shouldn't rest on our laurels.

This latest survey adds credence to an earlier Rasmussen poll that showed that "49% believe most reporters are trying to help Barack Obama win the election this year," while "just 14% believe they’re trying to help McCain."

Every new poll released shows a public increasingly disenchanted with news coverage and unwilling to suspend their disbelief while watching the liberal news. This is why, as Matthew Sheffield pointed out yesterday, they consume more and more of their news on the internet.

Of course, this is part of a larger narrative in which people are moving away from traditional media towards the internet. This is probably also why, in Rasmussen surveys about so-called "Fairness Doctrine," so many respondents consistently call for the government to require ideological balance on TV & radio (41% in 2007, 47% in 2008), while far fewer call for the same requirements for the internet (34% in 2007, 31% in 2008).

There are two other points revealed collectively by the three polls which we all already intuitively know:

  1. Conservatives believe bias in the media is a bigger problem than liberals.
  2. Liberals favor government regulation of the media in far larger numbers than conservatives. 

Besides pointing out the obvious, I raise this issue for another reason: the added context of the Presidential election. Again, from Rasmussen:

With the Congress expected to stay firmly under Democratic control, the responses of those who plan to vote for the party’s presidential candidate Barack Obama versus his Republican opponent John McCain suggest what direction the Fairness Doctrine debate is likely to take in the coming year. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of likely Obama voters believe the government should make all radio and TV stations offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal commentary, as opposed to 40% of potential McCain voters who feel that way.

If Obama is elected in November, you can bet the Fairness Doctrine (or whatever other euphemism they decide to use) will be high on the agenda of Barack Obama and his MSM enablers.

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Media Bias Debate Polling Fairness Doctrine Journalistic Issues MRC/NB News