Doug Johnson on Media Bias

Rose Institute fellow Doug Johnson was recently quoted in a Victorville Daily Press article that focused on American’s view of whether the media is impartially reporting on this election. Doug thinks the media bias is more pervasive and noticeable:

In a Rasmussen Reports poll released in September, 55 percent of likely American voters think that media bias is more of a problem than campaign contributions in the presidential race.

“I think it definitely exists,” said Doug Johnson, a fellow at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, in Claremont. “It definitely is more noticeable and visible this election.”

Johnson said he thinks there’s more and more a sense of a journalist’s role as an advocate, and that’s how journalists justify it to themselves.

Another Rasmussen poll conducted in July found that 57 percent of likely voters think presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has received the best treatment from the media, while 21 percent thought his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, has received the best treatment.

“We know from surveys that Washington correspondents typically vote 93-7 for the Democrat in presidential elections,” said Tim Groseclose, the lead author of the UCLA study. “Given that, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised when we see journalists treating the Democratic candidate so favorably.”

Johnson agreed, saying that there’s a bias in favor of the Obama-Joe Biden president-vice president ticket and against the McCain-Sarah Palin ticket.

“I think it increases the polarization of the country,” Johnson said. “As liberals move to CNN and conservatives to Fox, the media reinforces that separation instead of bringing people together.”

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