Newspapers strive to bury opinion as journalism by suppressing editorials
Last week, the Washington Post reported that Gannett, the media giant that owns hundreds of newspapers across the country, such as USA Today, is shrinking its op-ed pages to counter public perceptions of political bias. Gannett-affiliated newspapers “began to drastically reduce and reinvent their editorial sections, publishing them fewer days a week and abandoning traditional features such as syndicated columns and editorial cartoons.”
Following an ‘editors’ panel’ in April, the decision was made to cut even political endorsements, noting that these, along with editorials and columns, are ‘frequently cited’ by readers as the reason subscription cancellations.
It’s a nice gesture, I suppose, given that the opinion and editorial sections of the vast majority of newspapers in this country are so obviously left-leaning. But frankly, that’s also irrelevant. That’s because the ruling sidesteps the most pervasive problem in corporate media: journalism, and print in particular, is a predominantly left-leaning profession, and so even “direct and factual” reporting is informed by not-so-hidden left-wing prejudices. Therefore, the reduction of overtly branded opinion content in these newspapers masks the way most media whitewash opinion journalism as reporting.
Company The media is undeniably leaning to the left
The data on the liberal bias of journalists and the media is both well documented and indisputable. A 2014 survey found this four times as many journalists identified as Democrats as Republicans.
A Ballotpedia 2017 study contributions from donors identified as journalists found that “a majority of donors or a majority of donations (depending on the studies) benefited Democratic or Liberal causes”. And one 2020 survey conducted by several academics who explained their findings in the Washington Post found that among journalists who said they identified with a political party, 8 in 10 said they were Liberal/Democrats.
The only major TV news network that doesn’t lean to the far left is Fox News – it competes with ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, among others, all of which to varying degrees favor the left. With the exception of the Wall Street Journal, the editorial boards of virtually every other major newspaper in the country, including heavyweights The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, are decidedly left-leaning. . Even media outlets that historically didn’t even report on politics, like ESPN, now carry water for various causes of the left, of Black Lives Matter at LGBT messaging.
The “factual report” is nothing else
Amusingly, Gannett’s own research in 2018 found that young readers “often cannot tell the difference between news stories and opinion, especially online”, and that readers “often mistakenly believe that news is dictated by the editorial side of the newspaper”. This may be because in many cases there is not much difference.
George Mason Professor Timothy Groseclose in his 2012 book “Left Shift: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mindnotes that the political orientation of most media outlets is far to the left of most of their patrons, and even the typical congressman, so much so that media bias alone swings elections. In a 2005 study by Groseclose and Jeffrey Milyo, the two scholars looked at the think tanks and political groups most frequently cited by mainstream mainstream media, and determined a palpable leftist bias in these “direct reports” media. . Their study was limited just to news content and disregarded editorials, opinions or even letters to the editor.
That was over 15 years ago, and the biases have become much more evident. A October 2017 Pew Research Report noted that 62% of stories involving Donald Trump during his first 60 days in office were negative, compared to only 5% of positive stories. Barack Obama, by comparison, received much more favorable coverage during his first 60 days in office: 42% of stories involving Obama were positive and only 20% were negative.
A Harvard study of May 2017 of Trump’s first 100 days in office identified the same trend: 93% of Trump’s coverage by CNN and NBC was negative. This survey also found that 91% of CBS coverage and 87% of The New York Times coverage of Trump was negative. Indeed, the New York Times did not appear a single editorial of anyone endorsing Trump in 2020.
Many journalists don’t even bother to hide it
Even more remarkable than the fact that the corporate media still tries to maintain the veneer of being the unbiased Fourth Estate is that they truly believe their leftist beliefs are unvarnished reality. Take Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post, who in a may article noted that journalists “have fallen” for right-wing rhetoric sometimes using the terminology of “pro-life” and “pro-choice.”
Sullivan writes, “When journalists accepted terms such as ‘pro-life’ to describe those who oppose abortion, they implicitly agreed to help stigmatize those who support it. After all, what is the rhetorical opposite of “pro-life”? Sulllivan says journalists should presume the pro-choice position. Of course, most mainstream media already refer to the pro-life cause — which they almost universally attack — as “anti-abortion.”
This is really just the tip of the iceberg. As I explained in a Federalist article last year, to read The Washington Post (or really, any major newspaper) in print is to submit to a deluge of stories responding to the latest left-wing discussion of race and gender, right from the front page to the sports section. How many stories has the New York Times run in the past 12 months that offer a critical perspective on anti-racist ideologues like Nikole Hannah Jones or Ibram X. Kendi, or drag queen storytime? If I said zero, based on absolutely no attempt to substantiate my claim, would anyone bother to question me? We don’t even need to check the facts.
In truth, the corporate media is so deeply compromised by its ideological biases that there is little hope for its renewal as a source of reliable and unbiased news, short of a dramatic and survivalist purge of the committees. newsrooms and newsrooms. Corporate Media to push Where suspend without pay anyone who commits the slightest offense against the awakened ideology, while fools with an obvious ideological ax to grind have wide latitude to conjure up stories that are blatantly aimed at denigrating the right.
If Gannett, The Washington Post or CNN are serious about restoring public trust, the answer is not to reduce opinions. They will have to lay off at least half of their staff. I can provide them with a list, for anyone interested.
Casey Chalk is a senior contributor to The Federalist and an editor and columnist at The New Oxford Review. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in theology from Christendom College. He is the author of The Persecuted: True Stories of Courageous Christians Living Their Faith in Muslim Lands.