Writing in the this space two months ago, I laid out the media advantage that President Obama has in his quest for reelection. According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, 32% of journalists say they are liberal, 53% moderate and just 8% conservative. Ask John McCain how the press treated him in 2008 if you want specifics on the tilt toward Barack Obama.
A great illustration of media bias is the recent dustup over Sandra Fluke. She is the liberal activist trotted out by the Democratic Party to deflect the contraception issue away from the “church-state” controversy which the White House was losing, into the more emotional “women’s health” arena. Nancy Pelosi herself organized a press dog and pony show for Ms. Fluke, who portrays herself as a law school student having a rough time paying for birth control pills. She wants the feds to pick up the tab through mandated insurance benefits even though the pills cost about $9 a month at places like Wal-Mart, and are distributed free at health clinics under Title Ten legislation.
But you won’t find those facts being discussed much in the national media. No, for them Ms. Fluke is a victim of a cruel system that wants to unduly burden American women.
Of course, Ms. Fluke was handed an enormous gift by Rush Limbaugh when he made demeaning comments about her. Immediately, the committed left wing media machine, led by the amazingly dishonest Media Matters internet site, cranked up two themes: that Limbaugh should be deported to Tonga, and that he is the real power behind the Republican Party.
MSNBC, which is now partnered up with Media Matters in the quest to disseminate left wing propaganda, went wild and so, to a lesser extent, did other national media outlets. The story line is that because the Republican candidates did not call for Limbaugh to be sent to Guantanamo Bay, they endorsed his attitude toward Ms. Fluke. The analysis was so hysterical that it could have been a Jon Stewart bit, and in fact it was.
The bigger picture is this: voters who do not pay close attention to public policy and political controversies are at the mercy of so called “prevailing wisdom.” That is what they hear around town, from their friends, etc. As long as most of the media, including the entertainment industry, promotes one particular candidate for President, that person will have a major advantage in November.
But informed voters know the fix is in although there’s little they can do about it. Another Pew survey taken in January finds that 67% of Americans believe there is bias in news coverage. They are right and it is to the left.
Few in the press are reporting the truth about Sandra Fluke. That is an indicator of what the American media has become, as well as what is likely to come as the election campaign unfolds.