I’m a strong proponent of the idea (even fact) that the media tilts left on a number of issues. But I’m still skeptical of this study that found (or at least is interpreted as having found) that the 2006 election has been covered in a biased manner.
The evidence collected:
“The study found that three out of four evaluations of Democratic candidates’ chances of winning â€” such as sound bites â€” were positive, compared with one out of eight for Republicans. Coverage has been dominated by two major themes: the effects of the Foley scandal, and the impact the Bush presidency is having on the party’s congressional candidates.”
All this is well and good, but it’s arguably an accurate portrayal of what exists that’s newsworthy. The big story of this election is that Republicans are going to hurt; at the very least, they’ll lose some seats but keep control of Congress. Naturally, then, the most popular news items will be ones that analyze races Republicans might lose. I agree that the Foley thing got blown out of proportion, but it’s certainly worth knowing about when a public official uses his position that way. And of course Bush’s fall from popularity (marked by his ridiculously low approval ratings) is an interesting subject as well.
Robert VerBruggen blogs at http://robertsrationale.blogspot.com.