On a Playbook Breakfast Panel Wednesday, journalists from CNN, NBC, and The New York Times all simultaneously answered "yes" when questioned if the media has a liberal bias.
When asked to elaborate, The Times' Mark Leibovich showed little hesitation with his answer:
Most of my colleagues, I have no idea what their politics are...But think about it: I live in northwest Washington, none of my neighbors are evangelical Christians, I don't know a lot of people in my kid's preschool who are pro-life. When you have conversations, at all the newspapers I've worked at, about politics -- it doesn't happen often -- but you see clues that there is absolutely a left-wing bias
CNN's Jake Tapper and NBC's Kelly O'Donnell also agreed the media generally leans left, but felt it stemmed from the average journalists "life experiences." Tapper stated:
A certain type of person becomes a reporter, and generally speaking -- generally speaking, I'm not saying every reporter in the world -- the kind of person who is a reporter in Washington, D.C., or New York City has never worked a minimum-wage job outside of high school, has never experienced poverty, is not an evangelical Christian, like much of the country is. There are a lot of experiences that the kinds of people who are reporters, editors, producers in Washington and New York City have not had.
Most publications, you can get a sense of what the editors are thinking -- and I would put a lot more on the editors and the senior producers than on the day-to-day reporters. But you don't see a lot of coverage of poverty, you don't see a lot of coverage of troops, you don't see a lot of coverage of faith. It's simplistic to say it's liberal or conservative; it's about experiences and lifestyle.
However, the Times' Peter Baker attempted to downplay the overwhelming liberal bias by pinning it against the backdrop of what he sees as a much larger bias. Baker stated:
The bigger bias is the bias toward conflict, the bias toward sensation, the bias toward the quick and easy and the simplistic. That's our bias, and that's what we have to fight every day.
Baker's "bias towards sensationalism" defense has been used before, typically by Jon Stewart, as means to minimize the media's ideological agenda and also to single out the more conservative Fox News as the true perpetrator of media bias.
Now that they've admitted it, will they admit the 2008 and 2012 elections were largely affected by the media in favor of President Obama?