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Poll on Media Bias


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c/o Rasmussen

 

September 19, 2004--Television news networks would like to see themselves as a team of impartial journalists working on behalf of their audience. However, a Rasmussen Reports survey found that voters see an entirely different picture. Generally speaking, they believe ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, and the Fox News Channel present a biased picture to help one campaign or the other.

 

Between 33% and 39% of Americans believe that each of the five major broadcast news outlets is unbiased. On balance, four of the five are believed to be helping the Kerry campaign. One, Fox News, is believed to be helping the Bush campaign.

 

CBS is seen as the most biased--37% believe that network news team is trying to help the Kerry campaign. Only 33% believe it presents the news in an unbiased manner. This may be a reaction to the recent flap over memos aired by CBS--38% believe that Dan Rather used his broadcasts to help the Kerry campaign.

 

Bias is clearly in the eye of the beholder and there is a very strong partisan tint to all the data. Fifty-four percent (54%) of all Kerry voters believe that Fox News is trying to help elect Bush. At least 50% of Kerry voters believe that each of the other four news sources are unbiased.

 

At the other end of the spectrum, 60% of Bush voters believe Fox News is unbiased. Seventy percent (70%) of Bush voters believe that CBS is trying to help Kerry. Between 48% and 55% believe the same is true about CNN, ABC, and NBC.

 

Twenty-one percent (21%) of Kerry voters believe CNN is biased to help Bush. That may shock conservatives who used to routinely dismiss CNN as the "Clinton News Network."

 

At the same time, those who dismiss Fox as propaganda may be shocked that the other networks are viewed by voters in essentially the same light.

 

A survey conducted last year found that only 46% of Americans viewed the New York Times as a reliable source of information.

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Between 33% and 39% of Americans believe that each of the five major broadcast news outlets is unbiased. On balance, four of the five are believed to be helping the Kerry campaign. One, Fox News, is believed to be helping the Bush campaign.

That would have been my vote if I was asked.

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