Don’t you wish that all reporters gave money to their favorite candidates and causes so we could shelve this myth of objectivity once and for all?
This idle thought follows the MSNBC.com report on the campaign contributions of news and news-entertainment people in the media. And what do you know?
MSNBC.com identified 144 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 17 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.
So what else is new? We’ve had evidence the media lean left since the 1981 study by S. Robert Lichter of GWU and Stanley Rothman of Smith College. They surveyed 240 journalists from the “elite media,” and discovered (via the Media Research Center):
“Fifty-four percent placed themselves to the left of center, compared to only 19 percent who chose the right side of the spectrum.” “Fifty-six percent said the people they worked with were mostly on the left, and only 8 percent on the right — a margin of seven-to-one.”
And the tilt manifested itself in the voting booth, with Republican presidential candidates getting just 20 percent of journalist support over a 16-year-period.
Look, let’s just adopt the European model of self-identified left and right, liberal and conservative, socialist and Christian Democrat media outlets and be done with it.
Although…One exception to our lack of pique: Randy Cohen, who writes the smug “The Ethicist” column for the New York Times Magazine and casts judgment on NPR was revealed to have given $585 to the hard-left Moveon.org. Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics writes:
When [MSNBC’s] Dedman inquired as to how that donation squares with the Times’ strict rule against giving to political campaigns, Dedman reports “Cohen said he thought of MoveOn.org as nonpartisan and thought the donation would be allowed even under the strict rule at the Times.” [ea]
Moveon.org nonpartisan? And here I thought it was just the folks on the Times’ editorial page who were out of touch. Cohen provides more proof that the liberals’ self-styled “reality-based community” is anything but.
Cohen went on to compare donating to Moveon.org with giving to the Boy Scouts or the Catholic church. In the end, however, Cohen emailed Dedman an addendum saying, “That said, Times policy does forbid my making such donations, and I will not do so in the future.”
C’mon. Cohen’s either being mendacious or dumb, and he’s providing ethical guidance?
P.S. Dean Barnett reaches the same conclusion about Cohen. Only more pugnaciously.
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