Would you believe there are people who thought the media was biased this election — against Hillary Clinton?
It’s a statement that’s not just opinion; it’s objectively false.
Let’s take two scandals: the leaked ‘Access Hollywood’ tape from 2005, which negatively impacted Trump, and the continuing Wikileaks releases, which exclusively exposed the Hillary camp. The ‘Access Hollywood’ leak occurred within 24 hours of a damning Wikileaks dump — and how did the media respond? In the period from Friday, October 7, to Thursday morning, October 13, the morning and evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC spent seven times as much attention on Trump’s scandal as on Hillary’s.
That’s just one example, but at a macro level, the bias persists. According to a Media Research Center study, 91 percent of the media coverage of Trump in the twelve weeks preceding October 25th was negative.
Despite reality, even a Nobel laureate and NYT columnist like Paul Krugman wrote with a straight face back in September that Trump was “being graded on a curve” by the media, while Hillary was receiving harsher treatment. This even in the wake of another one of NYT’s own, Jim Rutenberg, coming right out and so much as admitted they were setting aside normal rules of “objectivity” to cover Trump.Now, in the wake of Donald Trump’s win last week — an upset to the mainstream media almost as much as to candidate Hillary Clinton — the paper itself had to come about its anti-Trump bias and deliver its own sort of mea culpa. It’s pledged to rededicate itself to “honest” reporting. Via Fox News:
The publisher of The New York Times penned a letter to readers Friday promising that the paper would “reflect” on its coverage of this year’s election while rededicating itself to reporting on “America and the world” honestly.
Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., the paper’s embattled publisher, appealed to Times readers for their continued support.
“We cannot deliver the independent, original journalism for which we are known without the loyalty of our subscribers,” the letter states.
New York Post columnist and former Times reporter Michael Goodwin wrote, “because it [The Times] demonized Trump from start to finish, it failed to realize he was onto something. And because the paper decided that Trump’s supporters were a rabble of racist rednecks and homophobes, it didn’t have a clue about what was happening in the lives of the Americans who elected the new president.”
Sulzberger’s letter was released after the paper’s public editor, Liz Spayd, took the paper to task for its election coverage. She pointed out how its polling feature Upshot gave Hillary Clinton an 84 percent chance as voters went to the polls.
She compared stories that the paper ran about President-elect Donald Trump and Clinton, where the paper made Clinton look functional and organized and the Trump campaign discombobulated.
After decades of liberal bias, are we really supposed to believe their coverage will even out? We all surely hope so — but we’ll have to see it to believe it.
[Note: This post was written by The Analytical Economist]