Surprisingly, the shrill accusation of liberal bias in the media hasn't been too present on the scene this election cycle. There's been a lot of discuss bias against certain candidates (Hillary Clinton, John Edwards) and towards others (McCain and Obama), nevertheless the discussion has by and large stayed definately not the divisive claim that most mainstream media is in the hands of the " Bill O'Reilly Examined." The truth is, the frothy-mouthed fury that hard right media figures are showing towards John McCain is even making some of these stalwarts toss their support to the democrats; the media they work so very hard to label "liberal" is paradoxically broadcasting more liberal endorsements as a result of these irrational vitriol.<br/>Regardless of the recent silence, however, this lion of a disagreement is sleeping and will surely awake the closer we arrive at November. This really is a complex topic and I don't claim to manage to defang it here, but I wish to preemptively put a seriously considered this eternal topic out there before a driving gazelle (or donkey, whilst the case may be) disturbs the lion's sleep.<br/>A few weekends ago I'd the privilege to cover a morning chatting with a radio journalist from North Carolina. It have been the nights the South Carolina primary, and inevitably the talk considered politics. The journalist made several comments that I stumbled upon very interesting: first, he explained that liberals were having trouble making their political talk entertaining and engaging; second, he explained that liberal bias in the media is just a well-known and indisputable fact. The proof as a result of this claim: surveys reveal that journalists often overwhelming vote democratic on election day.<br/>Before shifting to my main point, a quick question: is the very fact (hearsay) that most journalists favor one political party inside their personal life evidence that their reporting is biased toward the same party? It's the best question to be sure, but I don't think it conclusively proves a thing. It's like saying that doctors tend to vote for republicans, therefore you can't rely on them to have you unbiased information regarding abortion and stem cell research. Private lives and careers mustn't be useful for the same thing. Journalistic integrity, which I actually do believe exists in lots of those individuals who have chosen this as a vocation and have spent years in J school, prevents rogue reporters from injecting their opinions for their coverage.<br/>So there's an immediate and dirty refutation of the next point. I would like to get rear to the initial point, however, and start by asking the fundamental question: what is bias? Could it be the truth that some anchorman reading the news headlines happens to possess voted for John Kerry in 2004? Or can it be structural? Media scholars traditionally examine the notion of media bias by recording and comparing the air time spent addressing select topics. As an example, if CNN spends 45 minutes inside their evening broadcast addressing problems in the medical care system and only 5 addressing the merits of tax cuts for the wealthy, this can be judged as liberal bias. (for more on the methodology of this stuff, any book by Robert McChesney is going to do marvelously.)<br/>There are certainly a large amount of problems using this method. First, the poles of "liberal" and "conservative" are entirely relative - the thing that was moderate 30 years back is flaming liberal today. Second, so just how can a dependable rubric be built to analyze the positioning of articles on a newspaper page and the weight directed at it by the editors? Does a 16 point font provide a headline 25% more weight when compared to a 14 point font? The entire affair starts to look really ridiculous really quickly. There are a large amount of statisticians available saying that most this measuring of time/importance of coverage is of bunk, and I'm inclined to agree, as interesting as some of the finding are. (On American networks, like, nearly 50% of air time is dedicated to human interest stories. You understand, such as the baby who got stuck in a washer in Kentucky.)<br/>Despite the difficulties related to actually proving media bias, however, I agree with my journalist acquaintance - republicans have effectively hoodwinked lots of people into believing that the media is a vast liberal machine. And lots of those who are suspicious of the cultural elites feeding them their news are the ones who stay tuned to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and another guys. Conservative talk is just a huge industry and networks like FOX freely trample on the thought of fair and balanced coverage. On the facial skin of it, this indicates quite odd indeed that conservatives complain about bias in the media when conservative voices dominate people discussion. It's like Christians in America playing the victim card, another unfortunately common and comical irony inside our modern culture.