- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
News coverage favors gay marriage fans over opponents by 5-to-1: Pew study
Question of the Day
Media bias? What bias?
Pro-gay marriage stories outnumbered anti-gay marriage stories by five-to-one in a new study of coverage of the debate released Monday by the Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism.
And we’re not talking here about subtly inflected coverage. To qualify as “biased” in the Pew study, stories had to feature at least twice as many comments in support of same-sex marriage as against it.
When asked if the results supported conservative claims of liberal bias in journalism, Pew’s Amy Mitchell demurred. “I don’t think the study can necessarily speak to that one way or another,” said Ms. Mitchell, acting director of the project.
Pew interpreted its results as largely a reflection of the fact that the relevant stories happened to be, according to the Associated Press, “about polls showing societal attitudes swiftly moving toward support for gay marriage, or about politicians announcing their support.”
In other words, while story selection might have been biased, that’s not media bias. That’s … something else.
Of course, while polls have shifted in favor of same-sex marriage, the public now favors it, according to Pew’s own findings, by 51%-42% — which some are sure to notice is a ratio of roughly five-to-four, not five-to-one like the ratio of stories theoretically dictated by the level of public approval.
“Certainly it is evident in these findings the degree to which supporters of same-sex marriage were largely successful in getting their message out in a clear way, a consistent way, across a wide swath of the news media,” said Ms. Mitchell.
But, strangely enough, same-sex marriage supporters weren’t nearly as successful getting their message across through social media, like Twitter, where public opinion expresses itself directly, unmediated by journalistic gatekeepers. Tweets, according to the study, split about evenly between pro and con.
Even at Fox News, stories favoring gay marriage far outnumbered those opposing it — by an almost four-to-one margin (29%-8%). The rest of Fox’s stories (63%) reflected — dare we say it? — a fair and balanced split between supporters and opponents.
The Pew survey was conducted during a two-month window starting just before the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in late March on the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Daniel Wattenberg is editor of niche publications for The Washington Times and managing editor of American CurrentSee. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Maya Angelou: Donald Sterling controversy shows racial progress
- Kevin Spacey, supply-sider
- Distressed viewers in Connecticut call 911 to report cable TV outage
- Breaking: Stumbling Matt Damon vehicle 'Elysium' trails box office leader for second straight day
- Crime victim Kid Rock vows to stand his ground: '… I will not hesitate to shoot …'
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- State Department indicates Nouri al-Maliki's days numbered as Iraq prime minister
- Inside China: Massive flight woes and a missile test
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq