If you still had an inkling that most American journalists are committed to unbiased reporting, a new survey from the Pew Research Center will disabuse you of that fantasy.
“Journalists in the United States differ markedly from the general public in their views of ‘bothsidesism’ – whether journalists should always strive to give equal coverage to all sides of an issue – according to a recent Pew Research Center study,” the polling firm noted.
“A little more than half of the journalists surveyed (55%) say that every side does not always deserve equal coverage in the news. By contrast, 22% of Americans overall say the same, whereas about three-quarters (76%) say journalists should always strive to give all sides equal coverage,” the firm’s analysis continued, adding:
A new analysis of these survey findings shows that attitudes among both journalists and the public differ by age and political factors. Opinions among journalists also vary based on how they view the issue of misinformation, while opinions among Americans overall vary based on their trust in the news.
The issue of whether to try to provide equal coverage to all sides gained new intensity during Donald Trump’s presidency and the widespread disinformation and competing views surrounding the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic. While some feel that equal coverage is always necessary to allow the public to be equally informed about multiple sides of an argument, those who disagree argue that people making false statements or unsupported conjectures do not warrant as much attention as those making factual statements with solid supporting evidence.
The problem, of course, with this kind of arbitrary determination is that a left-leaning journalist may believe that a conservative is lying and treat him or her as such — an unreliable source making ‘false’ statements.
As we saw during Trump’s presidency, the ‘mainstream media’ routinely published false information (Trump called it “fake news”) that was spoon-fed by ‘anonymous’ sources, usually within the intelligence or law enforcement community. But when Trump pushed back, many of those same outlets treated him as the liar, not the deep state sources feeding the false information. In the end, Trump’s claims that he was “wiretapped” during the Obama administration were true; his claims that he never ‘colluded with Russia’ to ‘steal the election’ from Hillary Clinton were true; his insistence that his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was not a ‘quid pro quo’ was subject to interpretation but it wasn’t overtly false, either. Claims that Russia put “bounties” on American troops in Afghanistan while Trump ‘did nothing about it,’ also turned out to be false.
And yet, in all those cases (and more), these same media outlets repeated the same false information for years. And never once gave ‘the other side’ the time of day in terms of straight coverage.
Now, according to Pew, we find out that this kind of thinking is ingrained in a majority of journalists, which helps explain how they can routinely put out false information: They choose to believe it, so it must be true and ‘the other side’ doesn’t get a fair shot at refuting the bogus claim.
That’s not good for our republic, and it’s another reason why the vast majority of Americans do not trust ‘the media’ in general.
What’s more, it’s only going to get worse, as Pew notes:
Roughly six-in-ten U.S. journalists ages 18 to 29 (63%) say every side does not always deserve equal coverage, while 37% of journalists in this age range say journalists should always strive to cover all sides equally – percentages that are very similar to the breakdown among journalists ages 30 to 49. But those numbers change noticeably for journalists 50 and older, who are evenly split between the two viewpoints.
Another American institution corrupted by the left.