It shouldn't come as a shock that most Americans see a bias at work in media coverage of the election this year.
But what is really an eye-opener about this Rasmussen survey on attiudes toward the media is the extremely high numbers who don't trust the press to give unbiased stories about the campaign:
With numbers like this, the press should be royally ashamed of themselves. But one must have a conscience for that to be which generally lets the press off the hook.
Just 17% of voters nationwide believe that most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage of election campaigns. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that four times as many-68%--believe most reporters try to help the candidate that they want to win.
The perception that reporters are advocates rather than observers is held by 82% of Republicans, 56% of Democrats, and 69% of voters not affiliated with either major party. The skepticism about reporters cuts across income, racial, gender, and age barriers.
Ideologically, political liberals give the least pessimistic assessment of reporters, but even 50% of those on the political left see bias. Thirty-three percent (33%) of liberals believe most reporters try to be objective. Moderates, by a 65% to 17% margin, see reporters as advocates, not scribes. Among political conservatives, only 7% see reporters as objective while 83% believe they are biased.
Given these results, it's not surprising that 76% of voters believe the media has too much power and influence over elections. Just 3% believe the Fourth Estate has too little influence while 16% say the balance is about right.
Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Republicans believe the media has too much influence along with 80% of unaffiliated voters and 65% of Democrats.
Voters have little doubt as to who is benefitting from the media coverage this year-Barack Obama. Fifty-four percent (54%) say Obama has gotten the best coverage so far. Twenty-two percent (22%) say McCain has received the most favorable coverage while 14% say that Hillary got the best treatment.
It was also unsurprising to see the myopia of liberals when it comes to bias in the media. An astonishing 56% see nothing wrong with the coverage. And why should they when its their guy who's getting the gush treatment?
I'm afraid we're seeing only the beginning. It is liable to get worse as the campaign goes along simply because Obama is such a horrible candidate with an incredibly shady past.