A new poll indicates most Americans disagree with top Democrats that there is a conservative bias in the media that shouts down and drowns out liberal voices.
According to pollster Scott Rasmussen, one-quarter of Americans believe there is a conservative media bias compared with nearly twice as many who perceive a liberal bias in the news.
While only 25 percent agree with former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., that a conservative bias exists, fully 47 percent of those surveyed believe liberals are treated more fairly in the press.
“Even self-described liberal voters aren’t sure about what they’re hearing from national Democratic leaders,” the survey said. A little more than one-third – about 37 percent – of liberals see a conservative media bias, while 41 percent do not.
“Among all Democrats, opinion is split with 35 percent taking each side,” the poll said.
Last month, as reported by WorldNetDaily, Daschle criticized the “shrill” voice of conservative talk radio and media in the wake of his party’s unprecedented losses at the polls Nov. 5.
Comparing conservative media to fanatical Islamism, Daschle said, “We see it in foreign countries, and we think, ‘Well, my God, how can this religious fundamentalism become so violent?'”
“Well, it’s that same shrill rhetoric, it’s that same shrill power that motivates,” he said. “You know, somebody says something, and then it becomes a little more shrill the next time, and then more shrill the next time, and pretty soon it’s a foment that becomes physical in addition to just verbal. And that’s happening in this country.”
In late November, Gore chimed in, accusing Limbaugh and conservative radio, along with the Fox News Channel and The Washington Times, of being a “fifth column” within the media.
“Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks – that is, day after day, injecting the daily Republican talking points into the definition of what’s objective as stated by the news media as a whole,” he said.
Fox News first beat cable news rival CNN in daytime and primetime viewing ratings in January and was the No. 1-rated news channel in the first quarter of 2002. The Washington Times has a paid circulation of about 100,000.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Clinton – speaking to about 200 members of the Democratic Leadership Council in New York – blamed part of the party’s losses on a Republican-influenced media, citing only the Wall Street Journal by name.
“Democrats have to have ideas to win. Republicans will always have more money, more powerful interest groups, the fervor of right-wing emotions,” said Clinton. “They have an increasingly right-wing and bellicose conservative press.”
The comments by some of Democratic Party’s top voices echoed charges leveled by then-first lady Hillary Clinton – now a Democratic senator from New York – that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” was responsible for leveling charges against her president husband that he had an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.
“Look at the very people who are involved in this. They have popped up in other settings. The great story here for anybody willing to find it, write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president,” Mrs. Clinton said on NBC’s “Today” show Jan. 27, 1998.
President Clinton later admitted he had had sexual encounters with Lewinsky.
Rather than a conservative-dominated media, Rasmussen found that the opposite view – that there is a liberal bias in the media – “is held by majorities or pluralities of men, women, young, old, investors, white Americans, those who discuss politics frequently with family and friends, conservatives, moderates, private sector workers and union members.”
Perhaps expectedly, Republicans see a liberal bias by a 70 percent to 9 percent margin, while unaffiliated voters share this view by a 38 percent to 28 percent margin. Democrats are divided; 33 percent see a liberal bias and 36 percent disagree.
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