The New York Times conducted an informal poll of journalists at the recent Democratic convention that showed they favor John Kerry for president over President Bush by 3 to 1, while reporters based in Washington, D.C., support the Massachusetts senator by 12 to 1.
Times columnist John Tierney said the poll was prompted by complaints by conservatives “that journalists’ liberal bias has colored the reviews of the Democratic convention and his speech.”
Tierney said the Times got anonymous answers from 153 journalists during a press party at the convention.
The unscientific survey asked who would be a better president.
The results, Tierney noted, “jibe with previous surveys over the past two decades showing that journalists tend to be Democrats, especially the ones based in Washington.”
Some surveys have found that more than 80 percent of the Beltway press corps votes Democratic, he pointed out.
The survey also asked the journalists which administration they would prefer to cover the next four years strictly from a journalistic standpoint.
Tierney said his New York Times colleagues expected the press corps to strongly prefer Kerry, in part because they find it so difficult to get leaks from the Bush White House, but mainly because any change in administration means a lot of news.
On that question, the Beltway press corps favored Kerry 27 to 21, and the other journalists picked Bush, 56 to 40, with the overall result of 77 for Bush and 67 for Kerry.
One correspondent who would rather cover Bush said, “You can’t ask for a richer cast of characters to cover. Kerry will be a bore after these guys.”
Asked to predict which presidential relatives would make the most interesting news, the clear favorites were Bush’s twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, with 74 votes. Teresa Heinz Kerry was next, with 39.
The journalists also were asked, with which presidential nominee would you rather be stranded on a desert island?
Kerry was the choice of both groups — 31 to 17 among the Washington journalists, and 51 to 39 among the others.
“Bush’s religious streak,” one Florida correspondent said, “would drive me nuts on a desert island.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, while many analysts have insisted there is no left-leaning bias in the mainstream media, an ABC News website column admitted the Washington and political press corps almost universally share liberal political positions.
Responding to feedback from an item in a previous column, “The Note” said Feb. 10, “Like every other institution, the Washington and political press corps operate with a good number of biases and predilections,” including “a near-universal shared sense that liberal political positions on social issues like gun control, homosexuality, abortion, and religion are the default, while more conservative positions are ‘conservative positions.'”