Confirming a fact even casual consumers of mainstream media have long known, a group of surprisingly honest journalists admit their industry is overwhelmingly populated with leftist ideologues. Though the bias is blatant throughout most major news outlets, those within the field have rarely confirmed the predilection.
In a recent panel discussion as part of Politico’s Playbook Breakfast series, though, a number of press professionals broke from that tradition by conceding that a leftist worldview permeates today’s news.
Mark Leibovich of the New York Times explained the phenomenon by suggesting that he and his colleagues generally gravitate toward the prevailing ideology of their community.
He contends that, among the majority of his fellow journalists, he has “no idea what their politics are”; however, he seems fairly certain that almost all of them are liberals.
“But think about it,” he continued. “I live in northwest Washington, none of my neighbors are evangelical Christians, I don’t know a lot of people in my kid’s preschool who are pro-life.”
No matter the cause, it is antithetical to journalistic integrity for a reporter to isolate himself from experiences outside of his immediate surroundings. While members of the press are certainly entitled to their personal beliefs, they should be able to report on stories from an unbiased viewpoint.
Such ability is all but impossible when a journalist is exposed only to those who mirror his or her own views.
CNN’s Jake Tapper echoed Leibovich’s opinion, offering his own nuanced view regarding how the industry became so slanted to the left.
Contending that a “certain type of person becomes a reporter,” Tapper suggests “the kind of person who is a reporter in Washington, D.C., or New York City has never worked a minimum-wage job outside of high school, has never experienced poverty, is not an evangelical Christian, like much of the country is.”
Considering the derelict state of today’s mainstream media, reporters might not want to rule out minimum-wage jobs just yet. Perhaps that is why the press is so adamant about hiking the national pay scale irrespective of an employee’s value.
Tapper admitted that there are “a lot of experiences that the kinds of people who are reporters, editors, producers in Washington and New York City have not had.” Judging from the industry’s collective body of work, those experiences apparently include patriotism, a genuine faith in God, and a trip to a shooting range.
The majority of Americans cannot relate with the faces on the nightly news or the men and women behind metropolitan newspaper by-lines. Instead of excusing the bias these individuals so obviously maintain, perhaps the industry should consider how to better reflect the experiences of real Americans.
–B. Christopher Agee
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