This article was originally published in the Macon Telegraph and News on May 26, 1990 and is republished here for readers of HaciendaPublishing.com.
Editors: I am writing in response to Mr. Cain's letter of April 7. It is no secret that news presentations by the media elite are heavily biased in favor of the left-wing viewpoint and liberal agenda. AIM and Newswatch were founded to counteract this liberal news media bias.
From the start, I should specify that by the media elite, I am referring to the tremendously influential group of media sources responsible for bringing the news to the average American. For our purpose the media elite consist of (1) two major wire services: The Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI); (2) three major televisions networks: ABC, NBC, CBS; (3) three principal news magazines: Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report; (4) three "national" newspapers: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal; and (5) we could also add to this list the educational network PBS and the "all news" network CNN.
A distinction should be made between the medial elite and other less influential media sources such as 1,700 daily newspapers, 1,300 TV stations, and 10,000 radio stations throughout the United States. Many of these local and regional newspapers and communication channels are more apt to express more than one viewpoint in their news coverage because they are more answerable to their local audiences and readers.
In the Middle Georgia area, we are blessed to have the Macon Telegraph and News, an excellent publication which expresses the many viewpoints of our community. Nevertheless, the influence of local newspapers is far less than that of the major weekly news magazines and the "national" newspapers.
I am surprised that Mr. Cain is not aware that many respected journalists have demonstated an intense liberal bias in the ranks of the media elite and that this bias does permeate the news that they report to the American public.
In a study performed by The Washington Post and Harvard University in 1976, the news media was identified as one of the eight "leadership groups" whose opinions greatly influence the American public. This research found that in the Nixon-McGovern presidential race, 25 percent of the reporters voted for Nixon, though nationwide Nixon won by 61 percent of the vote.
Moreover, in 1979 and 1980, two professors of political science, S. Robert Lichter of George Washington University and Stanley Rothman of Smith College, found that between 1964 and 1980, no less than 80 percent of the media elite voted for the democratic candidate in presidential elections regardless of the outcome of the race (photo, below).
Another statistical analysis of media bias on a specific issue was reported in 1986 by the nonprofit Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) in Washington. The authors reported that there is "a gap between what the experts think about nuclear power and what the media reports." And finally, in 1981, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the AP combined carried four to five times as many articles associating the conservative ARENA party of El Salvador with death squads as articles associating the FMLN with terrorism, and 94 stories that mentioned death squads within 10 words of the ARENA party, but only 17 stories that mention terrorism within 10 words of the FMLN (this last statistic was for the AP alone.)
To close, surely my thoughts and ideas reported in the Macon Telegraph and News are my own opinions formulated from my studies, travels, as well as my own childhood experiences (living in a "proletariat paradise" until age 13). Coverage of the news by professional reporters is another matter. The American people expect and should get objective and accurate reporting.
Perhaps I should ask Mr. Cain to accompany us on our next visit to El Salvador. If he will go with me to the military hospital and the orphanages of San Salvador, then I will be glad to accompany him to Guazapa volcano.
Written by Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.
Dr. Miguel A. Faria is a neurological surgeon in Macon, Georgia.
This article was printed in the Macon Telegraph on May 26, 1990, p. 16A.
This article may be cited as: Faria MA. 'Media elite' biased by left-wing viewpoint, liberal agenda. Macon Telegraph, May 26, 1990, p. 16A. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/randomnotes/media-elite-biased-left-wing-viewpoint-liberal-agenda
Copyright ©1990 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD