In findings that should shock no one, Gallup has released a poll showing that a majority of Americans view the mainstream media as partisan – with higher numbers than ever in their twenty-plus years of polling media bias.
A whopping 62 percent of those surveyed believed that the media picks one side over the other, compared to 27 percent who believe that the press shows no bias and another ten percent with no opinion. The polling organization surveyed 789 adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for their findings.
In previous surveys in 1995, 2001, and 2003, the numbers hovered much closer to half of those surveyed convinced of media bias. Among those surveyed, 77 percent of Republicans see favoritism in the media, while 44 percent of Democrats do. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed – 64 percent – believe that the media favors the Democrat party, while 22 percent believe it favors the GOP.
The gap between those who perceive partisanship in the media widens during more controversial news cycles – like the contentious 2000 election of George W. Bush and the dawn of the Trump presidency. During more halcyon times, the gap narrows to an almost negligible amount.
The poll revealed even more interesting data: 55 percent of those surveyed believe that the media is “often inaccurate” in their reporting, while 36 percent think that the media get their facts straight most of the time. This gap isn’t the highest it has been, but it’s a significant indicator of the lack of respect many Americans hold for the press.
For its part, Gallup concludes by placing the blame for the shift in opinion on the growing gap between the political left and right:
The belief that the media favors Democrats stems mostly from Republicans and may be the result of a continued animus between the two parties, as well as a tendency among conservatives to accuse the media of a liberal bias. Nearly half of Democrats agree that the media favors their own party, which means most Americans think reporters have a liberal predilection.
Unfortunately, we can be sure of one thing in light of this survey: the mainstream media isn’t likely to change its ways anytime soon.