According to the highly accurate Rasmussen Reports polls, 66% of American voters are angry at the media and 33% call themselves “very angry” at the media. The question did not differentiate which media sources were causing this anger. This is not necessarily a new perception, voters for years have insisted that the American media have a strong “liberal bias.” Back in the final months of the 2008 election, 51% of voters said that most reporters were trying to help Obama win the presidency while only 7% said the media was trying to help John McCain and 31% thought media coverage was neutral.
68% of voters say that when covering political campaigns and news, reporters try to help politicians they favor. 48% today believe that most reporters when they write or talk about President Obama are trying to help the president pass his agenda and only 18% of voters believe that reporters are interested in blocking Obama’s agenda. The media fairness issue is big in most voters’ eyes as 54% of voters think most reporters would hide any information they uncovered that might hurt a candidate they wanted to win, up seven points from November 2008 when voters already thought media bias was a problem.
In all 51% of voters today label reporters as more liberal than they are; while only 15% say reporters are more conservative than they are and 55% of voters say media bias is a bigger problem in America than campaign contributions from big donors.
Another area of anger is the Gulf oil spill. The vast majority of Americans are blaming British Petroleum (BP) for the explosion and leak. However, 67% of Americans believe the U.S. government does not inspect offshore oil rigs properly and 33% say it’s very likely that the problem could have been avoided IF government inspectors had done a better job. Certainly, since the ’90 and ’94 safety laws were “signed off on;” BP was one week away from getting a safety award from the government’s MMS; and since ten fire booms were required at the Deepwater Horizon site and zero were there . . . the public perception seems grounded in fact. Since these facts have NOT been widely disseminated by the media, perhaps this too is part of the anger Americans feel toward the media?
Ya’all live long, strong and ornery,