Americas & Beyond
|66% of US Voters are Angry at the Media|
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June 16, 2010
Sixty-six percent (66%) of U.S. voters describe themselves as at least somewhat angry at the media, including 33% who are Very Angry.
|Americans strongly reject several proposed taxes including ones on cell phone bills and consumer electronic purchases to keep privately-owned newspapers going.|
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 31% say they are not angry at the media, but that includes just nine percent (9%) who say they are not at all angry.
It’s important to note, however, that the question did not in any way define media or differentiate between media outlets such as CNN and Fox News.
But voters have consistently said in surveys that they believe the national media has a liberal bias and that most reporters try to help the candidates they want to win. Just before Election Day 2008, 51% said most reporters were trying to help Barack Obama win the presidency. Just seven percent (7%) thought they were trying to help John McCain, while 31% viewed their coverage as unbiased.
Now 48% of voters think most reporters when they write or talk about President Obama are trying to help the president pass his agenda. Only 18% think most reporters are trying to block the president from passing his agenda. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say they are simply interested in reporting the news in an unbiased manner.
The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on June 13-14, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) say most reporters when covering a political campaign try to help the candidate they want to win. This finding is unchanged from June 2008 when the last presidential cycle was in full swing. Twenty-three percent (23%) now say most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage of a campaign.
Fifty-four percent (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. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say most reporters would not hide damaging information to help the candidate they preferred. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure.
Fifty-one percent (51%) say the average reporter is more liberal than they are, consistent with earlier findings on the question. Fifteen percent (15%) say the average reporter is more conservative than they are, while 27% say the average reporter shares roughly the same ideological views that they have.
Unhappiness with the media comes at a time when many government policies are unpopular with a majority of voters and two-thirds (67%) think the news media has too much influence over the actions of government. Sixty-two percent (62%) say what the media thinks is more important to the average member of Congress than what voters think.
Seventy percent (70%) of voters are angry at the current policies of the federal government.
Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Republicans and 68% of voters not affiliated with either major party are angry at the media. Democrats are more closely divided on the question.
Seventy-six percent (76%) of GOP voters and 56% of unaffiliateds think most reporters are trying to help Obama pass his agenda. Among Democrats, 33% say they are trying to block the president’s agenda, while 43% say their coverage is unbiased. Just 15% of Democrats say most reporters are trying to help the president.
The difference between the Political Class and Mainstream voters on this question is starker. Sixty percent (60%) of Mainstream voters say most reporters are trying to help the president pass his agenda. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of the Political Class believe most reporters are trying to block passage of Obama’s agenda.
But then while 62% of Mainstream voters feel that the average reporter is more liberal than they are, 69% of the Political Class say their ideological views are about the same as the average reporter’s.
Mainstream voters tend to think most reporters try to help the candidates they want to win. The Political Class disagrees.
Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters think media bias is a bigger problem in politics today than big campaign contributions.
The Federal Trade Commission is considering several proposals to help the financially struggling newspaper industry. But Americans continue to strongly oppose government-driven solutions for the newspaper industry’s problems in large part out of concern that they threaten the press’ independence.
Americans strongly reject several proposed taxes including ones on cell phone bills and consumer electronic purchases to keep privately-owned newspapers going.
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