Just like so many reports before it, a joint survey by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy — hardly a bastion of conservative orthodoxy — found that in covering the current presidential race, the media are sympathetic to Democrats and hostile to Republicans.
Democrats are not only favored in the tone of the coverage. They get more coverage period. This is particularly evident on morning news shows, which "produced almost twice as many stories (51% to 27%) focused on Democratic candidates than on Republicans..."
The gap between Democrats and Republicans narrows on cable TV, but it's there nonetheless. Stories about Democrats were positive in more than a third of the cases, while Republicans were portrayed favorably in fewer than 29%. Republican led in unfriendly stories 30.4% to 25.5%.
CNN was the most hostile toward Republicans, MSNBC, surprisingly, the most positive. MSNBC was also the most favorable toward Democrats (47.2%), Fox (36.8%) the most critical.
The anti-GOP attitude also lives on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition..."
The PEG-Shorenstein effort is only the latest to conclude that the mainstream media tilt left. Others include Stanley Rothman and Robert Lichter's groundbreaking 1986 book "The Media Elite"; "A Measure of Media Bias," a 2005 paper written by professors from UCLA and the University of Missouri; and Bernard Goldberg's two books, "Bias" and "Arrogance." All underscore the media's leftward leanings.