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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Columns

Media bias created Fox News’ monopoly over conservatives


Whenever a media outlet reports something that conservatives deem incorrect, it becomes easy for those same people to shout about liberal media bias. And they’re not completely wrong about the bias.

Of the five nationally broadcast news channels, four lean to the left – ABC, CNN, CBS and MSNBC. But the fifth channel, Fox News, leans unabashedly to the right and has a monopoly on right-wing viewership.

The concept of a liberal media bias stretches across four decades. Studies today are consistent with verdicts media researcher Robert Lichter reached back in the early 70s“Veteran media researcher Robert Lichter examined the voting records of what he termed the ‘media elite’ to find that 81 percent to 94 percent of the nation’s journalists voted democratic in presidential elections from 1964 to 1976,” according to The Washington Times.

Since more than half of the population consumes their news through television, it is becoming more prudent than ever to be as impartial as possible.

The only way this can happen is if the media collectively decides to share both points of view. But who are we kidding? These days, it’s all about ratings, and opinion drives ratings.

Fox has the highest ratings of any network, not because the station is revered or because of the content it produces, but because they have the entire Republican viewership. Television is flooded with liberal biases that have allowed Fox to create a network that can push the rhetoric as far to the right as it pleases with little consequence to its ratings.

The lack of conservative stations makes Fox practically untouchable, as they have created a monopoly when it comes to right wing viewers. According to Gallup94 percent of Fox’s ratings come from right-leaning viewers. Gallup also reports that between 1998 and 2008, the number of Republicans who said they regularly watch Fox News rose 22 points, from 14 percent to 36 percent.

This rise in viewership can be associated with the election of George Bush and the Iraq War.

While the rest of the networks were critical of the Bush administration, Fox took the patriotic route and deemed any network or person criticizing the president during war time as treasonous. This backwards reporting is a consequence of the liberal media’s control over the market.

Journalists and reporters estranged Republican viewers and led them to believe Fox and company’s ridiculous claims by mixing facts with opinions in their reports.

Reporting is not meant to be divisive. Its purpose is to present factual content that is free of prejudice. But left wing bias has affected conservatives’— and even independents’ —trust of the news.

A recent study shows only 32 percent of conservatives and 33 percent of independents trust media content, while 55 percent of Democrats believe the media is truthful. The lack of trust among the non-liberals is eye opening.

For the most part, the media is broken, biased and one-sided. Instead of focusing on the content of the news, it has become a popularity contest with Fox in the driver’s seat.

Other stations have adopted the one-sided reporting approach that Fox perfected, which is causing the rift between American ideals to grow further apart. While these stations have a responsibility to provide fair and balanced news, consumers need to realize that the product is faulty. Until we stop feeding the fire and watching these programs, the divide will only continue.

Opinion columnist Anthony Cianciulli is a broadcast journalism junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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