On Wednesday, notable journalists from NBC, CNN and The New York Times acknowledged that conservative protestations about mainstream media’s liberal bent are well-founded.
Speaking on a panel for POLITICO’s Playbook Breakfast, Peter Barker and Mark Leibovich of The Times, CNN’s Jake Tapper and NBC personality Kelly O’Donnell all answered “yes” when asked if the mainstream news media lean to the left.
“Most of my colleagues, I have no idea what their politics are. … But think about it: I live in northwest Washington, none of my neighbors are evangelical Christians, I don’t know a lot of people in my kid’s preschool who are pro-life,” Leibovich said. “When you have conversations, at all the newspapers I’ve worked at, about politics — it doesn’t happen often — but you see clues that there is absolutely a left-wing bias.”
The news people said that the progressive ideological positions are more a product of the personal feelings of individual journalists than a broader media agenda.
“A certain type of person becomes a reporter, and generally speaking — generally speaking, I’m not saying every reporter in the world — the kind of person who is a reporter in Washington, D.C., or New York City has never worked a minimum-wage job outside of high school, has never experienced poverty, is not an evangelical Christian, like much of the country is,” Tapper said. “There are a lot of experiences that the kinds of people who are reporters, editors, producers in Washington and New York City have not had.”
“Most publications, you can get a sense of what the editors are thinking — and I would put a lot more on the editors and the senior producers than on the day-to-day reporters,” he said later. “But you don’t see a lot of coverage of poverty, you don’t see a lot of coverage of troops, you don’t see a lot of coverage of faith. It’s simplistic to say it’s liberal or conservative; it’s about experiences and lifestyle.”