Right-wing media outlets are scary. That’s the view of the Associated Press’s John Miller who recently worried about newly formed conservative media outlets that are funded by think tanks to supposedly push their agenda. In the April 13 article, “News Sites Funded By Think Tanks Take Root,” Miller offered a completely one-sided report about how alternative news outlets are funded and failed to take into account either mainstream media’s bias or major new left-wing news outlets like Huffington Post.
Miller explained how conservative alternatives to the mainstream media are springing up due to newspaper budget cuts. But he cautioned, “The phenomenon troubles some longtime journalists and media watchdogs, who worry about political biases and hidden agendas.”
Never once were liberal media outlets mentioned, who too might have their own “hidden agendas.”
He also warned that these conservative sites may “look like traditional news sources.” But, according to Miller, the news sites are funded by “right-leaning, free-market organizations.” This apparently worried Miller because he fretted, “And there are fears that these organizations are trying to advance a certain agenda by the stories they decide to cover — even if the articles themselves are unbiased.”
Yet Miller never pointed out that the mainstream media can hardly contain their bias as they push a liberal agenda. Perhaps the conservative organizations are merely attempting to make their voices heard, a voice often ignored by the old school media.
According to numerous studies and surveys, journalists are consistently more liberal than the rest of Americans. They are less religious, more in favor of abortion, and more likely to vote Democrat. The Media Research Center’s “Media Bias 101: What Journalists Really Think,” cited a survey that found 89 percent of Americans feel journalists’ views impact their coverage.
A 2009 survey was also cited that found 84 percent of Americans feel that the media is “somewhat” or “very” biased in reporting. It is no wonder that some conservatives are turning to alternative forms of news.
Miller also attempted to smear the conservative news organizations and explained that “ethical questions” persisted. He complained that some organizations have been denied memberships because they are associated with advocacy groups. Miller also stated some conservative organizations will not say who is funding them.
But he wrote inaccurately, “It does not appear that left-leaning organizations are funding their own news outlets to the same degree.” Miller must have forgotten about the popular, liberal blogspot Huffington Post. In 2008, it received $25 million from Oak Investment Partners.
It’s not just Huffington Post that receives funding. ProPublica and Talking Points Memo are just two more examples of liberal news outlets that receive funding that Miller failed to report. ProPublica, recently honored with journalism’s Pulitzer Prize, received $10 million in start-up cash from the “progressive” Herbert and Marion Sandler foundation.