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CyberAlert -- 04/26/1996 -- In Bias Denial

In Bias Denial

One item today, a really outlandish assertion from a major city newspaper editor. But first, recall the Freedom Forum poll I e-mailed you about over the weekend. It found 89 percent of 139 surveyed Washington bureau chiefs and congressional correspondents voted for Clinton, 7 percent for Bush. Ideologically, 22 percent identified themselves as liberal, 39 percent as liberal to moderate, 7 percent as moderate to conservative and just two percent as conservative. For 100 newspaper editors around the country who were polled, 60 percent pulled the lever for Clinton, 22 percent for Bush.
So, here's the response of Boston Globe Editor Matthew Storin, originally aired as part of CNN's Reliable Sources on April 21 and repeated in a story on the April 24 Inside Politics:
"I think, actually, those figures are a great endorsement for the professionalism of our business. Has anyone looked at the coverage of Bill Clinton's administration? I mean, it's been, almost from the get-go, negative."
That's the best part, but here's some more of the Reliable Sources discussion, as transcribed by MRC intern Jessica Anderson:
Moderator Bernard Kalb: "But one would say, one would say that if, in fact, it were closer to reality in terms of reflecting the political complexion of the country, Clinton would be even clobbered greater."
Storin: "Well, of course, there's no way to prove that, but I think there is professionalism in our business. You've got, you've got personal views and you've got the way you go about doing your business. Doctors don't like to amputate legs, but if it's sick, they're going to take it off, and we've got to do our jobs the way we see fit."
Howard Kurtz, Washington Post media reporter: "Bernie, I think there is a difference between how people have opinions and how they perform their jobs, but clearly anybody looking at those numbers, if they're even close to accurate, would conclude that there is a diversity problem in the news business, and it's not just the kind of diversity we usually talk about, which is not getting enough minorities in the news business, but political diversity, as well. Anybody who doesn't see that is just in denial."
Indeed. We are making progress when even a Washington Post staffer can see the light.

-- Brent Baker

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