Media Research Center - Press Release - June 25, 2002


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ALEXANDRIA, VA. - A new Media Research Center study has found that network reporters label conservatives four times more often than they label liberals, confirming recent allegations of liberal media bias made by former CBS newsman Bernard Goldberg in his best-seller, Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How The Media Distort the News.

MRC researchers examined all instances in which the reporters themselves applied either the "liberal" or conservative label on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts over a five-year period, from January 1, 1997 through December 31, 2001. The study found 992 instances in which conservatives were labeled, compared to only 247 instances in which liberals were assigned an ideological tag.

It seems unbelievable, but the numbers don't lie. No network labeled Vice President Al Gore as a liberal during the entire 1999-2000 election cycle, yet they labeled George W. Bush as a conservative 19 times. Bernard Goldberg is absolutely right," said Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center. "Network anchors and reporters label conservatives because they think they're out of the mainstream, but don't label liberals because they think liberals are completely mainstream.

Newscast Breakdown of Labeling

ABC World News Tonight
96 liberal labels (21%)
365 conservative labels (79%)
CBS Evening News
64 liberal labels (18%)
289 conservative labels (82%)
NBC Nightly News
87 liberal labels (20%)
338 conservative labels (80%)

The network double standard in labeling was apparent when reporters and anchors described Senators, Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices and Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates:

U.S. Sens. U.S. Reps. Natl. Candidates Sup. Court Justices
Liberal 34% 13% 4% 33%
Conservative 66 87 96 67