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May 29th, 2007

Pissing On Edward R. Murrow’s Grave…(continued)

Via Atrios…  Ever notice how the mainstream news media’s ostentatious sense of "balance" always seems to favor the right…?

LEFT BEHIND: The Skewed Representation of Religion in Major News Media

It would surprise few people, conservative or progressive, to learn that coverage of the intersection of religion and politics tends to oversimplify both. If this oversimplification occurred to the benefit or detriment of neither side of the political divide, then the weaknesses in coverage of religion would be of only academic interest. But as this study documents, coverage of religion not only overrepresents some voices and underrepresents others, it does so in a way that is consistently advantageous to conservatives.

Ya Think?

Among the study’s key findings:

  • Combining newspapers and television, conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed in news stories 2.8 times as often as were progressive religious leaders.
  • On television news — the three major television networks, the three major cable new channels, and PBS — conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed almost 3.8 times as often as progressive leaders.
  • In major newspapers, conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned, or interviewed 2.7 times as often as progressive leaders.

Despite the fact most religious Americans are moderate or progressive, in the news media it is overwhelmingly conservative leaders who are presented as the voice of religion. This represents a particularly meaningful distortion since progressive religious leaders tend to focus on different issues and offer an entirely different perspective than their conservative counterparts.

I’m shocked…shocked.  Well…actually not.  When was the last time you saw an actual liberal on any of the Sunday morning talk shows…?

One Response to “Pissing On Edward R. Murrow’s Grave…(continued)”

  1. Jen Says:

    I’ve noticed the same thing when it comes to the portrayal of religion in TV shows and the movies. In most cases — in almost all cases — the religions portrayed are conservative, fundamentalist or reactionary. You see fundamentalist Baptists, or Roman Catholics. Islamic Fundamentalists. Perhaps a few members of the Jewish faith. And that’s about it. Almost as if there were no other religions. Being religious is equated with being conservative, or fundamentalist. There are exceptions to these portrayals, but they’re rare.

    By the way, the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, here in Vancouver, is gay, and in a commited relationship. I’m not sure if they have actually gotten married yet.

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