Let's put this to rest. The mainstream media in America is not conservative. It may be conservative relative to the Leftist/Marxist beliefs of some who reside here, but it's certainly not conservative when referencing the platforms of Republican versus Democrat beliefs.
Study after study shows that reporters and editors are significantly more liberal than conservative, and that they are more Democrat than Republican. Simply go to the best resource for analyzing media bias at www.mrc.org to see the results of several studies that prove the liberal bias of reporters beyond a doubt.
It seems incredible to me that this debate is still going on, but I've been hearing too many liberals complaining about the "conservative corporate media" lately. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal even had editorials last week that complained about conservative media bias in the recent election coverage.
The standard answer I hear liberals give when someone complains about liberal media bias is that the media is controlled by conservative corporations, and thus, it cannot be liberal. While the reporters may be liberal, they are at the mercy of the conservative corporate empire that signs their paychecks. I even saw a bumper sticker recently that proclaimed "The media is as liberal as the conservative corporations that run it." On the surface, that may sound plausible. But just like most liberal reasoning, this argument is based on a false premise. The premise is that corporations are all conservative.
Why don't we take a look at who actually runs the corporations that control our country's major media. We'll focus on the majors like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN. Thanks to the online Federal Election Commission database (www.fec.gov), it is very easy to find out who gave money to which political parties. This should give a clear indication of the "conservative or liberal" bias tag that can be given to these corporations.
I'll use ABC as an example. ABC is owned by the Disney Corporation. When looking at the five "Class I" board members at Disney, we find that Michael Eisner (Chairman), Stephen Ballenbach, and Stanley Gold were the only contributors to political campaigns. Every one of them gave significantly more money to Democrats than Republicans. As a group, they gave almost ten times as much to Democratic candidates as they did to Republican candidates. Looking at Alex Wallau, the President of ABC, we find that he contributed $3,500 to Democratic candidates and none to Republicans. Gosh, that doesn't sound like a "conservative" corporation to me.
Other examples would be Sumner Redstone, Chairman of Viacom and CBS, Robert Wright, NBC President, and the infamous Ted Turner. All contributed significantly more to Democrats than Republicans. Rather than bore you with all of the results of my FEC database query, I'll tell you that virtually every single executive who is in charge of a media company has contributed far more to Democrats than to Republicans. Not surprisingly, Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of Fox, was one of the few exceptions.
I'm not sure any amount of evidence could convince liberals that there is a liberal bias in the media though. While I readily admit to liberals that the Fox News Channel tends to have a conservative bias to it, I've yet to run across a liberal who will admit that any of the other major media outlets have a liberal bias.
So the next time you hear or read complaints about the "conservative" media corporations, now you know the truth. The media is as liberal as the conservative corporations that run it. Unfortunately, the facts show that those conservative corporations are quite liberal.