Thursday, April 2, 2009

Schieffer Symposium: Journalists Have a Bias Toward Obama

Panel members at the fifth annual Bob Schieffer Symposium at Texas Christian University told their audience last night that up to 90 percent of journalists voted Democratic and have some level of bias in favor of President Barack Obama.

The panelists included David Brooks, Gwen Ifill, Trish Regan of CNBC's "The Call," and Mark Shields.

On the topic of how well the media are doing to cover the Obama presidency, every panelist agreed that there is some form of bias, regardless of whether it is conscious. This can't be a surprise to anybody, but what is noteworthy is that you have a group of high-level journalists willing to admit it publicly.

Callie Mason of the Daily Skaiff writes:

Ifill said in a press conference held before the event that the media are obsessed with whatever makes the most interesting story.

"The press is obsessed with everything he says and everything she wears," Ifill said of Obama and his wife, Michelle.

Shields said the media have a tendency to favor the winner in any campaign.

Brooks said the majority of the people he works with are in favor of Obama.

"Among my colleagues, 90 percent vote democratic," Brooks said.

Brooks went on to say that even if journalists are not aware of their biases, they have them. However, he said he believes the press is being fair in covering Obama and that most reporters are committed to journalism, not personal politics.

Shields said he doesn't think Obama is getting a free ride, but part of problem is that Republicans are currently voiceless.

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