James Rainey: In study, evidence of liberal-bias bias

Cable talking heads accuse broadcast networks of liberal bias — but a think tank finds that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Barack Obama than on John McCain in recent weeks.

By JAMES RAINEY, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2008

Haters of the mainstream media reheated a bit of conventional wisdom last week.

Barack Obama, they said, was getting a free ride from those insufferable liberals.

Such pronouncements, sorry to say, tend to be wrong since they describe a monolithic media that no longer exists. Information today cascades from countless outlets and channels, from the Huffington Post to Politico.com to CBS News and beyond.

But now there’s additional evidence that casts doubt on the bias claims aimed — with particular venom — at three broadcast networks.

The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, where researchers have tracked network news content for two decades, found that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain during the first six weeks of the general-election campaign.

You read it right: tougher on the Democrat.

[Read the report]