A Study in Bias

May 10, 2005

Keep relying on the Liberalized MSM and by the time you’re ready to retire, the Social Security system will be bankrupt.

By Herman Cain, Nation Review Online

According to a recent Washington Post/ABC poll, President Bush’s plan to restructure the Social Security system has lost public support. What the poll doesn’t tell you is that the network news has focused so much on the liberal side of this debate that the result isn’t a surprise. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Post story stated, “58 percent of those polled this time said the more they hear about Bush’s plan, the less they like it.” And what are they hearing about Bush’s plan? That it’s a bad idea, of course. The networks have been beating up the idea of restructuring Social Security for months.

A new study by the Media Research Center’s Free Market Project finds that the evening-news shows delivered liberal talking points on the Social Security debate more than twice as often as points from the conservative side advocating restructuring Social Security. The idea of personal retirement accounts doesn’t stand a chance with numbers like those.

The study looked at the evening news programs on CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, and Fox between Nov. 15, 2004, and March 15, 2005. This time frame covered a period from shortly after Bush’s reelection to the launch of his “60 stops in 60 days” campaign. The study examined the use of liberal and conservative talking points in Social Security stories as part of an ongoing analysis of media coverage of this debate.

CNN and CBS battled it out for the honor of being the most biased. Fifty-six percent of the CBS stories had a liberal leaning, compared with just 20 percent conservative. Over at CNN, it was 61 percent liberal and 22 percent conservative. Although the tally was close, CBS won by undermining conservative positions whenever possible.

Russ Mitchell of CBS Evening News wouldn’t even give the president credit for facts that are indisputable. According to Mitchell, “Mr. Bush said he’s open to any good idea to fix a system he claims is heading for bankruptcy.” Bush doesn’t have to “claim” the system is going bankrupt. According to the Social Security Administration trustees, benefits paid to retirees will exceed payroll taxes collected by 2017. By 2041 the system will be totally broke. (The Full Story)

Reprinted from: http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/cain200505100819.asp

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