Media bias and ideological blindness

David French of National Review Online ponders a key factor driving biased mainstream media news coverage.

… [M]uch of the distrust of the mainstream media is both organic and justified — and, even worse, there is no sign that the media are doing anything meaningful to deal with the root cause of that distrust.

To understand the origin of distrust, let me ask my media readers three questions:

First, how many members of your newsroom believe that Caitlyn Jenner is a man?

Second, how many members of your newsroom own a firearm for self-defense, much less possess a concealed-carry permit?

Third, how many members of your newsroom believe life begins at conception and should receive legal protection from that moment?

I picked those issues very deliberately. Each reflects an area of disagreement among tens of millions of Americans. Each side of that disagreement is supported by serious scientific, historic, or legal arguments. And yet I daresay that most of our mainstream-media newsrooms are overwhelmingly populated by people who hold the progressive position on these issues. Moreover, in newsrooms, the number of people who believe that no decent person can disagree with them on these issues probably far outpaces the conservative dissenters.

Now, let’s compound that media monoculture with a related problem: Ideological monocultures foster friendships and social networks (including marriages) from predominantly one side of the ideological spectrum. That means that reporters tend to be intimately familiar with progressive arguments, and they’re also bound together in close personal relationships with progressives. Taken together, these factors lead at the very least to a problematic degree of ignorance about the other side and a problematic degree of sympathy for the real people they know on their own side.

Finally, let’s also acknowledge that the problem is getting worse.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...