Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Columbia University School of Journalism gets $9.7 million from George Soros

The Media Research Center reports.

Excerpt:

The Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute has extensively researched Columbia University School of Journalism, including its faculty, alumni, student publications, funding, guest lecturers, endorsements and awards. BMI found that there was a significant left-wing bias prevalent at the school – a bias that then migrates with its graduates to permeate the daily operations of news organizations across the United States. These results include the following:

  • 68 Percent of the Professors Work for Liberal Outlets: The faculty list of the Columbia University School of Journalism reads like a Who’s Who of liberal organizations. Of the 40 full-time members of the faculty, 27 work at left-wing news outlets and organizations including The Huffington Post, Slate, Mother Jones, Salon, The Nation and Greenpeace. Adjunct faculty work at Al Jazeera, Alternet, The Daily Beast, Salon and The Nation. These professors are also cited as experts by major news outlets, such as The New York Times, ABC, CBS, The Washington Post and USA Today, thanks to their status as Columbia faculty.
  • More than $9.7 Million in Soros Funding: Columbia University has received $9,708,486 from liberal billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation. That makes it the third-most Soros-funded school in the world, and the second-most in the U.S. The school also received an additional $1.63 million from the liberal Tides Foundation, which Soros also supports.
  • Soros-funded Liberal Leadership: Incoming dean Steve Coll has his own left-wing rap sheet. Coll, who will take over as dean of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in July 2013 is currently the president of the New America Foundation, a left-leaning public policy organization which has received more than $4.2 million in Soros funding since 2001. Before working at New America Foundation, Coll was managing editor at The Washington Post.
  • Ties to Terror-Friendly Al Jazeera: Al Jazeera English was awarded more than just the Columbia Award, the highest honor that Columbia could give. It was also granted a fellowship, and allowed to host its show, “Empire,” with a guest panel of full-time Columbia University School of Journalism professors. Al Jazeera employees work as adjunct faculty and guest lecturers, and the journalism school also listed Al Jazeera English and Current TV (which has been bought by Al Jazeera) as potential vendors at its upcoming jobs fair for 2013. Both were in attendance for the 2012 jobs fair. This is the same “news” organization that, in 2008, threw a birthday party for a Lebanese terrorist who had previously killed a police officer, a civilian and a 4-year-old girl.

But what do academic studies say about media bias? Is it real, or is it just a subjective judgment made by angry conservatives?

The Baltimore Sun reports on a new Pew Research study. (H/T WGB)

Excerpt:

In writing about the Pew study released today, I was struck by the big story of how negative coverage on several levels of presidential politics had become.

[...]On MSNBC, the ratio of negative to positive stories on GOP candidate Mitt Romney was 71 to 3.

[...]The ratio of negative to positive stories in Fox’s coverage of President Obama was 46 to 6.

Check out the full Pew study here. It’s a good one, and there is much food for thought in its findings as we approach the end of an election cycle marked by poor media performance.

Pew Research is a left-of-center organization, so the finding is even more striking.

Peer-reviewed academic studies of media bias

Let’s take a look at peer-reviewed academic studies of media bias, and see if they confirm or falsify what Pew Research found.

Here’s a UCLA study on media bias.

Excerpt:

Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS’ “Evening News,” The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.

Only Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume” and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.

The most centrist outlet proved to be the “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.” CNN’s “NewsNight With Aaron Brown” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” were a close second and third.

“Our estimates for these outlets, we feel, give particular credibility to our efforts, as three of the four moderators for the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential debates came from these three news outlets — Jim Lehrer, Charlie Gibson and Gwen Ifill,” Groseclose said. “If these newscasters weren’t centrist, staffers for one of the campaign teams would have objected and insisted on other moderators.”

The fourth most centrist outlet was “Special Report With Brit Hume” on Fox News, which often is cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet. While this news program proved to be right of center, the study found ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “Nightly News” to be left of center. All three outlets were approximately equidistant from the center, the report found.

“If viewers spent an equal amount of time watching Fox’s ‘Special Report’ as ABC’s ‘World News’ and NBC’s ‘Nightly News,’ then they would receive a nearly perfectly balanced version of the news,” said Milyo, an associate professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Missouri at Columbia.”

Here’s a Harvard University study on media bias.

Excerpt:

The programming studied on Fox News offered a somewhat more positive picture… of Republicans and more negative one of Democrats compared with other media outlets. Fox News stories about a Republican candidate were most likely to be neutral (47%), with the remainder more positive than negative (32% vs. 21% negative). The bulk of that positive coverage went to Giuliani (44% positive), while McCain still suffered from unflattering coverage (20% positive vs. 35% negative).

When it came to Democratic candidates, the picture was more negative. Again, neutral stories had a slight edge (39%), followed by 37% negative and 24% positive. And, in marked contrast from the rest of the media, coverage of Obama was twice as negative as positive: 32% negative vs. 16% positive and 52% neutral.

But any sense here that the news channel was uniformly positive about Republicans or negative about Democrats is not manifest in the data.”

From the Washington Examiner, a study of the political contributions made by the mainstream media.

Excerpt:

Senior executives, on-air personalities, producers, reporters, editors, writers and other self-identifying employees of ABC, CBS and NBC contributed more than $1 million to Democratic candidates and campaign committees in 2008, according to an analysis by The Examiner of data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Democratic total of $1,020,816 was given by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks, with an average contribution of $880.

By contrast, only 193 of the employees contributed to Republican candidates and campaign committees, for a total of $142,863. The average Republican contribution was $744.

[...]The data on contributions by broadcast network employees was compiled by CRP at the request of The Examiner and included all 2008 contributions by individuals who identified their employer as one of the three networks or subsidiaries. The data does not include contributions by employees of the three networks who did not identify their employer.

The CRP is the organization behind OpenSecrets.org, the web site that for more than a decade has put campaign finance data within reach of anybody with an Internet connection.

President Obama received 710 such contributions worth a total of $461,898, for an average contribution of $651 from the network employees. Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain received only 39 contributions totaling $26,926, for an average donation of $709.

And more from a study done by the radically leftist MSNBC.

Excerpt:

MSNBC.com identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

The donors include CNN’s Guy Raz, now covering the Pentagon for NPR, who gave to Kerry the same month he was embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq; New Yorker war correspondent George Packer; a producer for Bill O’Reilly at Fox; MSNBC TV host Joe Scarborough; political writers at Vanity Fair; the editor of The Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition; local TV anchors in Washington, Minneapolis, Memphis and Wichita; the ethics columnist at The New York Times; and even MTV’s former presidential campaign correspondent.

Those are the facts.

So what?

Now consider this column from Brent Bozell, which explains the difference media bias makes to political intelligence.

Excerpt:

A 2008 survey by the Pew Research Center asked media consumers three questions: which party was in control of Congress (Democrats), who was the secretary of state (Condi Rice) and who was the prime minister of Britain (Gordon Brown).

Let’s document how the viewers of “Hannity &Colmes” were better informed than Stewart’s “Daily Show”  gigglers on basic political facts. Hannity viewers beat Stewart’s on the Democratic majority (84 percent to 65 percent correct answers), Condi Rice (a dramatic 73 percent to 48 percent gap) and Gordon Brown (49 percent to 36). Overall, as a percentage getting all three questions right, Hannity won 42-30.

Just keep that in mind when you are watching the mainstream media news shows. A very good site to bookmark and read is Newsbusters, which documents mainstream media bias daily. I even have an RSS feed of their latest stories on the front page on this blog.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New testimony from another ex-employee of the Kermit Gosnell abortion clinic

Dina sent me the latest on this story, from the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

A medical school graduate has given a graphic account of working at a Philadelphia abortion clinic and how he routinely saw babies born alive and then killed with scissors

Stephen Massof, 50, of Pittsburgh, was giving evidence at the trial of his former boss Kermit Gosnell on Thursday.

Gosnell, 72, is accused of killing seven live babies at the Philadelphia Women’s Medical Society clinic and a woman who was administered too much anesthesia.

[...]Massof, who is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to the murder of two newborns at the clinic, revealed Thursday that he witnessed an abortion at 26 weeks – two weeks beyond the 24-week limit in the state.

He also claimed he saw about 100 babies born alive and then ‘snipped’ with surgical scissors in the back of the neck, to ensure their ‘demise’.

He also spoke of the gruesome scenes at the clinic which was allegedly found dirty and rundown with rusting surgical instruments.

‘It would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place. It is literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body,’ he told NBC.

He also alleges the clinic’s ultrasound machine was manipulated to make fetuses appear smaller and therefore younger.

[...]Prosecutors allege Gosnell took more than $1 million a year at the clinic where women were charged up to $3,000 for an abortion.

David Freddoso has a column in the Washington Examiner on the media coverage of the Gosnell trial, which has been very different from the media’s coverage of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Excerpt:

Whatever one’s position on gun control, the appropriately heavy coverage of the Sandy Hook massacre at least served a public purpose by starting a discussion about mass shootings.

At its most thoughtful, the debate considered what measures might have prevented the massacre and which could be squared with Americans’ constitutional rights.

At its worst, the debate suffered from media cheerleading for panic gun control legislation — as in, “pass something, anything!” — including but not limited to such left-leaning figures as CNN’s Piers Morgan.

In stark contrast, television coverage of Gosnell’s trial has been “hard to find,” as the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan put it very charitably last Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

In fact, not counting Noonan’s allusion, Gosnell’s case has not been mentioned even once on any of the three major networks in the last month (his trial began March 18).

It has received only seven mentions on cable television since it began, one on CNN and six on Fox News. In print, Gosnell’s case has been largely ignored outside of local media outlets in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

It’s not as though there isn’t an obvious connection between the Gosnell case and public policy. Legislators in some states (including Pennsylvania and now Alabama) have acted since Gosnell’s arrest to crack down on the next abortion quack.

The media have collectively and perhaps deliberately failed to draw the obvious connection between the two stories.

I think that the differences in the levels of coverage is useful to show that media bias is not always done by biased reporting. It can also be just the decision of what to report on. You can read my previous post on the peer-reviewed studies that document left-wing media bias.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pew Research study: MSNBC has the least news coverage and the most opinion

From Forbes magazine. (H/T Jared)

Excerpt:

If you’re like most cable news viewers, you probably think the channel you favor has a monopoly on the facts and the other ones are nothing more than a bunch of ranting. In fact, which cable network is the most opinionated is not a matter of opinion. It’s MSNBC.

A full 85% of the Comcast-owned network’s coverage can be classified as opinion or commentary rather than straight news, according to the authors of the Pew Research Center’s annual State of the News Media report.

CNN and Fox News Channel, meanwhile, fall much closer to a 50/50 distribution, with Fox News skewing somewhat more heavily toward opinion.

Not coincidentally, MSNBC also spends by far the least producing its news: some $240 million in 2012, according to an estimate by SNL Kagan. CNN spent $682 million, while Fox led the pack with an outlay of $820 million.

I think that Fox, at least, has both sides on when they cover opinion.

Below, please find some other academic studies of media bais. If you are going to link this article in a discussion forum, please link directly to the studies, not to me. I see my posts on media bias being linked a lot in forums, and people dismiss them because I am a Christian. So just link to the studies directly and you’ll be good.

Peer-reviewed academic studies of media bias

Let’s take a look at peer-reviewed academic studies of media bias, and see if they confirm or falsify what Pew Research found.

Here’s a UCLA study on media bias.

Excerpt:

Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS’ “Evening News,” The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.

Only Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume” and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.

The most centrist outlet proved to be the “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.” CNN’s “NewsNight With Aaron Brown” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” were a close second and third.

“Our estimates for these outlets, we feel, give particular credibility to our efforts, as three of the four moderators for the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential debates came from these three news outlets — Jim Lehrer, Charlie Gibson and Gwen Ifill,” Groseclose said. “If these newscasters weren’t centrist, staffers for one of the campaign teams would have objected and insisted on other moderators.”

The fourth most centrist outlet was “Special Report With Brit Hume” on Fox News, which often is cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet. While this news program proved to be right of center, the study found ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “Nightly News” to be left of center. All three outlets were approximately equidistant from the center, the report found.

“If viewers spent an equal amount of time watching Fox’s ‘Special Report’ as ABC’s ‘World News’ and NBC’s ‘Nightly News,’ then they would receive a nearly perfectly balanced version of the news,” said Milyo, an associate professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Missouri at Columbia.”

Here’s a Harvard University study on media bias.

Excerpt:

The programming studied on Fox News offered a somewhat more positive picture… of Republicans and more negative one of Democrats compared with other media outlets. Fox News stories about a Republican candidate were most likely to be neutral (47%), with the remainder more positive than negative (32% vs. 21% negative). The bulk of that positive coverage went to Giuliani (44% positive), while McCain still suffered from unflattering coverage (20% positive vs. 35% negative).

When it came to Democratic candidates, the picture was more negative. Again, neutral stories had a slight edge (39%), followed by 37% negative and 24% positive. And, in marked contrast from the rest of the media, coverage of Obama was twice as negative as positive: 32% negative vs. 16% positive and 52% neutral.

But any sense here that the news channel was uniformly positive about Republicans or negative about Democrats is not manifest in the data.”

From the Washington Examiner, a study of the political contributions made by the mainstream media.

Excerpt:

Senior executives, on-air personalities, producers, reporters, editors, writers and other self-identifying employees of ABC, CBS and NBC contributed more than $1 million to Democratic candidates and campaign committees in 2008, according to an analysis by The Examiner of data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Democratic total of $1,020,816 was given by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks, with an average contribution of $880.

By contrast, only 193 of the employees contributed to Republican candidates and campaign committees, for a total of $142,863. The average Republican contribution was $744.

[...]The data on contributions by broadcast network employees was compiled by CRP at the request of The Examiner and included all 2008 contributions by individuals who identified their employer as one of the three networks or subsidiaries. The data does not include contributions by employees of the three networks who did not identify their employer.

The CRP is the organization behind OpenSecrets.org, the web site that for more than a decade has put campaign finance data within reach of anybody with an Internet connection.

President Obama received 710 such contributions worth a total of $461,898, for an average contribution of $651 from the network employees. Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain received only 39 contributions totaling $26,926, for an average donation of $709.

And more from a study done by the radically leftist MSNBC.

Excerpt:

MSNBC.com identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

The donors include CNN’s Guy Raz, now covering the Pentagon for NPR, who gave to Kerry the same month he was embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq; New Yorker war correspondent George Packer; a producer for Bill O’Reilly at Fox; MSNBC TV host Joe Scarborough; political writers at Vanity Fair; the editor of The Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition; local TV anchors in Washington, Minneapolis, Memphis and Wichita; the ethics columnist at The New York Times; and even MTV’s former presidential campaign correspondent.

Those are the facts.

So what?

Now consider this column from Brent Bozell, which explains the difference media bias makes to political intelligence.

Excerpt:

A 2008 survey by the Pew Research Center asked media consumers three questions: which party was in control of Congress (Democrats), who was the secretary of state (Condi Rice) and who was the prime minister of Britain (Gordon Brown).

Let’s document how the viewers of “Hannity &Colmes” were better informed than Stewart’s “Daily Show”  gigglers on basic political facts. Hannity viewers beat Stewart’s on the Democratic majority (84 percent to 65 percent correct answers), Condi Rice (a dramatic 73 percent to 48 percent gap) and Gordon Brown (49 percent to 36). Overall, as a percentage getting all three questions right, Hannity won 42-30.

Just keep that in mind when you are watching the mainstream media news shows. A very good site to bookmark and read is Newsbusters, which documents mainstream media bias daily. I even have an RSS feed of their latest stories on the front page on this blog.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

GAO report finds that Obama’s massive spending is not sustainable

The Government Accountability Office is a federal government agency that audits the finances of the federal government. They report to Obama and they are part of his administration. So what do they think about his plans to fix the economy?

Take a look at this article from Breitbart.

Excerpt:

The Government Accountability Office (GAO)—the personal auditor of President Obama and the federal government—released its assessment of the federal government on January 17, 2013. The report’s findings illuminate just how dire America’s spending problem is and, therefore, how little the current cuts debated by Congress do to fix it.

The findings of the paper include these excerpts (emphasis added):

  • “The projections in this Report indicate that current policy is not sustainable… Preventing the debt-to-GDP ratio from rising over the next 75 years is estimated to require some combination of spending reductions and revenue increases that amount to 2.7 percent of GDP over the period.”
  • “It is estimated that running primary surpluses that average 1.0 percent of GDP over the next 75 years would result in the 2087 debt-to-GDP ratio equaling its level in fiscal year 2012, which compares with primary deficits that average 1.7 percent of GDP under current policies.”
  • “It is noteworthy that preventing the debt-to-GDP ratio from rising over the next 75 years requires that primary surpluses be substantially positive on average. This is true because projected GDP growth is on average smaller than the projected government borrowing rate over the next 75 years.”
  • “If the primary surplus was precisely zero in every year, then debt would grow at the rate of interest in every year, which would be faster than GDP growth.”
  • “The differences between the primary surplus boost starting in 2023 and 2033 (3.2 and 4.1 percent of GDP, respectively) and the primary surplus boost starting in 2012 (2.7 percent of GDP) is a measure of the additional burden policy delay would impose on future generations. Future generations are harmed by a policy delay of this sort, because the higher the primary surplus is during their lifetimes the greater the difference is between the taxes they pay and the programmatic spending from which they benefit.”

[...]This is the reality: when President Obama’s personal auditor says the federal government has a spending problem, it indeed has a spending problem—and one that is growing rapidly.

Something to think about during the debate on sequestration. We can’t stay on the course that we’re on. Things will not be OK.

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Report: Patients receiving poor care at NHS hospital

A damning report on the state of government-run health care in the UK, found in the leftist New York Times, of all places.

Excerpt:

Shockingly bad care and inhumane treatment at a hospital in the Midlands led to hundreds of unnecessary deaths and stripped countless patients of their dignity and self-respect, according to a scathing report published on Wednesday.

The report, which examined conditions at Stafford Hospital in Staffordshire over a 50-month period between 2005 and 2009, cites example after example of horrific treatment: patients left unbathed and lying in their own urine and excrement; patients left so thirsty that they drank water from vases; patients denied medication, pain relief and food by callous and overworked staff members; patients who contracted infections due to filthy conditions; and patients sent home to die after being given the wrong diagnoses.

[...]The report into what has been called the biggest scandal in the modern history of the health service found that many of the problems were due to the efforts of the hospital to meet health-service targets, like providing care within four hours to patients arriving at the emergency room. It also said that in its efforts to balance its books and save $16 million in 2006 and 2007 in order to achieve so-called foundation-trust status, which made it semi-independent of control by the central government, the hospital laid off too many people and focused relentlessly on external objectives rather than patient care.

Patients have to be cared about in a for-profit system, otherwise, no one will get paid. In a socialist system, patients pay first and then hope to get care later. Although there are many hard-working doctors and nurses in the NHS, you can’t separate the care that a patient gets from the reward that doctors and nurses get, otherwise, they lose their incentive to care for patients.

But an even bigger problem is that when government runs health care, all kinds of things start to get covered that are not really health care, as the government begins to use health care as a way to buy votes. Suddenly, patients with real health care needs have to get in line behind people who want sex changes, breast implants, IVF, elective abortions and so on. There just isn’t time to give everyone care when the people seeking have no incentive to live responsible lives and make responsible choices in order to avoid risks that may require care. I do believe that the majority of NHS doctors and nurses mean well. They want to serve and help others. But when patients have no incentive to be responsible, there will be too much demand for care, and there will be shortages. When prices are health below market value, demand surges and a shortage will occur.

Here’s a bit more about the NHS health care problem from the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

This week, the  scathing report on the Stafford Hospital  Scandal — after abuse and neglect led to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of patients — said ‘fundamental change’ was needed in the NHS. It condemned ‘failings at every level’ and contained 290 recommendations for reform. However, Robert Francis QC’s report was merely the latest damning indictment of the health service.

In November 2012 the Care Quality Commission found that ten per cent of hospitals and  15 per cent of care homes weren’t treating their patients with respect. Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, warned that cruelty and neglect  had become normal in some hospitals and care homes.

[...]Reports in 2011 from Age UK and The Patients’ Association exposed some horrendous instances of abuse and neglect — not only enforced incontinence and unanswered buzzers, but patients left hungry and thirsty or in soiled bed-linen.

Another reason for these shortages is bureaucratic red tape. Government-run enterprises are inefficient:

Talking with a cross-section of hospital staff, older nurses told me where they feel the problems lie. They say it is not so much a question of cruelty and neglect — although they acknowledge that this can exist — but more that ward culture has changed.

In the past, the patient’s comfort and needs came first, but now it is all too easy for elements of patient care to be missed as nursing staff focus on paperwork and meeting targets.

Should we have government-run health care? Let’s look at how it works in other countries and decide using the evidence.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , ,

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