A great article over at Economics of Contempt tackles the media bias issues. The basic argument is:
1) Scientific experiment have shown that people tend to form their political opinions emotionally and then reason backward to support their pre-conceived notions.
2) The media vote overwhelming Democrat.
3) Therefore, they support liberal ideas. QED
My one problem with this is that the scientific experiments show a snapshot in time. While most people’s instantaneous reaction to political events is emotional, the can demonstrably change their opinions over a long enough timescale. This is exemplified by patterns in voting with age and wealth, for example.
But it also applies independent of this. I recently was reading Team of Rivals which demonstrated how individuals such as Lincoln, states such as Maryland and indeed the entire nation changed their opinions on slavery. People’s reaction to their beliefs being challenged is emotional — at first. But over time, reason can wear down most people’s pre-conceived notions.