From the Media Research Center (www.mediaresearch.org):
In 1981, S. Robert Lichter, then with George Washington University, and Stanley Rothman of Smith College, released a groundbreaking survey of 240 journalists at the most influential national media outlets — including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS — on their political attitudes and voting patterns. Results of this study of the “media elite” were included in the October/November 1981 issue of Public Opinion, published by the American Enterprise Institute, in the article “Media and Business Elites.” The data demonstrated that journalists and broadcasters hold liberal positions on a wide range of social and political issues. This study, which was more elaborately presented in Lichter and Rothman’s subsequent book, The Media Elite, became the most widely quoted media study of the 1980s and remains a landmark today.
- 81 percent of the journalists interviewed voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every election between 1964 and 1976.
- In the Democratic landslide of 1964, 94 percent of the press surveyed voted for President Lyndon Johnson (D) over Senator Barry Goldwater (R).
- In 1968, 86 percent of the press surveyed voted for Democrat Senator Hubert Humphrey.
- In 1972, when 62 percent of the electorate chose President Richard Nixon, 81 percent of the media elite voted for liberal Democratic Senator George McGovern.
- In 1976, the Democratic nominee, Jimmy Carter, captured the allegiance of 81 percent of the reporters surveyed while a mere 19 percent cast their ballots for President Gerald Ford.
- Over the 16-year period, the Republican candidate always received less than 20 percent of the media elite’s vote.
- Lichter and Rothman’s survey of journalists discovered that “Fifty-four percent placed themselves to the left of center, compared to only 19 percent who chose the right side of the spectrum.”
- “Fifty-six percent said the people they worked with were mostly on the left, and only 8 percent on the right — a margin of seven-to-one.
In 1995, Kenneth Walsh, a reporter for U.S. News & World Report, polled 28 of his fellow White House correspondents from the four TV networks, the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Copley, Cox, Hearst, Knight-Ridder, plus Newsweek, Time and U.S. News & World Report, about their presidential voting patterns for his 1996 book Feeding the Beast: The White House vs. the Press. Walsh found that his colleagues strongly preferred Democrats, with the White House press corps admitting a total of 50 votes for Democratic candidates compared to just seven for Republicans.
- In 1992, nine of the White House correspondents surveyed voted for Democrat Bill Clinton, two for Republican George H. W. Bush, and one for independent Ross Perot.
- In 1988, 12 voted for Democrat Michael Dukakis, one for Bush.
- In 1984, 10 voted for Democrat Walter Mondale, zero for Ronald Reagan.
- In 1980, eight voted for Democrat Jimmy Carter, four for liberal independent John Anderson, and two voted for Ronald Reagan.
- In 1976, 11 voted for Carter, two for Republican Gerald Ford.
- Walsh wrote of the White House press corps members he surveyed: “Even though the survey was anonymous, many journalists declined to reveal their party affiliations, whom they voted for in recent presidential elections, and other data they regarded as too personal — even though they regularly pressure Presidents and other officials to make such disclosures.”
- “Those who did reply seemed to be representative of the larger group. Seven said they were Democrats, eleven were unaffiliated with either major party, and not a single respondent said he or she was a registered Republican (although some might have been but were not willing to say so).”