It is widely perceived that the national television news industry skews left and in some cases actively supports liberal political candidates. While that is debatable on a case-by-case basis, the evidence is overwhelming that the folks who deliver the news to the nation are sympathetic to liberal causes, and that obviously favors President Obama during this election cycle.
Let’s run it down:
• “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams interned for the Carter administration early in his career. He has no registered political affiliation, and I can find no political donations he has made. However, he has denigrated conservatives on late-night TV.
• ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer once worked for Richard Nixon. She has no political affiliation and no donations on the record. She is perceived to be a social liberal but downplays any partisanship on television.
• “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley is not affiliated with any party and has given no donations. He plays it straight on TV.
• Anderson Cooper hosts a primetime program on CNN. In 2004, he was a registered Democrat. No political donations have been made in his name. He has openly criticized the Tea Party on a number of occasions and is perceived to be liberal.
• Piers Morgan is also a CNN primetime host. A British subject, he is openly liberal on the air and earlier this month wrote an opinion article for London’s Daily Mail newspaper in which he called Mitt Romney all kinds of names.
• Charlie Rose co-hosts “CBS This Morning” and was a registered Democrat early in his career. He is widely considered sympathetic to the left but has asked tough questions of liberal politicians on occasion.
• George Stephanopoulos co-hosts ABC’s “Good Morning America” and is a registered Democrat who worked as an adviser to President Clinton. Stephanopoulos downplays his political affiliation on the air.
• Matt Lauer is the co-host of the “Today” show on NBC. He is not registered with a political party, and there are no political donations in his name. Widely considered to be socially liberal, Lauer is generally courteous to all points of view on the air.
The one thing all of the above news people have in common is that none of them is conservative. Also, I would be stunned if any of them votes for Mitt Romney.
So, how will that affect press coverage with the election around the corner? Well, the actual on-air reporting will likely be straight, but expect stories unfavorable to the president, such as Libya, to be downplayed. In addition, any gaffe the governor might make will definitely be highlighted.
As Walter Cronkite, a devoted liberal, once said: “And that’s the way it is.”
But it shouldn’t be that way. There should be more balance among TV news anchors. That will never happen in this country, but such is life.
Contact O’Reilly, host of “The O’Reilly Factor,” at www.billoreilly.com.