Most journalists will swear that, despite the fact they vote Democratic, they treat both sides fairly. Indeed, it is a rare event to read a news article that directly attacks the Republican party or one that praises the Democratic party.Read Cost's entire article for his excellent descriptions of the way the mainstream media can lend aid to its ideological favorites through story selection.
But that does not mean media bias does not exist. It does – its exercise is just subtler than this. And the last two weeks have been a great example of how it operates.
And now let's have a look at the ten most recent stories at PolitiFact:
Main headline today at PolitiFact's main page: "Checking the facts about Romney and Bain Capital."
(Barack Obama) Says Mitt Romney’s carried interest income was a tax "trick."
(Mary Matalin) Says Debbie Wasserman Schultz "has these offshore accounts" like Mitt Romney.
(Mitt Romney) "When I was governor, not only did test scores improve – we also narrowed the ach
(Barack Obama) Mitt Romney "says the Arizona immigration law should be a model for the nation."
(Barack Obama) Says Mitt Romney had millions in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven.
(chain email) The media won’t publish a real photo of Trayvon Martin with tattoos on his face.
(Barack Obama) Says Mitt Romney "had millions in a Swiss bank account."
(Steve Doocy) "If you make more than $250,000 a year … you only really take home about $125,000."
(Marco Rubio) The health care law "adds around $800 billion of taxes on the American people. It does not discriminate between rich and poor."
("Obameter" promise item indicating compromise)
The Obama campaign probably can't complain about having the featured article plus four of the ten featured fact checks surrounding its intended campaign narrative. See if you can locate the Romney campaign's narrative anywhere on the above list.
Is this typical?
Hopefully this example serves to show PolitiFact at its best in favoring the Obama campaign narrative. But the chances are that Democrats have the advantage most of the time.
It's the nature of the beast.