Press Bias?….How About Reader Bias?

PRESS BIAS?….HOW ABOUT READER BIAS?….Jacob Levy is complaining that the press is treating a minor matter as….a minor matter. There’s just no pleasing some people.

On a serious note, though, Jacob wants to know why the press overreports some “gaffe” stories and underreports others. My guess is that there isn’t actually much difference at all: almost all of these kinds of stories are page 37 news. It’s just that conservatives notice it more when liberal bashing stories get buried and liberals notice it more when it’s conservatives being let off easy. In other words, trying to analyze this as a function of some particular type of press bias is probably hopeless. It’s reader bias.

(What’s more, an awful lot of the page 1 criticism is reserved for the president, and there’s only one of those at a time. So for eight years the big stories were mostly anti-Clinton and now they’re mostly anti-Bush. That leaves page 37 for everything else.)

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