It seems like the constant refrain of my dad: “They’re trying to push their socialist agenda on us.” And at first I would shrug it off as the grumblings of the polarized. Then there was time when I began to ask “who are they?” and hear responses like “the left wing media” or the “leftist news”. Sounded like some conspiracy theory to me. Then I picked up the Washington Examiner and cursed aloud. My dad was right, how can I make sure he never finds out?
It might seem like stale news, or maybe the ramblings of a sore loser, but the Obama – McCain election still interests me. From a marketing perspective, Obama changed the political game. A landmark SCOTUS case recently decided to allow corporations greater flexibility in their political contributions, but at the same time the Obama campaign strategy stole power from big corporate interests and empowered individuals to donate and play a role. In fact, the campaign was so well run that even his graphic designer, Scott Thomas, has written a successful book about his work.
With individual contributions at a new premium, it is interesting to look back at exactly what types of folks gave to which camp.
It is not news that people on the ideological right tend to see a leftward slant to the media (my father) and people on the ideological left seem to see it as rightward. We also know, thanks to a wealth of psychological literature, that truly hiding an ideological slant is nearly impossible. So then, what better measure of true media slant could we find than media member’s contributions to campaigns? I’d argue that there is none better.
Last week, the Washington Examiner published an article based on data from the Center for Responsive Politics. The data tells a grim story, the worst type of story, the type of story that proves our fathers right. It might just validate the ramblings of every hardcore conservative I know: the media really does have a leftist slant.
Senior executives, on-air personalities, producers, reporters, editors, writers and other self-identifying employees of ABC, CBS and NBC contributed more than $1 million to Democratic candidates and campaign committees in 2008, according to an analysis by The Examiner of data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The Democratic total of $1,020,816 was given by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks, with an average contribution of $880.
By contrast, only 193 of the employees contributed to Republican candidates and campaign committees, for a total of $142,863. The average Republican contribution was $744.
Disclosure of the heavily Democratic contributions by influential employees of the three major broadcast networks follows on the heels of controversy last week when it was learned that media baron Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. contributed $1 million to the Republican Governors Association.