Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Media Hit by Public Backlash; Bias Noted in Clinton Coverage

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Media Hit by Public Backlash; Bias Noted in Clinton Coverage

Article excerpt

Once again, the public shows a lot more common sense than the

news media.

In the face of continued allegations that the president had

affairs in the White House and lied about them, the public

supports coverage of the issue, but criticizes the tabloid

nature of the reporting.

As a result, the president has achieved high levels of public

support. Why?

The Pew Research Center, an independent journalism study group,

conducted scientific polls to find out.

"Sympathy for a president beleaguered by a press perceived as

biased and inaccurate is an important element in Clinton's

support," the center concluded.

"While the public is divided over how good a job the media are

doing covering the allegations against Clinton overall, they are

unified in their criticism of the press for failing to check the

facts in this story and for being biased against the president."

In fact, 69 percent of those polled think that most reporters

presume President Clinton is guilty of perjury, while only 9

percent of the public think this is true.

The scientific survey of 844 respondents was conducted from

Jan. 30 to Feb. 2. There is a margin of error of 4 percent. For

more information, see the Pew Center's Web site


Meanwhile, similar results were reported in a scientific survey

released Feb. 6 by the Media Studies Center of The Freedom


The two adjectives Americans use to describe coverage of the

Monica Lewinsky story and her alleged affair with Clinton are

"excessive" (chosen by 80 percent of those surveyed) and

"embarrassing" (71 percent).

Of the 1,003 American adults surveyed, 64 percent questioned

whether reporters were being careful enough in checking the


The telephone survey was conducted Jan. 30 through Feb. 4 and

claimed a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

For more information, see the Freedom Forum's Web site

(www. …

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