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Media Is Biased On Marriage Equality—In Our Favor

In one of those findings that makes right-wing heads explode, the Pew Research Center has found that the mainstream media are much more likely to report favorably on marriage equality than they are to report on it in a negative light. The study of news media found that stories were supportive of marriage equality 47% of the time, compared with just 9% of the time when they were against it. (Stories were neutral or mixed 44% of the time.)

Of course, the results aren’t evenly distributed. MSNBC was much more likely to be favorable (64% of stories) compared to Fox News (29% of stories). The Wall Street Journal, another Murdoch-owned outlet, was neutral or mixed in its coverage a full 70% of the time. Most of the 1,080 stories the survey looked at were reported around the time of the Supreme Court hearings on marriage equality last March.

Conservatives look at the results as confirmation of the liberal bias of the media. Of course, the bigger issue is that the media is just reflecting public opinion, which has turned dramatically in favor of marriage equality.

The study also looked at Twitter, that stew of vox populi, strong opinion and totally crazy rants. Surprisingly, tweets were less likely to be favorable than news stories. Of the 2.4 million tweets the study reviewed, only 31% were supportive, while 28% were negative. Most of the negative tweets came in the two weeks following the Supreme Court hearing. The message there: brace yourself for a 140-character backlash if the Supreme Court rules in any way that favors marriage equality.

By:           John Gallagher
On:           Jun 18, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 6 Comments
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      It’s premature to call this a settled issue, but it’s clearly heading that way, and the more nearly settled any issue is, the less supportive news is going to be of the losing side. It’s the (beginning of the) other end of the scale from when coverage of gay anything was uniformly negative.

      How often does news coverage support segregation nowadays?

      Jun 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charli Girl
      Charli Girl

      Oh geez you should hear the morons here in Redstate Texas…ugh but if you get them cornered one on one they are always pleasant,get them in a pack like dogs,well you can imagine!
      (Except Austin of course)

      Jun 18, 2013 at 7:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vklortho
      vklortho

      Hopefully that media support for marriage equality can translate into actual marriage equality.

      Jun 18, 2013 at 9:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • manjoguy
      manjoguy

      Frankly, I prefer an unbiased media. Is the article saying it’s okay for media bias as long as it suits a particular interest?

      Jun 19, 2013 at 7:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • moon lake
      moon lake

      @ manjoguy : human rights are not matters of opinions. That is why few people are outrageous over how media are in favor of no racial segregation or of interracial marriage or sympathy for holocaust victims.

      In 10 or 20 years, gay marriage will be the same thing. It will be an ethical matter that is universally recognized and accepted. It is a sign of a progressive society.

      Jun 19, 2013 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      And here I thought the newsmedia in America was always fair and balanced. I’m shocked that the media would spin certain issues in an attempt to mold public opinion! Shocked!

      Jun 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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