Monday, June 27, 2005

News Media Outraged at Pew Research Center Report

The Pew Research Center has released a study that shows Americans are more critical of the mainstream media than ever.

Public attitudes toward the press, which have been on a downward track for years, have become more negative in several key areas. Growing numbers of people question the news media's patriotism and fairness. Perceptions of political bias also have risen over the past two years.

The reports release has ignited a firestorm of controversy throughout the media, with many large media outlets calling for the resignation of the Pew Research Center. Richard Smith, Editor in chief of Newsweek declared the study "a slap in the face to the unity that America achieved after September 11, 2001". Mr Smith fired off a letter to the Pew Center asking for an immediate apology, stating "to try to exploit the media's lack of patriotism for the purposes of a study once again just shows you how desperate you [the Pew Center] have become".

Bill Keller, Executive Editor of the New York Times immediately called a news conference stating, "when I read this Pew report...I....I was sickened....sick to my stomach, nauseated, this report goes far beyond what should be acceptable to study. The Pew Research Center should resign immediately, this report is a bitch slap to everyone who reads or watches the media, it is a dagger to the heart of what America is all about".

Later, on the editorial page of the Times Mr. Keller wrote, "I don't think people should play research with peoples opinions of the media. We all have our different opinions of patriotism, but the media is sacred to all New Yorkers and to all Americans".

When contacted, the Pew Research Center said it had no intention of asking itself to resign.

This post is cross-posted at Vince Aut Morire.