Rasmussen: By 10-to-1 Public Says Reporters 'Trying to Hurt Palin'

“Over half of U.S. voters (51%) think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage, and 24% say those stories make them more likely to vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in November,” Rasmussen Reports announced Thursday in posting survey results which determined “just five percent (5%) think reporters are trying to help her with their coverage, while 35 percent believe reporters are providing unbiased coverage.” In Thursday's “Grapevine” segment, FNC's Brit Hume highlighted the findings from the poll of 1,000 “likely voters.”

By wide margins, more Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters see the media as trying to hurt rather than trying to help Palin. For Republicans it's 80 to 6 percent, for Democrats 28 to 4 percent (with 57 percent believing reporting is unbiased) and for unaffiliated voters it's 49 to 5 percent.

The public also recognizes the media's pro-Obama tilt. In late July, as documented in a NewsBusters post, Rasmussen discovered:
More than three times as many Americans see a media tilt in favor of Democrat Barack Obama than toward Republican John McCain. A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey released Monday [July 21], of 1,000 likely voters, "found that 49 percent of voters believe most reporters will try to help Obama with their coverage, up from 44 percent a month ago," compared to a piddling 14 percent who "believe most reporters will try to help John McCain win" while "just one voter in four (24%) believes that most reporters will try to offer unbiased coverage."
An excerpt from the summary, for the new poll, posted on Thursday, September 4 on the Rasmussen Reports site:
In the new survey, although 85% say they are following news stories about Palin at least somewhat closely, just five percent (5%) think reporters are trying to help her with their coverage, while 35% believe reporters are providing unbiased coverage.

Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans say reporters are trying to hurt the GOP vice presidential nominee, and 28% of Democrats agree. Only six percent (6%) of Republicans – and even fewer Democrats (4%)– think the reporting is intended to help her. Most Democrats (57%) think the reporters are being unbiased, but just nine percent (9%) of Republicans concur.

Among unaffiliated voters, 49% say reporters are trying to hurt Palin, while 32% say their coverage is unbiased. Only five percent (5%) say reporters are trying to help her.

Voters are more ambivalent about whether the media coverage of Palin and her family reflects a double standard that treats women worse than men. Forty-six percent (46%) say it does, but 35% disagree. Most Republicans and unaffiliated voters say the stories show the media’s double standard against women, but a majority of Democrats disagree.
The "How the Public Views the Media" section of the MRC's "Media Bias Basics" lists many more surveys of how the public perceive journalists and the news media.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center