Left-leaning cable news network MSNBC is the most biased of all media outlets, even beating its right-of-center rival FOX News, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by Pew Research Center from August 27 to October 21, showed MSNBC aired 259 news segments about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Of those segments, only 3-percent were positive, and 71-percent negative.
Likewise, MSNBC aired coverage of President Obama that was 39-percent positive and 15-percent negative, the study shows.
The biggest offenders of biased reporting on MSNBC were Martin Bashir, Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton and Lawrence O’Donnell, reports the New York Times. Bashir used his show to portray the Republican contender as having mental issues, while O’Donnell was forced to apologize last April for slandering Romney’s Mormon faith as a scheme made up by a man who “got caught having sex with the maid and explained to his wife that God told him to do it.”
The station routinely uses Obama campaign press releases as actual copy in their reporting, the Times notes, even repeating lines Obama campaign spokespeople have used elsewhere in the media.
FOX Newswas also biased in its coverage, only to the right and not as severe. Segments about President Obama were 6-percent positive and 46-percent negative, while segments about Romney were 12-percent negative and 28-percent positive.
The third-most popular cable news outlet, CNN, was biased toward President Obama, only not as severe as MSNBC. The station, which markets itself as more objective than the left-leaning MSNBC and right-centered FOX, ran segments on the president that were 21-percent negative and 18-percent positive, and segments on Romney that were 36-percent negative and 11-percent positive.
A similar study conducted by Pew during the 2008 U.S. presidential election showed media bias in both MSNBC and FOX towards their respective sides of the political aisle. The 2012 study showed not only that divide steepening, but becoming more severe in the reporting done by MSNBC.