There was more evidence in a Morgan poll earlier this week that ABC bias is perhaps the most lost of the lost conservative causes. In Morgan’s survey of media bias, just 2.5% of respondents could specify the ABC or one of its presenters as being biased to the left.
Overall, the survey suggests that perceptions of media bias are more the result of respondent bias than of specific grievances. While 24% of respondents thought that newspaper journalists were too left-leaning, only 3.5% could name a specific journalist or newspaper as being too left-wing. Similarly, of the 19% of respondents who thought that newspaper journalists were too right-leaning, only 3.5% could name a specific journalist or newspaper. Further, most of the journalists nominated as ‘biased’ to the left or right are columnists, and to say that a columnist is biased isn’t necessarily a criticism.
There is a similar phenomenon at work in attitudes towards politicians, in which politicians in general receive lower ratings for trust than the most well-known politicians (including the Prime Minister, even after years of people accusing him of being ‘tricky’ or a liar). Stereotypes are poor predictors of attitudes to specific members of the class of person being stereotyped.