Conservatives often argue that the mainstream media is unabashedly liberal, and a look at campaign contributions given by employees of mainstream media companies shows this seems to be the case on an individual level.
Using data from the Center for Responsive Politics, Capitol City Project has found that these donations, indeed, go heavily to Democratic politicians. For example, CNN’s ratio of individual political contributions from employees to politicians shows that of the total contributions, $29,460 is given to Democrats as opposed to $12,500 to Republicans from 1998 to 2014. That is a ratio of 70 percent to Democrats and 30 percent to Republicans.
CNBC individual contributions show the exact same 70/30 Democrat to Republican ratio when broken down.
From employees who work at CNBC and have given politically, $23,652 of that goes to Democrats with $7,200 going to Republicans. As for the website CNBC.com, employees donated a total of $2,250 — all of which went to Democrats.
CNN and CNBC are far from the only media companies to do this. In fact, their ratio of political giving to parties tends to be better than most of the other outlets.
NBC has one of the largest discrepancies of political donations between the parties. Contributions to Democrats total $85,853. On the other hand, Republicans received $4,050. That is 93 percent to Democrats. If you add in NBC Sports, individuals gave $2,500 to Democrats and none to Republicans.
Since 2006, CBS Television and affiliates of the company have given $41,593 in contributions with a vast majority to liberals. In 2006, $2,300 was given all to Democrats. In 2008, $15,100 was donated to Democrats and $1,700 to Republicans. As for 2010, $2500 was donated solely to Democrats. During the presidential election year of 2012, $16, 800 was given to Democrats. So far for the 2014 election cycle, $2,300 was handed over to them as well. The biggest recipients of the 2014 election cycle donations include Sen. Kay Hagan (D- NC) for $1,000, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Cali) for $750, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D- Cali.) at $250. President Obama received $6,975 during the 2012 election from these individuals.
As for employees from ABC News, their generosity includes $19,670 to Democrats as opposed to $1,500 to Republicans — that’s 93 percent of all donations going to the left.
The Media Research Center’s Tim Graham said these contributions are not surprising and nothing new.
“This pattern’s been going on for decades. We noticed the tilt in a study we did when Bill Clinton was running for president. It seriously undermines an already lame argument against a liberal media, that media companies need to make profits, therefore everyone working there worships the free market like an Ayn Rand junkie,” Graham told Capitol City Project. “Instead, media companies are loaded with Northeastern elites who now each other from Harvard and think like their professors.”
“The only “balance” we’ve found is when media company lobbyists give to influential Republicans on the business and telecom committees where they need to grease palms,” he finished.
Full Disclosure: Joe Schoffstall is a former employee of the Media Research Center.
His work has been featured on numerous outlets including the Drudge Report, Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, Yahoo News, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and The Huffington Post-- among many others.
You can contact Joe by emailing Joe@CapitolCityProject.com.
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