Sunday, August 02, 2009
By Samuel P. Jacobs
The Daily Beast
For all the noise about liberal bias in newsrooms, you’d think the country’s big three papers had contracted George Soros, Ralph Nader, and Gloria Steinem as their exclusive opinionators.
But a Daily Beast review of the archives of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post tells a much different story: Conservative think tanks are pummeling their liberal peers in the race for the most prominent placement on op-ed pages. During the past year, 77 percent of pieces authored by think-tank affiliates came from conservative outfits, 18 percent came from centrist groups, and a tiny 5 percent came from the left wing.
With The Wall Street Journal carrying a heavier load of think-tank contributions than the Times and Post combined, conservative wonks are given a significant leg-up, according Alex Jones, former Times media reporter and current head of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.
“There are more conservative think tanks, first of all,” Jones said, “and they are very aggressive and very effective. The Wall Street Journal op-ed page has been extremely accommodating. That’s the character and nature of the page.”
Which think tank takes up the most opinion-page real estate?...(Remainder.)