Comments about ‘Pew study: News media inserted bias into gay marriage debate’

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Published: Monday, June 17 2013 8:40 p.m. MDT

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Vince here
San Diego, CA

I seem to recall some heavily biased polls against same-sex marriage which were nothing like mainstream media on any of the other polls.

Now, why - do I ask - would Des News publish highly incredible poll and criticize another?

Can we say bias, anyone?

Charleston, WV

What this article calls "bias" in favor of marriage equality for law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples has to do with the fact that those who oppose marriage equality have never been able to present any logical arguments.

They insist that marriage equality goes against "God's Word," even though the United States is not theocracy, and churches will continue to be free to conduct or deny ceremonies to whomever they want.

They insist they're trying to "protect" marriage for the sake of children, even though couples do not have to marry to have children, the ability or even desire to have children is not a prerequisite for getting a marriage license, and Gay individuals and couples will continue to raise countless adopted children to healthy, well-adjusted adulthood, regardless of their marital status.

And silliest of all, they raise the prospect that if EVERYONE was Gay, the human race would go extinct ... as if the marriage equality movement was an effort to make homosexuality compulsory for everyone!

If the news media are guilty of anything, it's just approaching this issue from a CONSTITUTIONAL point of view.

Salt Lake City, UT

Lost in DC-If you believe the Bible to be true you must already believe in infanticide and non-traditional marriage. Have you even read the good book? It is full of infant murder-killing children because they made fun of a bald man(Kings 2), killing all first born sons(Exodus), killing entire cities, including men women and children(Leviticus, Exodus, Judges and many more). As for traditional marriage, how many wives do you have, how many concubines, did you marry you brothers widow?
Secular values, like equality, liberty, and justice are the ones that have shaped this country and will continue to do so for the betterment of all people. Religious values have changed due to the more enlightened views of people that no longer buy into the tribal values of old. We no longer burn witches, purchase slaves, sell our daughters, or stone those that work on Sunday.
So, secular morals are on a much higher ground than are religious pretense to morality.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

There is something very telling here but it is not what conservatives think. The troubling issue here is that conservatives have a woefully inferior argument but expect equal treatment. I'm sorry but personal religious convictions are not sufficient justifications to keep two loving, committed people from exercising their Constitutionally fundamental right to marry one another. I'm sorry but when God told Noah in the OT that He'd never flood the world again is not on equal footing with the painfully overwhelming majority of climatologists. I'm sorry but personal religious convictions are not on equal footing with a woman's Constitutionally-protected right to have an abortion. I'm sorry but your unfounded belief that the US government will one day turn tyrannical is not justification to overcome gun regulation that has been deemed constitution by the SCOTUS.

The problem here isn't the media, the problem is that conservatives choose the wrong side of nearly every single issue, be they social, economical, or judicial, and then they expect us to treat those arguments as though they have merit.

Ragnar Danneskjold
Bountiful, UT

I'm curious what "lie" lost in DC thinks that the gay marriage supporters are using?

As for the article, not only is the study misrepresented, but these studies can be highly inaccurate or biased themselves. Just look at their assumption. If I write an article talking about the issue of gay marriage, it seems perfectly reasonable to give the justification for the requests of the group. But if equal time isn't given to the opposition, it is biased? It just ignores the way that news stories are structured.

The news may be biased, but even more than that, they are lazy. There are very few well thought out articles where both sides of an issue are presented in an unbiased manner. If similar research was done on any number of subjects, results would be "biased" to whatever is the subject being discussed, or the issue of the day.

Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

Perhaps there is 5 to one public support of equality in marriage. Simply reporting reality. With this topic I've noticed that any organization or group that comes out against equality in marriage is given a lot of coverage. Is that bias?

Selah, WA


The article did not end with the statement you quoted -- and most of this article quoted the original article verbatim.

It ended with "during the week of the hearings, when most of the coverage occurred, the media offered many profiles of the plaintiffs or members of the LGBT community with few voices of opposition mixed in. Finally, commentators who favored same-sex marriage, such as Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews, spent more time discussing the issue than commentators who opposed it, such as Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly." Which provides two examples of how the media increased momentum for same-sex marriage acceptance or in the words of this article, inserted its own bias. Is it really so different?

And just because a cause has a slick slogan like "equality" doesn't mean that's what they stand for or that they are right. It may just mean they are good marketers. I think "marriage destruction" would've been more appropriate (according to LGBT activists themselves) but that isn't such a good sell in the media, is it?

Nashville, TN

This article does make me laugh --

Here we have the obviously and heavily biased DN, criticizing other media outlets for supposedly exhibiting bias?? BWAhahahaha.

It would be interesting to see just how many articles the DN has published opposing gay marriage, and compare them with DN's *pro*-gay-marriage pieces. Anyone wanna take bets on where the vast majority of them would fall?

As for mainstream media -- most mainstream articles on racism would be against racism. Here's a hint for you: that isn't because the media is unfairly biased against racists. It's because racism IS WRONG.

Keep reading and rereading the quotes that Blue posted, until the message sinks in:


"Within the media debate on the subject, this report found that those arguing for same-sex marriage had a more consistent message than those arguing against."

That would be because equality is an easy and honest message to share. Opposing equality based on irrational fear is always going to be a tough sell.

The Pew article concludes with this, "The findings show how same-sex marriage supporters have had a clear message and succeeded in getting that message across all sectors of mainstream media."

Hyrum, UT

Don't blame the Deseret News for this story that doesn't enhance the pro-homosexual marriage stance. They are only reporting what the Pew study indicated. The Pew study reported that twitter and other social media have shown a difference in public opinion on this controversial subject within single digit percentage points... relatively close.

And yet national newspaper reporting have printed 5 times the number of articles in favor of homosexual marriage than opposed to it... not relatively close. Since the slant of these articles isn't even remotely correlated to the public opinion divide, then yes, there is definitely a bias by that segment of the media. And that bias is toward homosexual marriage.

It's the responsibility of newspapers to be neutral and balance their reporting with some type of correlation to public opinion. That hasn't happened in this case. As such, a bias has definitely been shown. Don't attack the messenger for pointing that out.

Selah, WA


Yeah -- just like Lincoln was inspired by "secular" views to end slavery in the US (you might want to read the 2nd Inaugural Address). Or William Wilberforce, in Britain, was moved by "secular" values to end the slave trade (you might want to read his biography). Or the REVEREND Martin Luther King, was inspired by "secular" ideas to lead the Civil Rights Movement (you may want read three of his biographies and learn about his religious training). I love it when people rewrite history to suit their viewpoint.

Salt Lake City, UT

lookup, I didn't say the original article ended with the quote I offered. I said (correctly) that it was the _conclusion_ reached by the researchers.

Yes, the article's final words are what you offered: "Finally, commentators who favored same-sex marriage, such as Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews, spent more time discussing the issue than commentators who opposed it, such as Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly."

Now then, would you expect liberal commentators to _not_ spend as much time in favor of marriage equality as conservative commentators? Is it "bias" that FOX pundits spend less time talking about a social issue on which they know they have the losing position?

More to the point, the Pew research isn't really about left vs. right commentary. The research differentiated between commentary, news stories, and social media. Again, that's _reporting_ news, not bias.

And when you say, "I think 'marriage destruction' would've been more appropriate (according to LGBT activists themselves)..." I have to ask you, are you serious?

Exactly which pro marriage equality activists are advocating "marriage destruction?" Name them.

All you're doing is proving why those opposed to marriage equality are losing.

Cougar in Texas
Houston, TX

Nice points and information. Thanks.

You simply lifted the comments from the Pew Study that favored your opinion and then editorialized with your own interpretations.

The pro-gay marriage message appeared more consistent because the news outlets adopted the message provided to them by its supporters. The article also mentions that the news outlets did NOT report the primary talking points of the opposition, even when they were agreeing with them. That is voluntary filtration and bias and is NOT reporting the facts, as you claim.

The disparate coverage (i.e. bias) is clearly outlined in the report and news outlets were more than willing to carry the message fed them by gay-marriage proponents.

And from the article: "During the week of the hearings, when most of the coverage occurred, the media offered many profiles of the plaintiffs or members of the LGBT community with few voices of opposition mixed in."

Is that not the very definition of biased coverage?

How many major newspapers in California carried editorials in favor of Prop 8? None.

The media bias has always been there as they continue their efforts to tell us how to think.

Salt Lake City, UT

I wonder how the local papers would score in this.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

It is good to see all the independant thinkers and the Deseret News who aren't buying into the political dogma that is being forced down our throats everywhere we turn.

Deep Space 9, Ut

What every liberal here is forgetting is that the press is supposed to be unbiased. There shouldn't be articles supporting or opposing gay marriage. What should be outraging everybody is that only 44% of the time were articles neutral.

No matter what the bias is of the press, shouldn't we be more upset that there is a bias at all?

Why is it that the Press has allowed themselves to be corrupted to the point where they are little more than a propaganda arm of the Progressive movement?

The funny thing about all the liberals and their complaints is the simple fact that Fox News is the least biased new source, yet they hate Fox.

Huntsville, UT

Point made. Previous comment pointing out the DN's own bias was not printed.

Salt Lake City, UT

Abraham Lincoln's 2nd inaugural address discussed the fact that both sides in the war believed that God was on their side. This is even more proof that secular values are a better determinant of morals. If you have two sides, both being made of groups of Christians, that are diametrically opposed to each other, both claiming they are in the right, how do you choose which is right? Obviously it can't be based on religion because both groups had their pious members and assertions of God's blessing. You must therefore base morality on something other than religious dogma. I purport that the Golden Rule and reason are a much better basis for morals. As for Wilberforce and Rev. King, they were men that fought for freedom and civil rights and they believed they were doing what was right and what God wanted. There were lots of others doing the same thing that were not religiously motivated. Also, there were other men at the time that believed the exact opposite and that they were doing what God wanted. Again another reason to base morals not on the supposed whims of a non-existent deity, but on reason.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Truth has a liberal/progressive bias - that is what conservatives forget. From heliocentrism to evolution to civil rights to LGBT rights - conservative, religious-based politics are wrong time and time again.

Not all arguments are created equal and therefore not all arguments ought to be afforded the same level of credence when a topic is being discussed. If Fox News considers my "right" to project my personal, moral beliefs onto others in equal weight with a fundamental right for all protected by the COTUS, that is not being unbiased, that is being demonstrably incorrect.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

sorry to see you having to resort to untruths. I rarely use God as my own argument. Not to say never, but rarely.

Of course, you could not argue with what I said, so you made something up. Typical.

Nope, sorry to disappoint you. True religious values do NOT evolve, unlike secular. The secularists believed in slavery (Rome, Africa, etc), state supremicy over the individual (USSR, China) and ruling classes who could kill others with impunity (feudal Japan, Rome). etc.

Ragnar Danneskjold
The lie? That homosexuals have less right to marry than anyone else. The same rules apply to all.

Ragnar Danneskjold
Bountiful, UT

So, you think that homosexuals have the same rights to marry as anyone else? What are the same rules that apply? You are going to have to explain this to me.

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