Children should be taught to question everything--to question everything they read, everything they hear.Even the WSJ enjoys more credulity among Democrats than it does among Republicans. As a reader of the journal, I don't find this particularly surprising. While the op/ed section is run by neocons, the hard news pages betray the same typical leftism-primarily-by-omission that the NYT and the Washington Post do. Small wonder those on the left so viscerally loath Fox News (which, having recently acquired XM radio, I've begun listening to along with other cable stations in the car, and they strike me as even more sensationalist, unrigorous, and partisan than I remember them being when I watched with regularity in the early 2000s).
I'm not overly eager to wade into the polluted waterways of media bias, but one potentially interesting way to gauge which direction it is 'objectively' perceived to tilt presents itself in the Pew report we're considering here. Respondents were asked to rate the "believability" of 13 news organizations on a 4-point scale, with 3s and 4s indicating believability and 1s and 2s a lack thereof. Correlating the percentages of independents giving each news organization a 3 or 4 with the percentages of Republicans and of Democrats who did the same yields r-values of .26 and .62, respectively.
Wow, so independents' assessments of believability are much more in line with those of Democrats than they are with those of Republicans. Remove Fox News from the comparison, however, and the correlations shift dramatically, to .63 (up from .29) between Republicans and independents and to .49 (down from .62) between Democrats and independents. The independent perception is a little closer to that of Republicans when it comes to most of the media, but is almost as jaded towards Fox News as Democrats are. I interpret this as showing that the soft middle sees a relatively gentle leftward lean across the media landscape with the glaring exception of Fox News, which is perceived as an organ of the GOP.
Parenthetically, local news stations get high marks for believability across the political spectrum and are most trusted overall among those surveyed. Geographic proximity creates familiarity and fosters trust. People don't care much for Congress but they love their own congress critters. Localism is inherently a lot more natural to and comforting for people than all the various strains of globalism are.