One day after FOX News Channel host John Gibson falsely claimed that "80-some percent of reporters are self-described liberals," radio host Rush Limbaugh repeated the same falsehood on the July 13 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show, specifically citing the poll that proves him wrong: "[M]ost of them [journalists] are liberals. Eighty percent of them will admit it in the latest press poll -- it was a -- that was a -- a Pew poll."
According to a report by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press released on May 23, Limbaugh, like Gibson, was off by 46 percent for national journalists, and 57 percent for local journalists. The Pew report found that 34 percent of national journalists identified themselves as liberal; 54 percent identified themselves as moderate; and 7 percent identified themselves as conservative. Twenty-three percent of local journalists identified themselves as liberal; 61 percent identified themselves as moderate; and 12 percent identified themselves as conservative.
Even if Limbaugh had correctly stated the Pew report's numbers and said that 34 -- not 80 -- percent of national reporters "will admit" to being liberals, he would still have been disregarding commentary that accompanied the Pew report, which, as Media Matters for America has previously noted, specifically warned against drawing such conclusions.