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Survey: 95 percent of congressional staffers believe media is biased

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Ninety-five percent of those who work in Congress say the news media is biased, according to a survey released Thursday.

The survey by the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management reports that only five percent of congressional staff members do not believe political bias in the media “influences or shapes decision-making in Congress.”

More Republicans surveyed – 75 percent — believe there is “a lot” of bias in the media, compared to 53 percent of Democrats.

“There are both startling and expected results in this data,” said George Washington University professor David Rehr, the study’s lead researcher.

The joint effort between George Washington University and The Original U.S. Congress Handbook led to surveying nearly 3,000 congressional staff and Washington lobbyists. The survey was conducted in March.

Congressional staffers were also surveyed about what they thought were the important determining factors that decide who would or would not have access to members of Congress.

Forty-five percent of staffers said providing “credible, reliable information” was the most important way for a lobbyist to get access.

Only two percent of staffers said donations from a political action committee was the most important factor.

“It appears that both money and a powerful lobbying ‘brand’ name matter less to members of Congress and their staff than providing reliable, consistent information,” Rehr said.

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