Recently during a lively discussion in the comments section of an article on the Huffington Post, one commentator said (paraphrasing) that NPR is perceived to have a liberal bias because "they're reality based" and reality has a liberal bias. I had one of those moments when something is explained so succinctly that if someone had been looking at me at that moment I think a light would have appeared to have gone on over my head.
True fair-and-balanced (to coin a phrase) journalism presents facts concerning news stories and all opposing angles when the story in question might have more than one side. I believe most legitimate news organizations strive for this, and after being a daily listener of NPR for over 20 years I know for a fact that NPR consistently accomplishes it (to the degree that sometimes I'm annoyed at frequently having to hear the opposite of my own, liberal opinion).
The reason almost all news outlets other than the most right-wing (you know who you are) can readily be accused of having a liberal bias regardless of how diligently they try to stay in the middle of the road is this simple explanation. Reality has a liberal bias.
So who would be against reality? How does it even make sense that the right-wing/conservative agenda would be against reality? Why would the "most watched" cable news network want to create a different reality?
A few examples (there are dozens more):
Climate change. Long accepted by most people on the left and in the middle and many, many on the right as part of our current reality. The evidence is overwhelming. But someone somewhere doesn't like that reality and it's beyond "inconvenient" as Al put it. It's expensive. For who? Maybe oil companies and investors in big oil. Politicians who were put in office by those same companies and investors. Coal companies. The nuclear power industry. Any company that has significant revenues generated by what we now consider the sources of global warming. Just like when doctors and researchers told us that cigarettes cause cancer, the only voice refuting that claim was the tobacco industry. So "going green" becomes "job killing" and lobbyists for those companies that must conform to expensive environmental regulations call for "reigning in" the EPA. (The EPA definitely has a liberal bias.)
Health care reform. Considered such a liberal issue now that anyone who supports it is a socialist according to Michele Bachmann and her kind. The reality is that the most important aspects of the bill will benefit most people at an individual and personal level. But on the right this reality is considered very dangerous, so a new reality must be constructed and sold. That reality gives us Big Brother and [gasp!] Canadian socialized medicine. Who would want to create that reality? Just about every company involved in the health care industry in this country including doctors. Health care reform hits the bottom line for all of them. Hard.
Taxing the wealthy. Do I even need to elaborate?
The reality is that we don't want to kill our planet, no one wants to see anyone else suffer if it can be avoided, and those who benefit most should give back at least to the same degree that their less-fortunate counterparts do. But as much as the far-right fronts for corporate and wealthy interests would like to create a different one, there is such a thing as reality and it always has and likely always will have a liberal bias.