Most likely to say coverage is too negative
These results are based on a question included in a late December Gallup Poll Panel survey of a representative sample of Americans.
Of course, Americans who believe that media coverage of the situation in Iraq is inaccurate could either believe that the media are painting too rosy of a picture of what is going on there. Or they could believe that the news media are painting too negative a picture (as has often been argued by the Bush administration and others who support the Iraq war).
To analyze these possibilities in more detail, the survey asked those who felt that the coverage was inaccurate to indicate if this belief was based on a perception that the media make the situation in Iraq look better than it actually is, or worse than it actually is.
As can be seen, by a 61% to 36% margin, those who feel that the Iraq coverage is inaccurate say it is because the media make the situation there appear worse than it actually is.
Two-thirds of Republicans believe that the news media's coverage of Iraq is both inaccurate and makes the situation there appear worse. Only one-quarter say that news media coverage is accurate.
On the other hand, a majority of Democrats (55%) say that news media coverage of the situation there is accurate, with most of the rest saying that it is inaccurate and biased toward making the situation there appear better than it really is.
Independents' views on the issue are between the two extremes of Republicans and Democrats.