New Study Reveals Whether Americans Think Media's Political Coverage Is Biased

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Politics As Usual?

A new Harvard University study says nearly two-thirds of Americans do not trust campaign coverage by the news media — and more than 60 percent believe it is politically biased.

The interviews with 1,200adults were done in September.

Forty percent of those surveyed think election coverage carries a liberal bias. Twenty-one percent think it is too conservative — and 30 percent think it is balanced.

Eighty-eight percent think campaign coverage focuses on trivial issues. Sixty-one percent believe the media do not provide enough coverage of policy plans. And 43 percent say there is not enough coverage of candidates' personal values and ethics.

Photo Shopped

An exhibit at the New York Public Library features President Bush and other administration officials in doctored "mug shots" — and it has a lot of people upset.

The New York Daily News reports the pictures are drawing fire from the New York Republican Party and members of the public.

State GOP communications director Matthew Walter says it is "inappropriate political attack art" — and should not be in a taxpayer-funded building.

One member of the public tells the paper he was stunned to see the exhibit in a library, which is supposed to be neutral ground.

The library's print collection curator says the exhibit is in keeping with its historical tradition and is a relevant example of political commentary.

Celebrity Endorsements

Speaking of political commentary — game show host Pat Sajak says he and other famous folks have no business telling people who to vote for.

Sajak writes — "If any group of citizens is uniquely unqualified to tell someone else how to vote, it's those of us who live in the sheltered, privileged arena of celebrity-hood ... The idea of choosing the Leader of the Free World based on the advice of someone who lives in the cloistered world of stardom seems a bit loony to me."

Sajak adds — "the idea that a gold record, a top-ten TV show or an Oscar translates into some sort of political wisdom doesn't make much sense to me. Trust me, one's view of the world isn't any clearer from the back seat of a limo."

Cellphone Rage

And a judge in Niagara Falls, New York has lost his job — after taking 46 people into custody when a cell phone rang while court was in session. Judge Robert Restaino was presiding over a family court hearing in March of 2005 when the phone went off. He demanded to know whose it was — no one volunteered — so he ordered the doors locked and everyone detained.

Most people got out on bond but 14 actually wound up in jail. The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct was not amused. It called Restaino's decision "an egregious and unprecedented abuse of judicial power ... that caused irreparable damage to public confidence in the fair and proper administration of justice in his court."

The judge has 30 days to appeal the decision.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.