Skip to comments.Researchers surprised by liberal bias of media ["Astounded by the degree" of left-leaning]
Posted on 07/03/2004 9:05:25 AM PDT by John Jorsett
People trying to persuade others to adopt their views are very likely to cite think-tank experts who agree with them. And the liberal lobbying group Americans for Democratic Action (their description of themselves) regularly grades politicians from 0 to 100 based on their votes on selected issues, with the most liberal members of Congress earning 100.
Two researchers have combined these two disparate ideas to come up with a measure of media bias that doesn't depend on journalists' own perceptions of where they fit on the political spectrum, or on subjective judgments about the philosophical orientation of think tanks. Tim Groseclose, of UCLA and Stanford, and Jeff Milyo of the University of Chicago used data comparing which think tanks various politicians liked to quote and which think tanks various media outlets liked to quote in their news stories to estimate two ADA scores for each media outlet in the study, one based on the number of times a think tank was cited, and the other on the length of the citation.
The media outlets were The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the three network news shows, Fox News' Special Report and The Drudge Report (the paper is online at www.yale.edu/isps/seminars/american_pol/groseclose.pdf).
"Our results show a very significant liberal bias," they write. "One of our measures found that The Drudge Report is the most centrist of all media outlets in our sample. Our other measure found that Fox News' Special Report is the most centrist." And all three papers, plus NBC and CBS, "were closer to the average Democrat in Congress than to the median member of the House of Representatives." Fair and balanced, anyone? To use a simplified example, they say, suppose there were only two think tanks, and The New York Times cited the liberal one twice as often as the conservative one. Then the newspaper's ADA score would be the same as that of a member of Congress who did the same.
The estimated ADA score for Fox, based on citations, was 35.6. That puts it in the company of Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and a few points below the House median, 39.0. The two highest were The New York Times, at 67.6, and CBS Evening News, at 70.0. The average Republican in Congress has an ADA score of 11.2, and the average Democrat 74.1.
The authors say they expected to find that the mainstream media leaned to the left, but they were "astounded by the degree." So when people say, for example, that The New York Times may be tilted left, but people can compensate for that by watching Fox News, they don't take into account that the Times is much further from the center than Fox. "To gain a balanced perspective, one would need to spend twice as much time watching Special Report as he or she spends reading The New York Times."
Turning the research around also allows the authors to answer the question of which think tanks are liberal or conservative - in most cases everyone knows, but there are some questions. Rand, for instance, comes out pretty much in the middle until they look at it more closely and discover there are, in effect, two Rands; one that does social and political stuff, which is mostly quoted by liberal politicians, and another that does military stuff and is seldom quoted by anybody.
Another anomaly is the American Civil Liberties Union, which turned out much more conservative than anybody really thinks it is; but that proved to be primarily because of its opposition to the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance bill, frequently cited by conservatives.
The predominance of liberals (however identified) in major media is well-documented, but there remains a great deal of controversy over how much that fact influences news reporting (this analysis looks only at news reports, not editorials, reviews or letters to the editor). Most journalists I know say they work hard to keep their personal views out of their news reporting (again, excepting people like me who are supposed to be expressing opinions). And most of them, I'm sure, sincerely believe they succeed. This is evidence that what they succeed best at is sounding like Democrats.
Does anybody know if it's possible to invest in Foxnews or NYpost?
I think conservative media is going to grow substantially for the long-term
Next report, researchers surprised by wetness of water.
They will never admit their bias. If they were bears, they would never admit that they crap in the woods. Both are obvious to anyone with a brain.
NewsCorp owns both. They are NWS on the NYSE.
Common sense BUMP...
I'm suprised they are suprised; they must have recently awakened from a forty year coma.
Both are owned by News Corporation (NWS on the NYSE), closed at $35.61 yesterday. Here's a two-year chart:
LOL....Last line of this piece is the best!!!
Pray for W and Our Shining City
please email this around to the media....
You're not afraid to talk about water and the wetness thereof-I suppose we can rule out the possibility of you being Teddy (the swimmer) Kennedy then, can't we.
Betaille, Question, 'Does anybody know if it's possible to invest in Foxnews or NYpost? I think conservative media is going to grow substantially for the long-term.'
Excuse_Me Answer, 'NewsCorp owns both. They are NWS on the NYSE.'
They probably think that if they manage not to sound like some foaming-at-the-mouth DUer, they are maintaining their journalistic integrity - because that's the sort of thinking that is really going on in their minds.
And so we do. No study necessary, thank you.
We on the right have been TELLING THEM for years!!!!
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