Media Bias: Brad and Britt Have It Wrong

This morning on the Brad and Britt show the conversation was concerning the continued attack on Fox News from the White House.  I only was able to catch a small part of the show, but the general gist was that, in fact, Fox News as an organization is slanted to the Right.  I got this impression from the conversation between Brad and Britt regarding the Fox Radio reporters that the show dealt with for the first 3 years of the station’s existence.

Britt commented:

During this time he and Brad often spoke to those reporters and during those conversations, where it was just one on one, the reporters would often come across as genuine and fair, as if they were liberated from the corporate expectations of Fox.

I waited for the comparison to ABC Radio and its reporters.  I would expect that if Fox had certain expectations than ABC must also.  And if the Fox reporters felt liberated in one on one conversations with peers, it would hold that ABC reporters would feel the same way.  I was rewarded with no such point.  So I was left with the feeling that:

  1. Yes.  Fox News does expect a Conservative slant.
  2. Yes.  That expectation is wrong.

So I started to wonder.  Many folks say that America is a “Center Right” nation.  So maybe Fox is just right on the money when they report as a “Center Right” network.  Which in turn got me to thinking, how far “right” is Fox?

So I checked.  And this is what I found:  A report titled:  A Report on Media Bias

It turns out that two researchers conducted a study.  And a rather clever study at that.  The researchers

count the times that a media outlet cites various think tanks and other policy groups.  We compare this with the times that members of Congress cite the same think tanks in their speeches on the floor of the House and Senate.  By comparing the citation patterns we can construct an ADA score for each media outlet.

Then, by ranking these ADA scores, the report was able to rank not only how liberal or conservative a news outlet is, but also how far from “Center” it is.

The results?  Surprising only in the fact that SO many sources are liberal, by how far and even how traditional conservative sources are really liberal:

Media source and ADA Score

Media source and ADA Score

Sources are listed in the order of the distance they are from center.  The lower the number, the more conservative; the higher the more liberal.  Average is 50.06.   So, where does Fox news sit?  5th.  They are the fifth closest to center with a 39.7 ranking.  Every other source from 6th through 20 is further from center than Fox and all of them save 1 has a liberal bias.

The report is informative in 2 other aspects:

  1. Aaron Brown doesn’t host on CNN any longer.  That honor goes to the decidedly more liberal Anderson Cooper.
  2. MSNBC isn’t even on the list.  Yowza.

So I ask you gentle reader; who is really in the tank for who?

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