Is Fox News Biased?

(I am changing some of my “Pages” to “Posts,” so some of this info is older to my site)

I was in a conversation with a younger person when they said that Fox News was biased. I mentioned that when you remove the “opinion pages” from Fox, they are slightly biased to the right… as much as CNN (once their “opinion pages” are removed) is biased to the left.

No kidding, twice they mentioned Sean Hannity, and I pointed out these were the opinion pages… then they f-i-n-a-l-l-y started tracking with me. I then mentioned that what they said is like someone coming up to me and telling me “the New York Times opinion pages lean left.” Or, “the Wall Street journal opinion pages lean right.” …

Bias - CBS NBC MSNBC FOX Media

Fox News: Enraging Liberals for 10 Years (L.A. Times):

….What explains all this hysteria? Success, of course.

The propaganda charge is unfair, at least when it comes to the network’s presentation of news. In the 2004 presidential race, Fox pollsters consistently underestimated President Bush’s support. In its final preelection poll, Fox had Kerry winning by a couple of points, one of the only polls to show the Democrat on top. I’m not sure a right-wing fifth column would do that.

A recent comprehensive study by UCLA political scientist Tim Groseclose and University of Missouri-Columbia economics professor Jeffrey Milyo found Brit Hume’s “Special Report” — Fox’s most straightforward news show — more centrist than any of the three major networks’ evening newscasts, all of which leaned left.

The program is a model of smart news television….

Book: Liberal Media Distorts News Bias: Drudge, Fox look more conservative against mainstream’s liberal bent (US News and World Report):

…In a crushing body blow to the pushers of the so-called “Fox Effect,” which claims the conservative media is dragging the left into the center, UCLA political science professor Tim Groseclose in Left Turn claims that “all” mainstream news outlets have a liberal bias in their reporting that makes even moderate organizations appear out of the mainstream and decidedly right-wing to news consumers who are influenced by the slant. [Read Fox’s Huckabee slams MSNBC’s Matthews, Scarborough over bias.]

“Fox News is clearly more conservative than ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and National Public Radio. Some will conclude that ‘therefore, this means that Fox News has a conservative bias,'” he writes in an advance copy provided to Washington Whispers. “Instead, maybe it is centrist, and possibly even left-leaning, while all the others are far left. It’s like concluding that six-three is short just because it is short compared to professional basketball players.”

What’s more, he says, “this point illustrates a common misconception about the Drudge Report. According to my analysis, the Drudge Report is approximately the most fair, balanced, and centrist news outlet in the United States. Yet, the overwhelming majority of media commentators claim that it has a conservative bias. The problem, I believe, is that such commentators mistake relative bias for absolute bias. Yes, the Drudge Report is more conservative than the average U.S. news outlet. But it is a logical mistake to use that to infer that it is based on an absolute scale.”

And in further analysis sure to enrage critics of conservative media, Groseclose determines that Drudge, on a conservative to liberal scale of 0-100, with 50 being centrist, actually leans a bit left of center with a score of 60.4. The reason: Drudge mostly links to the sites of the mainstream media, with just a few written by Matt Drudge himself. “Since these links come from a broad mix of media outlets, and since the news in general is left-leaning, it should not be surprising that the slant quotient of the Drudge Report leans left,” he writes. [Read Poll: Fox, O’Reilly most trusted news sources.]…

 

Video Description

UCLA Professor Tim Grosclose has a new book out Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind. In his book, he outlines what conservatives have known for years, that the mainstream media has turned more and more leftist which in turn promulgates, influences, rewords, redefines, and imposes leftist doctrine.

From the book:

Using objective, social-scientific methods, the filtering prevents us from seeing the world as it actually is. Instead, we see only a distorted version of it. It is as if we see the world through a glass—a glass that magnifies the facts that liberals want us to see and shrinks the facts that conservatives want us to see….

That bias makes us more liberal, which makes us less able to detect the bias, which allows the media to get away with more bias, which makes us even more liberal.

At the 2:37 mark of the above video, there is a distinction made between news versus opinion shows on Fox. When I defend the “fair-and-balanced” aspect of Fox News it is the equal number of left/right guests on shows dealing more with raw news.

A recent addition to the information found here-in comes from two peer-reviewed studies via Wintery Knight in a post entitled: Two Peer-Reviewed Studies Shed Light On News Media Bias

Here’s a UCLA study on media bias. Excerpt:

Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS’ “Evening News,” The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.

Only Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume” and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.

The most centrist outlet proved to be the “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.” CNN’s “NewsNight With Aaron Brown” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” were a close second and third.

“Our estimates for these outlets, we feel, give particular credibility to our efforts, as three of the four moderators for the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential debates came from these three news outlets — Jim Lehrer, Charlie Gibson and Gwen Ifill,” Groseclose said. “If these newscasters weren’t centrist, staffers for one of the campaign teams would have objected and insisted on other moderators.”

The fourth most centrist outlet was “Special Report With Brit Hume” on Fox News, which often is cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet. While this news program proved to be right of center, the study found ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “Nightly News” to be left of center. All three outlets were approximately equidistant from the center, the report found….

Here’s a Harvard University study on media bias. Excerpt:

The programming studied on Fox News offered a somewhat more positive picture… of Republicans and more negative one of Democrats compared with other media outlets. Fox News stories about a Republican candidate were most likely to be neutral (47%), with the remainder more positive than negative (32% vs. 21% negative). The bulk of that positive coverage went to Giuliani (44% positive), while McCain still suffered from unflattering coverage (20% positive vs. 35% negative).

When it came to Democratic candidates, the picture was more negative. Again, neutral stories had a slight edge (39%), followed by 37% negative and 24% positive. And, in marked contrast from the rest of the media, coverage of Obama was twice as negative as positive: 32% negative vs. 16% positive and 52% neutral.

But any sense here that the news channel was uniformly positive about Republicans or negative about Democrats is not manifest in the data.”….

Much more can be found at Wintery Knight’s post on the matter. ESPECIALLY the end that includes this:

  • Let’s document how the viewers of “Hannity & Colmes” were better informed than Stewart’s “Daily Show” gigglers on basic political facts… [must read]

Here is a Pew Study that makes the same point:

Pew Study Finds MSNBC the Most Opinionated Cable News Channel By Far

A full 85% of the Comcast-owned network’s coverage can be classified as opinion or commentary rather than straight news, according to the authors of the Pew Research Center’s annual State of the News Media report.

CNN and Fox News Channel, meanwhile, fall much closer to a 50/50 distribution, with Fox News skewing somewhat more heavily toward opinion. Here are the breakdowns

Fox News CNN FAir

When professor Groseclose and other people rate and discuss the left/right bias… they are looking at the news reporting — NOT shows like Sean Hannity. And this fairness is why more Democrats trust Fox News than other cable networks.

Democrats and Independents Agree!

Most Americans perceive partiality in the news media and more believe Fox News is the most trusted for accurate reporting among the major television news organizations, according to a recent poll by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute.

Fox CNN MSNBC Democrats RepublicansThe poll surveyed 1,004 people nationwide with proportional contributions from each state via an online survey held May 6-13. Of those surveyed, 31.8 percent identified themselves as Democrats and 25.7 percent as Republicans.

When asked which television news stations they considered biased, 37.1 percent said MSNBC and 36.6 percent said CNN. Fox News was first with 47.8 percent.

However, Fox News was also considered the most honest network: 18.4 percent of respondents said it was the most trustworthy. MSNBC was the least-trusted network, clocking in at 4.4 percent, and CNN was declared trustworthy by 14.1 percent of respondents….

Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media (2014)

According to a recent poll, likely voters get their political news primarily from cable television. Among cable channels, 42 percent, a plurality, watch Fox News for its political coverage. Only 12 percent said they watched MSNBC. What’s more, most likely voters don’t like or have never heard of MSNBC’s prime time talent.

The poll, conducted by Politico and George Washington University, used a sample split evenly between political parties – even slightly favoring Democrats in some areas: 41 percent of respondents identified as Republicans, while 42 percent said they were Democrats. Forty-four percent said they usually vote for Republicans, while 46 percent answered Democrats. Forty-eight percent voted for Obama, while only 45 percent voted for McCain.

Even among this group, Fox News is by far the most popular cable outlet. CNN comes in at second, with 30 percent. A sorry MSNBC brings up the rear…

Politico and George Washington University (2010) (via NewsBusters)

(The graphic is from Pew Poll [2008])

McCainNewsBias

So, Democrats and Independents trust and watch Fox more — or at more of an even split — than they do most other networks (not all) . I only post this here to make a point that I am challenged with often about… so to reference this one post. (The above and below graphics come from some Fox having the best election coverage, HERE.)

FoxBias

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