Fair and Balanced: Professor Shows Fox, Drudge Centrist, Not Rightwing At All!
Is Fox News an unbiased, centrist media outlet? How about The Drudge Report? Is it also centrist in it’s political slant? In a new book assessing media leanings, UCLA political science Professor Tim Groseclose argues that both Fox and Drudge are centrist, and perhaps even slightly left-leaning in their approach to actual news reporting.
Professor Groseclose’ book, Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, was reviewed by US News and World Report’s Paul Bedard, in his recent Washington Whispers column.
The liberal bias of the mainstream media tilts so far left that any outlets not in that political lane, like the Drudge Report and Fox News Channel, look far more conservative than they really are…
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. 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.”
Some of us here at SAB have been saying exactly this for a long, long time.
And The Drudge Report…?
“…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…
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.”
And the practical effect of all this leftwing bias?
Media bias aids Democratic candidates by about 8 to 10 percentage points in a typical election. I find, for instance, that if media bias didn’t exist, John McCain would have defeated Barack Obama 56 percent to 42 percent, instead of losing 53-46.”
Hmmm… Would we be struggling with 9% (official) unemployment and $1.5 trillion deficits as far as the eye can see if McCain had been elected instead of Barack Obama? Would GM and Chrysler have been “rescued” with bond-holders’ legal collateral stolen to pay off UAW supporters? Would McCain be offering US guarantees in the tens and hundreds of billions of dollars top Greece, and Egypt, and Portugal? Would we be engaged in yet another war in Libya?
Using Professor Groseclose formula for evaluating media bias here’s a sample:
The numbers are based on a conservative-to-liberal 0-100 rating, with 50 being centrist:
• New York Times-73.7.
• CBS Evening News-73.7.
• NPR Morning Edition-66.3.
• U.S. News & World Report-65.8.
• Drudge Report-60.4.
• ABC Good Morning America-56.1.
• Washington Times-35.4.
Read the whole thing. Hell… buy the book!