A Summary of Research on Media Bias

Jules Witcover had written a piece on the 1972 presidential campaign that his editors spiked.   

“The editors in Los Angeles killed the story. They told journalist Witcover that it didn’t ‘come off’ and that it was an ‘opinion’ story,” said Timothy Crouse, writing in The Boys on the Bus. “The solution was simple, they told him. All he had to do was get other people to make the same points and draw the same conclusions and then write the article in their words.” [1]

If this kind of substitution is a standard practice, then an objective measure of media bias lies within it.

“While many people might be outraged at the tactic – i.e., when journalists engage in it, they are basically deceiving their audience, disguising their own opinions as ones from experts – (Professor) Milyo and I are grateful that they do it,” wrote Professor Tim Groseclose, author of Left Turn, a summary of eight years of research into media bias. “The tactic was what provided us data to objectively measure the media’s bias.” [2]

The hypothesis of this method to measure media bias, aiming to get a true objective measure of ideology on the liberal-conservative spectrum, analyses news stories which use think-tank citations. The think-tank citations are assumed to be stand-ins for the opinion the writer wishes to express. The news stories are matched against congressional speeches by politicians who cite their own think tanks when making the arguments they wish to make. The think tanks the newspapers and news shows use are lined up with like-minded politicians. The votes of the politicians on key issues create an ideology score for the media outlet.

It’s a hard objective measure of the viewpoint of the publication called the Slant Quotient (SQ).     

***

Every year Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) rates politicians based on 20 votes. A perfect liberal votes “yes” on the 20 issues, winning five points for each liberal vote, and scoring in total 100 points. A perfect conservative votes “no” on all 20 issues, earning zero points, and a perfect “zero” conservative score.  

“Each member receives 5 points if he/she voted with ADA, and does not receive 5 points if he/she voted against us or was absent,” according to the webpage for Americans for Democratic Action.

Professor Groseclose, a conservative, and the inventor of the Slant Quotient, has Americans for Democratic Action “decide for me” what is “liberal” and “conservative. “ He describes an outlet as “liberal” or “conservative” based upon the judgement of “the nation’s most experienced organization committed to liberal politics, liberal policies, and a liberal future.” [3]

Professor Groseclose uses the twenty roll call votes chosen by the ADA to construct an ideology score for each politician. He calls it a “Political Quotient” or PQ, and, for our purposes, it is identical to the Slant Quotient, except that the PQ applies to politicians and the SQ applies to media outlets. [4]

Newt Gingrich scores an 11.4 PQ. Susan Collins is 44.2. Joe Biden is 80.5. Nancy Pelosi scores 100.7.  

The critical point is that the liberal lobbying group, the ADA, and not the conservative political scientist, Professor Groseclose, decides what issues are important, decides what is liberal and conservative, and decides how a good liberal should think and vote.  

“Since the main conclusions of the book are ones that conservatives often assert, it is important to show that the conclusions hold even when I use a measuring device based on issues chosen by liberals.” [5] (If you are interested in knowing your own Political Quotient, check out the survey run by Professor Groseclose at www.timgroseclose.com/calculate-your-pq,)

Professor Groseclose says the “debate (over media bias) can be settled with data and statistical analysis.” [6] With the think-tank-politician cross check, he has estimated an average Slant Quotient for 20 major media outlets at 62.6. He estimates the average voter is a 50.   

NPR’s Morning Edition comes in at 66.3. The Washington Post at 66.6. The Los Angeles Times at 70. The New York Times scored in at 73.7.

The New York Times most closely resembles the think-tank citation pattern of Senator Joe Liebermann.

“The New York Times’s citation patterns to left-wing, centrist, and right-wing think tanks were very similar to the patterns that Joe Liebermann adopted when he made speeches on the Senate floor.” [7]

***

One shocker in the 20 outlets tested: The Wall Street Journal registered the most liberal outlook, scoring 85.1, almost 30 points higher than near-center Newshour with Jim Lehrer at 55.8. The Journal rating does not include their opinion pages, probably the most influential forum for conservative opinion. The Journal newsroom and editorial office are separate and referred to as North and South Korea. Border crossings are infrequent.

Eighteen of the 20 outlets in the think-tank study registered liberal. The Washington Times (35.4) and Fox News Special Report with Brit Hume (39.7) are the only conservative entries. Five of eight print publications scored in the 60s. And seven of eight print outlets fell in the band between 63 and 73. The Journal is the wild rider at 85.1 — and more than 10 points more liberal than its most liberal print competitor, the New York Times (73.7). The Journal news pages are almost a perfect match in thinking with Hillary Clinton (87.6).

***

In this short critique of studies of media bias, in addition to think-tank citations, we will review a meta-analysis of loaded phrases; the language used by reporters to describe partial-birth abortion legislation; the choice of critical facts in stories on the Bush Tax cuts; the effect of a Washington Post subscription; the influence of Fox News when newly introduced to a viewing area; and the connotation of economic headlines across different administrations following the government issuance of a recording data point.

The conclusions of Professor Groseclose, in his analysis of all of these studies and his own work, which we will be reviewing later in this essay, are backed by “(1) eight years of research; (2) some state-of-the-art statistical and social-scientific methods; and (3) recent, little noticed, yet brilliant, research by some rising-star professors of economics and political science.” [8]

One big conclusion is that media bias leads consumers into artificially liberalized views out of line with their natural predisposition.

“The political views that we currently see in Americans are not their natural views. We see only an artificial, distorted version of those views.” [9]

***

Matthew Gentzkow and Jesse Shapiro, two University of Chicago economists, employed a hard test of newspaper bias doing a meta-data analysis of loaded phrases. They “construct(ed) a list of all the two- and three-word phrases ever mentioned in a congressional speech during 2005” and “some phrases were used more often by Republicans and others were used more often by Democrats.” [10]

Democrats used terms like “arctic national wildlife” and “oil companies” and “civil rights”. Republicans used terms like “global war on terror” and “partial-birth abortion” and “illegal aliens”. [11]

“A media outlet received a high SQ if the outlet used mainly liberal loaded phrases, and it received a low SQ if it used mainly conservative loaded phrases.” [12]

The Washington Post rated 65.8 on the Slant Quotient scale. The New York Times 67.3. The Los Angeles Times 66.1. [13] The ratings were nearly identical to the findings of the think-tank research — The Post within one point, The New York Times within six points, and the Los Angeles Times within four points.

The loaded-phrase test found a slightly greater liberal bias then the think-tank method. [14] The top 20 papers rated 66.9 [15] The 20 outlets tested by think-tank citations rated 62.6 [16]  

The important point is that they were close to each other, supporting the hypothesis that both tests measured a hard, factual description of the media outlets’ place on the spectrum of liberal-or-conservative bias.   

The loaded-phase test found “all of the nation’s twenty highest-circulation newspapers lean left. Of the one hundred highest-circulation newspapers, only two are right of center.” [17] “The results of the two methods (of testing media bias), however, are extremely similar. For instance, both methods conclude that the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post were left of center (50), yet right of the average Democrat in Congress.” [18]

***

A partial-birth abortion bill passed the U.S. Senate 64-34 in October 2003. Prof. Groseclose quantified media bias by studying media reports on this vote.

Stories on that vote provided a hard test in concrete data because proponents and adversaries used different terms for the subject matter covered by the law. Conservatives called the procedure “partial-birth abortion.” Opponents called it “a certain abortion procedure” or “a type of late-middle and late-term abortion” or “the procedure generally performed between the eighteen and twenty-four weeks of a pregnancy” or “a type of abortion” or a “partial-birth method” or “what abortion foes call a partial-birth procedure.” [19]

Abortion opponents had a special reason to oppose this legislation. “Even if you agree that ‘a woman should have the right to do whatever she wants with her own body,’ that argument, at best, only partially applies when the fetus has partially left the woman’s body. When you agree to the ‘partial-birth’ language, then you implicitly endorse, at least to a partial degree, the notion that the procedure kills a baby.” [20]

If the news coverage mirrored the vote in the senate, a stand-in for the bias or ideology of voters, then “partial birth abortion” should have been the term used 65 percent of the time. A Gallup poll mirrored the vote, with 70% opposed to partial-birth abortion.  

Did newspapers and TV news use the liberal or the conservative term to describe the procedure and the legislation?

Eleven out of twenty media outlets “never used the language preferred by moderates and conservatives.” [21]

CBS Evening News used a liberal description 100% of the time. The New York Times and the Washington Post used a liberal description 100% of the time. The Los Angeles Times used the liberal term 86% of the time. NPR’s Morning Edition used a liberal term 80% of the time.

“The media overwhelmingly adopted the language of the (minority) opponents of the bill – not that of the (majority) proponents.”

Professor Groseclose argues that the term “partial-birth abortion” is the most accurate description of the procedure and that the conservative term has special standing because it is the name of the procedure described both in the title of the bill (The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003) and the body of the legislation itself. If “partial-birth abortion” is the most accurate description, of the procedure and the act legislated by the law, then, from a journalistic standpoint, where writers report objective facts, the term should always be used to report on the law.

“Then an unbiased journalist should use the plan-language term 100 percent of the time, not 65 percent (as suggested by the senate vote). By this standard, only one of the outlets mentioned in the table, Special Report by Brit Hume, was unbiased. All the rest, even The Washington Times, were biased left.” [22]

***

The Bush tax cuts of June 2001 provided another hard breakdown of “liberal” and “conservative” in media coverage. Two facts in the law were equally true, but one fact favored liberal arguments and a second fact favored conservative arguments.

“When Congress considered the Bush tax cuts, conservatives kept saying that the cuts would make the tax system more progressive, while liberals kept saying things like ‘the richest 10 percent will receive 50 percent of the tax cut.’ Well, it turns out both sides were right.” [23]

Low earners won a tax rate cut equal to one-third of their previous rate. High earners had their rate cut 11.6%.

“As the bill stated, the lowest-earning taxpayers would see their tax rate dropped by one third, from 15 to 10 percent. Meanwhile, the very highest-earning taxpayers would see their rate dropped by only 11.6 percent, from 39.6 to 35 percent.” [24]

The Bush tax cuts coverage is a sister study to the think tank analysis because the facts included and excluded from a story echo the partisan choices of facts and policies championed or ignored by a think tank.

CBS Evening News reported 10 liberal facts on the Bush tax cuts and one conservative fact. The Los Angeles Times reported 44 liberal facts and seven conservative facts. The New York Times reported 89 liberal facts and 11 conservative facts. NPR’s Morning Edition reported 20 liberal facts and 5 conservative facts. The Washington Post reported 85 conservative facts and 15 liberal facts.

A Slant Quotient calculated on the Bush tax cats reporting came in at 78.5, substantially higher than 62.6 think-tank number, and 66.9 from meta-analysis of loaded phrases. [25]   

***

Alan Gerber, Dean Karlan, and Daniel Bergan took a new approach to studying bias and the influence of media. They purchased newspaper subscriptions to the Washington Post and the Washington Times. They gave free subscriptions to about twelve hundred families in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. and randomly chose who received which subscription. [26]

Post subscribers voted for Democratic candidates at a 3.8% higher rate.

“Gerber and his coauthors found that in the gubernatorial race that they examined, their Washington Post-subscribing subjects voted 3.8 percentage points higher for the Democratic candidate than did their Washington Times-subscribing subjects. Given that the Post adopts a more liberal slant than the Times, the result suggests that newspapers really do influence the way people think and vote.” [27]

Stefano DellaVigna and Ethan Kaplan conceived a study of the “Fox News Effect” because only one-fifth of cable markets carried its news in the late 1990s. [28]

“They found that if Fox News was available to a region, then this raised the vote share for George W. Bush in 2000 by about 0.43 percentage points.” [29]

The important finding in “The Washington Post subscription” test and the “Fox News Effect” study is that both confirmed that media moves voters to different places on the ideology spectrum compared to what they thought and voted prior to being influenced by the media.

“That is, both found extremely large media effects.” [30] The media changes the views of its readers and viewers.

***

Another study compared headlines describing Commerce Department data. The researchers rated the headlines positive or negative for all the Commerce Department numbers. By matching identical data announcements across different administrations they had a test of preference for liberal or conservative administrations.

“Lott and Hassett focus only on news stories that describe official statistics from the U.S. Commerce Department. Thus, the authors focus only on stories where the underlying news is an objective piece of data, which does not come from the media. … They find that for the same piece of news, major U.S. newspapers are 20 to 40 percent more likely to report a negative headline if the administration is Republican than if it is Democratic.” [31]

***

The people who work in the industry know ideology is an important factor in determining who is allowed a place in a media office.

“The elephant in the room is our narrowness,” said Marie Arana, a Washington Post Book World editor. “Too often, we wear liberalism on our sleeve and are intolerant of other lifestyles and opinions … We’re not very subtle about it at this paper: If you work here, you must be one of us. You must be liberal, progressive, a Democrat.” [32]

Proof of an egregious conspiracy of liberal narrative management, far above and beyond mere bias, surfaced in 2010 after the leaking of messages written for a Google Group called Journo-List. It’s demonstrative of extraordinary influence which liberal media reporters possess in managing what is true and known and what is false and hidden.

The journalists, in their private thoughts shown only to invited members, encouraged each other to shut down coverage of Jeremiah Wright in the 2008 presidential campaign. They strategized on how to stop any coverage about his background, statements, and character. One reporter, Spencer Ackerman, who worked for the Washington Independent, said the coverage of Wright could be stopped by blame shifting, by turning the story into an investigation of the racism of a major figure in conservative media.

“I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It’s not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright’s defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.

“And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.” [33]

Ackerman said the use of a falsehood, the charge of racism against a conservative media figure, to attack the conservative side was justified so that America would not be “governed by racists and warmongers and criminals.” [34]

Michael Tomasky, an old-school progressive socialist, and a writer at Newsweek / The Daily Beast, said coverage of Rev. Wright, first started by ABC, should be killed so that reporters can write on subjects which are more important to readers.  

“Listen folks – in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have,” wrote Tomasky. “This isn’t about defending Obama. This is about how the (mainstream media) kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people.” [35]

Contra Tomasky, many media consumers would have felt well served to know the thinking of Reverend Wright. He was the spiritual leader of the presidential candidate. In just two sermons, which provided most of the reporting which was done, we learned Rev. Wright is a perpetual-motion machine of bizarre fictitious conspiracies and free-form hatreds.

It is worth restating a quick summary. Rev. Wright famously described America as deserving the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye … and now we are indignant, because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

Rev. Wright described Justice Clarence Thomas as “Uncle Clarence” who served on a supreme court which is “a closeted klan court.” The C.I.A. helped imprison Nelson Mandela. The federal government invented the HIV virus “as a means of genocide against people of color.” The federal government would plant weapons of mass destruction in Iraq if none were found: “They gonna do just like the LAPD” and manufacture the evidence.

He encouraged others to copy his infamous hatred of America. “The government gives them (blacks) the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing “God Bless America”. No, no, no, not God Bless America. God damn America — that’s in the Bible — for killing innocent people. God damn America, for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America, as long as she tries to act like she is God, and she is supreme.”

A serious commitment to reporting on Rev. Wright’s views, and President Obama’s dedication to Rev. Wright’s church, would easily have ended the Obama campaign. If two sermons produced deep convincing evidence of a mad conspiracist, what would be found in 36 years of sermons when Rev. Wright was head of Trinity United Church of Christ.  

Discover the networks, a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, found that Rev. Wright was committed to the overthrow of the “capitalist order”.

“Rev. Wright’s devotion to the tenets of liberation theology, which is essentially Marxism dressed up as Christianity. … calls for social activism, class struggle, and revolution aimed at overturning the existing capitalist order and installing, in its stead, a socialist utopia where today’s poor will unseat their “oppressors” and become liberated from their material (and, consequently, their spiritual) deprivations.” [36]

No conservative candidate could have stayed in the race for president if Rev. Wright had been his spiritual leader. The Republican would have been considered insane to have devoted himself to the church of Rev. Wright. He would have been written off as a freak who made his deepest life commitment to a crackpot cult. The judgment would have been right. When the candidate is black, the rules which apply to white candidates are discarded. The privileges of a progressive Big Media monopoly are unique.  

President Obama governed like a man who placed his deepest commitments to a fool and a monster like Rev. Wright, but we only learned that fact long after his election, after he gave to America eight years of a fool and a monster. 

***

When evaluating media bias, it pays to remember that less than ten percent of Washington, D.C., correspondents vote Republican.

“If you ask a similar what’s-the-most-important fact about media bias, here’s my answer: In a typical presidential election, only about 7 percent of Washington correspondents vote for the Republican.” [37]

Political donations show D.C. media supports the Democratic Party at a rate of 95% or higher.

“Specifically, the average result of the four campaign-contribution studies suggests that the Democrat-to-Republican voting rate of journalists is more like 96-4 or 95-5 …” [38] (106) Real-life counts of real-life votes of real-life newsrooms show as many as 99% of reporters vote liberal. In October 2008 Slate surveyed its reporters. Fifty-five of 56 chose Obama. [39]

“In each case the evidence suggests that in a typical presidential election, approximately 99 percent of the newsroom votes for the Democrat.” [40]

When you are surrounded by liberals, you think liberal is normal and mainstream. The ideological errors of liberalism cannot be corrected in a newsroom because they never test themselves against the scrutiny of opposition.

“Mainstream Democrats, once they are injected into a group as overwhelmingly liberal as a newsroom, naturally begin to consider their views centrist. But another aspect of the principle is almost as important. This is that, within such an overwhelmingly liberal group, far-left views begin to be considered mainstream.” [41]

Professor Groseclose estimates the overall viewpoint of the media at 58.5 on the 100-point ADA scale. [42] (195) This number is a mixture of all of the different media sources, — print, television, internet, radio — adjusted to the size of their audiences, and their collective Slant Quotient.

***

A more interesting question: what are the normal views of a voter? Professor Groseclose says a normal voter resides right around the 50 mark on the Political Quotient scale, but, if you remove the influence of liberal media, the middle voter is probably in the neighborhood of 31.5. These are the “natural views” of the average voter before he or she is influenced by the media. He estimates that media have made citizens almost 20 points more liberal on the ADA scale.

Professor Groseclose has further speculated the middle-of-the-road voter may be far more conservative than even the 31.5 he has estimated for “natural views.” The deprogrammed citizen may have views closer to zero, with opinions more conservative than Richard Nixon, 12.5, Lindsay Graham, 14.9, or John McCain, 15.8., had they not been steered over decades in a liberal direction by media bias.  

 “The point, 31.5, is my estimate of the natural views of the average voter. Note that at this point, (if the media reported in line with the natural views of the average voter) the media is pulling his views neither to the left nor the right. … Thus, although earlier I report 31.5 as my estimate of (a truly neutral media outlet), I believe that the true value is more likely in the low- or mid-twenties, and it might be near 0.” [43]

A counter example may be helpful. If today you measured the Political Quotient of a person who believes all children, regardless of income, should attend a private school chosen by their parents, at the expense of the state, their PQ might be zero or -25 today. If conservatives dominated the media today, and had dominated media for the last five decades, the way liberals dominate Big Media today, all children would have a free private-school education, with almost all persons agreeing that this is a good and sound policy.

***

When you view media, almost every article or TV report was written by a liberal.

“The first-order problem of an unbalanced newsroom,” write Professor Groseclose, “… is the simple fact if you read a newspaper article or watch a television news clip, then almost surely it will have been written or produced by a liberal.” [44]

Liberal reporters defend their work, while acknowledging personal opinions, by describing their commitment to neutrality.

“As Michael Kinsley, the founding editor of Slate, notes, “But – for the millionth time! – an opinion is not a bias! The fact that reporters tend to be liberal says nothing one way or another about their tendency to be biased.” [45]

If it’s true that an opinion held by a reporter does not guarantee a biased approach to the news, it is also true that an opinion held by a reporter will not guarantee that his work will not be biased. Mr. Kinsley’s statement has no proof one way or the other. It is an unsupported declaration of innocence, but it is not a proof of guilt. I believe it is truer to say that bias steers all writing. That an opinion is a bias, but a dedication to fairness can go a long way to undo the bias, and if the bias is stated, the reader is forewarned.

***

There is a suggestion of a proof that reporters do work hard to counter their own bias.

The typical Democrat in congress holds views on the ADA scale that place them at 84. What is the typical Political Quotient of a reporter? Let’s assume that it’s 100.

The New York Times can take some pride in the fact that its take on the news is closer to Sen. Lieberman, at a PQ of 74, and much closer to the center of the scale then would be suggested by the PQ of the typical Times reporter. If the average reporter measures at 100 on PQ, then The Times is reporting substantially more conservatively then the views of their reporters and editors.  

“The New York Times, which was the third most liberal news outlet of all those examined, is only as liberal as the average speech by Sen. Joe Lieberman (D,I-Conn.) – whom many people do not consider very liberal.” [46]

It’s important to remember the open admissions media personalities have made about their ignorance of the world of conservative voters, an ignorance which inevitably makes their coverage one-sided.

Richard Nixon won 49 states and 520 electoral votes (of 538 total) in the 1972 presidential election. Pauline Kael, a film critic at The New Yorker, said: “I can’t believe it. I don’t know a single person who voted for him.” [47]

A reporter can have full and complete faith in their fairness, commit blatant errors of bias, and remain unaware of their partisanship, just as Ms.Kael had no idea of the narrowness of her friendships and acquaintances.

***

Still, even if reporters are dedicated to neutrality, the great question: How does liberal media bias change votes and elections?

Professor Groseclose constructed an estimate combining all the different media sources, their audiences, their bias measures, and their collective influence. Some of the major players in his model: Local television reaches 16.5% of the news audience and has a Slant Quotient of 65.4; Local newspapers take 14.3% of the news audience and have an SQ of 63.7; Nightly network news is 13% of the news audience with an SQ of 65.4; Cable news is 12.1% of the news audience at an SQ of 47.9; National newspapers are 3.5% of the news audience and have an SQ of 62.6.

Using a mathematical formula which distills the collective impact of the slant of all news media on all consumers, Professor Groseclose concludes that bias profoundly changes election results.  

“The effects of media bias are real and significant. My results suggest that the 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, then John McCain would have defeated Barack Obama 56-42, instead of losing 53-46.” [48]

Journalists shine the light of truth through a prism which skews the news left and the views of readers and watchers left. A recap of the hard evidence clarifies the case against Big Media.

***

Reporters created a liberal bias in stories by choosing think-tanks which mimicked their own views, proven by 18 of 20 major outlets who matched the use of think-tank arguments employed by leftwing politicians. Reporters created a bias by writing with loaded phrases, like “arctic national wildlife” and “oil companies”, and thousands of other phrases, which prove, after meta analysis, and comparing their word choices to politicians whose views are defined by votes, that all of the 20 biggest newspapers are leftwing and that 98 of the 100 biggest newspapers write from the left.

Reporters employed liberal bias when they reported on partial-birth abortion, with 11 of 20 major outlets always employing the language used by liberal politicians opposed to the legislation, even when the law passed the Senate by a lopsided 64-34, and when 70% of the public supported the legislation. The soundness of this proof of bias was confirmed by the finding that all politicians used language in the abortion legislation debate which matched their vote. Both sides had their own name for the issue. Big Media chose the liberal side, with 18 of 20 outlets reporting to the left of the Senate vote.  

Reporters created a liberal bias when they described the liberal fact and ignored the conservative fact in their Bush-tax-cut stories. They registered the highest Slant Quotient in all of the studies at 78.5. Readers and viewers learned that the wealthy won the lion’s share of benefits in dollars. They did not learn that the wealthy will pay a greater percentage of the total. They did not learn that the wealthy had already been paying the vast majority of the taxes.

All three major tests reviewed in Left Turn which measured a Slant Quotient registered liberal bias – 62.6 on the think-tank study, 66.9 on the meta-analysis of loaded phrases, and 78.5 on the tax cuts.

Liberal bias in reporting was proven when new Washington Post subscribers voted 3.8 percentage points higher for a Democratic candidate compared to new Washington Times subscribers. More important, it showed the power of the media to move voters and elections. The power of media to influence was again confirmed in an objective test when Fox News moved voters to the conservative column by .43 percentage points when compared to viewers who did not have the show.   

“Journalists do not shine their light straight. Instead it is as if they use a prism, bending the light and causing it to make a left turn. The end result is that we, the readers and viewers of the news, are more likely to see facts from the left side of the spectrum. This is what I mean by a distortion theory of media bias. Such behavior of journalists also causes our political views to make a left turn – that is, to become more liberal. [49]

***

Voters would be far more conservative if there was an influential conservative media. Imagine how the world would change if 95 of 100 reporters believed that all children, and especially poor children, deserved a private-school education chosen by their parents and paid for by the state?  

Simple revolutionary conservative ideas have no audience. The thought leaders in media have no interest in our story.

The world will never change if conservatives fail to create their own media world. Now is the time for conservatives to invest in conservative media, just as it was 65 years ago, when National Review was founded, and conservatives could pretend that by having one magazine to go up against the enormous Big Media enterprise, that they were fighting the good fight.

Among our legion of glaring media weaknesses is our desperate need of a major newspaper with big teams of reporters dedicated to covering the biggest issues. Reporters discover the facts of the world, and many of the conservative facts are unknown. If we had two more major national television stations with the reach of Fox News, over and above Fox News itself, the world would shift dramatically to the right.   

Many have argued that bias is in the eye of the beholder and cannot be proven. The facts show the goal of neutrality is influential, and admirable, but only a minor check on the kick of progressive media bias. Progressive ideology among reporters is the real game changer. It has been for decades. It has thrown elections and policy left for as many as 100 years.

America is very much the worse for the socialist policies Big Media has won –starting with its greatest and biggest victory, the passage of social security in 1935.

Set aside for a minute the suicidal hatred of life which liberals have given to America. They should be admired for one quality. They have given unyielding dedication to their cause. Who cannot be impressed by their superhuman capacity to enact destructive ideas? Imagine what could be done if great ideas were heard and if we had great leaders capable of describing them? A powerful conservative media would give great leaders with great ideas a place to call home.

Now that America has been smashed apart by the liberal progressive socialist project; now that hatred of God, family, and country is the norm; now that the federal government has been bankrupted by social security and Medicare; isn’t this damage great enough to decide now is the time to fight? Isn’t it time for conservatives to stop standing by and doing nothing?

When is the right time to fight? Do we wait for the cities to burn? Do we wait for the homeless to keep warm burning barrels of dollars? Should we wait for the children to murder their parents to purify the world of incorrect thoughts?  

Now is the right time to stand up and fight back. We are a hundred years late getting started. We need power and money and media to get back on the right track.    


[1] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 152.

[2] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 153.

[3] ADA Website

[4] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 39.

[5] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 40.

[6] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 33.

[7] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 39.

[8] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page ix.

[9] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page vii.

[10] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 170.

[11] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 170.

[12] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 171.

[13] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 172.

[14] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 175.

[15] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 172.

[16] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 155.

[17] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 172.

[18] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 175.

[19] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 162.

[20] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 163.

[21] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 165.

[22] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 166.

[23] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 179.

[24] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 187.

[25] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 186.

[26] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 274.

[27] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 216.

[28] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 211.

[29] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 220.

[30] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 276.

[31] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 26.

[32] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 114.

[33] Daniel Foster, JournoList, Round Two. National Review. July 20, 2010

[34] Daniel Foster, JournoList, Round Two. National Review. July 20, 2010

[35] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 88.

[36] Karin McQuillan, Obama Appointees in the Communist Orbit, American Thinker, May 24, 2019.

[37] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 99.

[38] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 106.

[39] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 107.

[40] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 107.

[41] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 118.

[42] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 195.

[43] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 240.

[44] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 111.

[45] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 151.

[46] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 156.

[47] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 113.

[48] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page ix.

[49] Tim Groseclose, Left Turn, St. Martin’s Press, 2011, Page 68.