19 December 2005
It's not just me! Media bias really does exist
According to a recent study at UCLA, media bias really does exist. The study is based on analyzing ten years worth of media reports and comparing them to a liberal vs. conservative scores derived from the Americans for Democratic Action voting records score. The ADA score is based on how often a Congress member voted with or against ADA chosen votes. Representative Nancy Pelosi , as an example, received 100 points from the ADA for 2004, where as Representative Tom Delay received 0 points in 2004. The researchers, after adjusting to "...compensate for disproportionate representation that the Senate gives to low‑population states and the lack of representation for the District of Columbia..." [ed. I quoted this because I just know that someone will make an issue of it, however I believe the study to be correct in making the adjustment] assumes that the average score of 50.1 represents the political position of the average American voter.

Then they researched the media reporting, checking to see what kind of references were made to think-tanks and policy groups and whether those groups were liberal or conservative (e.g. NAACP or Heritage Foundation) then they did the same thing for Congressional speeches and compared citation patterns.

"A media person would have never done this study," said Groseclose, a UCLA political science professor, whose research and teaching focuses on the U.S. Congress. "It takes a Congress scholar even to think of using ADA scores as a measure. And I don't think many media scholars would have considered comparing news stories to congressional speeches."

What did this show? Well, of the twenty organizations researched, only two came out as right of center, three came out as roughly centrist (event though the most "center" source was still five points to the left of center), the rest all came out as left of center. The leftist of the media was the Wall Street Journal (news section, not opinion), the New York Times, CBS Evening News, LA Times and the Washington Post. Strange no?

Interestingly, the report shows the Drudge Report as being left of center, but explains this as being that since the study looks at the news on the site it is a reflection of the media as a whole. Meaning that, since the Drudge Report generally links to other news sites, it is because of the bias on those other sites that the Drudge Report drifts to left of center.

Right Thinking People was the original pointer for this article

Link to study: http://www.polisci.ucla.edu/faculty/groseclose/Media.Bias.pdf

A Republican in San Francisco (Yes, he's under deep cover) relays his tales of interest... ...ok, "interest" is a strong and subjective word but you get the point.
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