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.
is this guy? What’s somebody who thinks FOX is centrist doing teaching about media bias at UCLA? Like, how did he get to that position…whatever, just boggles my mind, so thought it might fall into the category of MPSIMS.
I couldn’t tell from the handful of articles about this book I found, but is it based on his & Milyo’s 2005 study of “media bias”?
Because there was a lot of controversy at the time about that…
1 Contemporary Critique
Another contemporary critique
Sort of a Third critique
Well, OK, they are less critiques than articles pointing out the flawed methodology of the study, however one article had a good quote, in that rather than twisting themselves into pretzels with their methodology…
If the authors truly wanted to rank media outlets on the ADA scale, the simpler method would be to look at the ADA ratings of congressmembers quoted by those news outlets. One suspects that the authors avoided this obvious approach because the results would have been less to their liking: Studies in Extra! have repeatedly found various media outlets quote Republicans more often than Democrats, by ratios ranging from 3 to 2 on NPR (5-6/04) to 3 to 1 on nightly network news (5-6/02) to a startling 5 to 1 on Fox News Special Report (7-8/04). Fox News, according to Groseclose and Milyo’s method, is a “centrist” news outlet.
One fun quote apparently from Groseclose’s book:
Groseclose also says, “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.”
OK, Yeah…I think I’ll hold off on purchasing this baby. :rolleyes:
Groceclose has been banging this drum for years. I haven’t read the book (and probably won’t) but from reading the US News and World Report quote, it sounds like he’s still using the byzantine methodology he and co-author Jeff Milyo (a Cato Institute fellow) used in their 2004 paper “A Measure of Media Bias.”
There were postings on political blogs at that time explained the problems with this methodology. Here’s an excerpt from
an article by Michael Dolny on the FAIR website in 2005.
The report used a peculiar Rube Goldberg–like method to calculate media bias from think tank citations: Taking the Americans for Democratic Action ratings of congressional voting records as its yardstick, it assumed that media outlets have ideologies similar to those of members of Congress who cited the same think tanks that the media outlets did.
This approach is based on the problematic notion that politicians cite the think tanks that they most agree with rather than the ones whose citation will be the most politically effective—a problem the researchers acknowledge when they attempt to explain away some curious anomalies that their method produces. (The National Rifle Association comes out as a centrist group; the Rand Corporation turns out to be left-leaning.)
If the authors truly wanted to rank media outlets on the ADA scale, the simpler method would be to look at the ADA ratings of congressmembers quoted by those news outlets. One suspects that the authors avoided this obvious approach because the results would have been less to their liking…
Edit: Geeze. I’m going to have to learn to type faster.
One fun quote apparently from Groseclose’s book:
"Groseclose also says, “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.”
This guy has WAY too much faith in the basic intelligence of the average American voter.
Or WAAAAY too little. Does he use the word “sheeple”? :rolleyes: His results are, too put it mildly, counter-intuitive. His methodology has been seriously questioned. I won’t bother with his book.