NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Evidence Of News Media Political Bias

May 12, 2000

For his "Pencil Necks" column at, writer Eron Shosteck decided to evaluate media bias by doing a Nexis database search of "English-language news" for certain politically loaded terms. He found liberal favoritism:

  • The term "partisan Republican" turned up 85 times over the past 90 days, whereas "partisan Democrat" turned up only 58 times -- a ratio of 1.5 to 1.
  • "Extreme right" over the past month scored 212 mentions; "extreme left" yielded 58 items -- a ratio of 4 to 1.
  • "Hard right" appeared 683 times over the past 90 days; "hard left" 312 -- a ratio of 2 to 1.

Noting that this is not just a reaction to President Clinton's impeachment and trial, the Media Research Center notes that its September 1991 MediaWatch documented the use of "left wing" and "right wing" terms in the Washington Post during 1990. Post reporters used "right-wing" 394 times, "left-wing" only 87. On extreme terms (extreme, far, hard, etc.), the numbers were 106 on the right, 24 on the left.

Source: Tim Graham, " Finds Liberal Bias," Media Reality Check, May 3, 2000, Media Research Center, 325 S. Patrick Street, Alexandria, Va. 22314, (703) 683-9733.

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