General

Media Bias and Google News

A local radio host was droning on about media bias again today. I thought I’d go to Google News to see about validating this theory in a highly unscientific but empirical fashion. My sloppily contrived metric? The presence of the phrase “right wing” versus “left wing” in indexed articles. I factored out Columbia (space shuttle news), soccer, hockey, and nhl as phrases that were introducing false positive hits. I chose the “wing” phrases since, when used, they are backhanded phrases used to undermine a position as extreme to one side or the other by discrediting the opinion-holder.

The results:

Right Wing: About 9,220 hits

Left Wing: About 4,890 hits

Omitting “Bush” from the right-wing search cuts out about 1/3 of the hits.

Cutting [Cindy] “Sheehan” from the left-wing results eliminates about 20% of the hits.

There are any number of conclusions that can be drawn, but I’ll leave that to my readers.

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