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Wednesday, June 13, 2012
NewsBusters Ponders Media-Bias Study It Could Not Produce Itself
Topic: NewsBusters

Matthew Sheffield uses a June 11 NewsBusters post to highlight an Italian study claiming that, in Sheffield's words, "biased media favoring a certain national candidate and party is worth anywhere from 2 to 5.5 points to that candidate and his party in the final election tally." Sheffield then adds, "One hopes that a similar paper might be produced looking at the effects of media bias in this country."

As someone who works closely with the Media Research Center -- he did create NewsBusters, after all -- shouldn't Sheffield expect that the MRC would be interested in doing such a study? Or does Sheffield know that the MRC's research methods are so shoddy that they cannot be trusted, let alone subjected to any meaningful peer review?

Besides, any such research would have to look at how many points right-wing media outlets -- like, say, the MRC-owned CNSNews.com -- would add to a Republican candidate, and the MRC is certainly not going to address that.

Further, the media environment in Italy is nowhere near analogous to the United States. As Sheffield himself notes, six of Italy's seven main nationwide TV channels are controlled by now-former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, which were apparently biased toward Berlusconi. Media ownership in the U.S., while concentrated among a handful of corporations, is still more diffuse than in Italy.

Then again, the main TV networks aren't producing four-minute attack ads against Romney like Fox News did against Obama, are they? And no, Matt Hadro, airing someone's speech in favor of Obama as part of news coverage is not the same thing.

That Hadro would think it is is just one more reason why the MRC cannot be trusted to conduct such research.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 PM EDT

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