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Thursday, October 16, 2008
Rep. Smith Cites Discredited Media Bias Study
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In an Oct. 14 Accuracy in Media blog post attacking what he calls Time magazine's "latest example of biased campaign coverage," Rep. Lamar Smith writes: "Time magazine’s bias existed well before this presidential campaign; a 2005 UCLA study found that Time’s coverage ranked well to the left of the average American voter."

Smith is apparently referring to a study by UCLA's Timothy Groseclose and the University of Missouri's Jeffrey Milyo. But as Media Matters detailed, the Groseclose-Milyo study's measure of "bias" -- the frequency with which various think tanks and advocacy organizations were cited approvingly by the media -- is so problematic that its findings are next to useless. Further, both Groseclose and Milyo have previously received grants from right-wing think tanks -- which is reflected in the study's bibliography, which cites the usual right-wing suspects such as the Media Research Center and AIM but no scholarly research on the subject of media bias.

Then again, taking refuge in such dubious claims -- as well as shilling for the McCain campaign, which he does here by enthusiastically defending its "Country First" slogan as "clearly meant to emphasize his decades of military and civil service" -- appear to be the whole point of Smith's mini-war on "liberal bias."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 PM EDT

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