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Monday, April 10, 2023
MRC Uses Right-Leaning Media Monitor For Another Political Attack On Google
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Joseph Vazquez hyped in a Feb. 28 post:

A new analysis follows MRC Free Speech America’s lead in exposing the enormous left-wing political bias that undergirds Big Tech giant Google.

AllSides — a media solutions company that purports to “expose people to information and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum so they can better understand the world” —released a report Feb. 28 illustrating how Google News “displayed articles from left-wing media sources far more often than sources from the right.”

Specifically, AllSides said that its analysis revealed that a whopping “61% of media outlets presented on Google News’ homepage over a 5-day period were from sources AllSides rates as on the left, with just 3% from outlets on the right.” 

“The jig is up,” MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider said in a statement. “It’s no accident when Google News promotes left-leaning outlets twenty times more than right-leaning outlets. Google cannot pretend to be unbiased any longer. Our own research has shown it. AllSides is corroborating it.”

Note that Vazquez parrots AllSides' euphemistic description of it self as a "media solutions company" (twice!). In fact, AllSides is a right-leaning media monitor that the MRC can count on to peddle its anti-media narratives and vice versa -- and that is what's happening here. AllSides is embracing the MRC model of insisting that any non-right-wing media outlet is on the "left," and the main complaint here is that Google News uses too many stories from CNN, as Vazquez rantingly summarized:

AllSides also called out Google News for giving a noticeable preference for leftist propaganda outlet CNN:


When researching the term “Trump” over a five-day period, the AllSides report showed that “32% of articles were from CNN (Left bias), 20% of articles were from The Guardian (Lean Left).” It continued: “[Six] of the 25 (24%) articles pulled were about Trump’s financials and tax returns, and 6 out of 25 (24%) were about Trump’s potential presidential run in 2024.” For the term “Biden,” AllSides said that “Six of the 25 (24%) articles” were from CNN. In addition, “[f]our (16%) of the articles were from The White House and five (20%) were from Politico (Lean Left).” 

But here was the damning part that was true for both the Trump and Biden results: No Lean Right- or Right-rated outlets were present in these search results [emphasis added].

But in addition to buying into a biased model, AllSides appears to have messed up its own labeling. In its study, it insisted on calling CNN as "left" even though its own info page on CNN currently describes it merely as "lean left." It also appears that AllSides examined only the purported bias of outlets, not any alleged bias in any individual story, making this a broad-brush attack that doesn't go nearly deep enough to justify the headline findings -- in other words, the kind of so-called study the MRC loves for advancing its right-wing narratives.

Vazquez also claimed that the AllSides study "corresponds directly with MRC Free Speech America’s Oct. 25, 2022 study, which showed that Google buried the campaign websites of Republican senate candidates in hotly contested races while elevating their Democratic opponents." As we documented, the MRC "study" used search terms normal humans do not use, and it did not explain why those search terms should have returned the results it demanded.

This is yet another of the political attacks the MRC has launched against Google over the past several months -- and this time it's using AllSides as cover for doing so. And its embrace of AllSides as friendly to its agenda contrasts greatly with its war on NewsGuard for pointing out the relative unreliability of right-wing websites.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:34 PM EDT

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