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Monday, June 19, 2023
MRC Touts Another Attack On A Search Site From Biased AllSides
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is a big fan of AllSides because it echoes the MRC's partisan narrative that any media outlet that isn't explicitly right-wing is somehow on the "left," which falsely most mainstream media outlets as partisan players. Joseph Vazquez hyperbolically touted a new AllSides "analysis" that echoed MRC narratives in a May 5 post:

A new study just obliterated any doubts that Microsoft’s Bing is just as leftist and radical as its top competitor Google.

Media solutions company AllSides conducted a new analysis of the news articles displayed on Bing News’ homepage “were from media outlets on the left.”

But here’s the kicker: “Bing’s homepage displayed rated Right or Lean Right by AllSides,” and only 13 percent of the sources displayed were from the “center.”

The top 6 outlets that Bing comnmonly curated were sources that AllSides rated as “Lean Left.” The top sources on Bing News’ homepage included “The Associated Press (Lean Left)(17% of the content), USA Today(Lean Left)(15%), and ABC News (Lean Left)(13%).”

It's absurd for Vazquez to describe the AP or USA Today as "leftist and radical" -- the fact that he believes this shows just how far-right he is. Also note that Vazquez is trying to hide AllSides' bias by describing it with its own "media solutions company" euphemism. More shilling for AllSides followed:

Bing’s egregious bias showed through even more explicitly when AllSides applied certain search terms. Unironically, AllSides noted that the search term which unveiled the most left-wing results was none other than “abortion.”

News items that the group identified as  "left" made up 63 percent of Bing’s curated results on abortion while only a paltry 9 percent of the results came from sources identified as “right.” The search term “economy” yielded the least amount of right-leaning sources at only 6 percent, according to AllSides, compared to 34 percent of the results being from sources on the “left.” 

AllSides didn’t mince words when it noted the dangerous implications of its assessment::

Bing News gave users an unbalanced perspective on major news stories. Biased search results have a grave impact on our understanding of the world around us. When we don’t have the full picture and cannot access the full scope of views, we are more likely to polarize against one another. Heavily biased search tools harm our democratic society, our communities, and our families.

But the AllSides "analysis" offers no evidence that the content of the individual stories themselves have any sort of bias -- it's just a broad-brush attack on outlets. Indeed, the AllSides chart of political leanings conveniently places major news outlets as the New York Times, CNN, CBS, ABC and Politico in the "left-leaning" category -- something it even admits is subjective -- which is made even more subjective and less scientific by including public opinion into the calculation.

Vazquez repeated the MRC's praiser of a similar AllSides report on Google News -- which we've similarly debunked -- he gushed meshed with his employer's partisan research: "The most explosive of MRC’s findings involved Google engaging in election interference in the 2022 midterm elections to benefit Democrats." Actually, those "findings" involved search terms normal people don't use and no explanation of why those search terms should have delivered the results it demanded.

Vazquez concluded by huffing: "It looks like Bing News is following Google News’ lead with its demonstrably nonexistent veneer of neutrality." AllSides clearly has a demonstratably nonexistent veneer of neutrality, but Vazquez won't complain about that.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EDT

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