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Monday, November 6, 2006
Ponte Cites Discredited Study
Topic: Newsmax

In a Nov. 6 NewsMax column claiming that by voting against Democrats, "you can vote against the Left wing media," Lowell Ponte cites as evidence that there are "lords who rule America's liberal press" who have "unchecked power" by their alleged support of liberal politicians the following:

A 2005 University of California Los Angeles-led study found that 18 of the nation's top 20 media outlets skewed their news coverage significantly to the Left.

"I suspected that many media outlets would tilt to the left because surveys have shown that reporters tend to vote more Democrat than Republican," said UCLA political scientist Tim Groseclose, the study's lead author. "But I was surprised at just how pronounced the distinctions are."

Of the two media outlets that did not tilt Left, the UCLA-led study found, the Fox News Channel program "Special Report with Brit Hume" indeed "proved to be right of center," and Fox News is "often cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet."

However, the study continued, ABC's "World News Tonight" and NBC's "Nightly News" – which present themselves as unbiased newscasts - are about as far left of center as the Fox is right of center.

Ponte does not note that the Groseclose study has been discredited because it employed a measure of "bias" so problematic that its findings are next to useless (for instance, it considers the ACLU "liberal") and it lacks citations to scholarly literature on the subject of media bias (yet offers numerous links to right-wing sources). Ponte also fails to note that Groseclose and his co-author, Jeffrey Milyo, have ties to conservative think tanks.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:25 PM EST

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