Link copied to clipboard!

Is Reliable?

By · Apr 15, 2024 · 8 min read

Is Reliable?

Sean Hannity has always been a firebrand conservative regarding rhetoric, as he has influenced American politics with conservative talking points on his Fox News show, Hannity, for the past decade. His comments have proven to be highly controversial at some points, such as his election fraud claims against Dominion Voting, which resulted in a lawsuit against him and Fox News. The $787 million dollar lawsuit has raised lots of conversation over whether Hannity is a reliable source of information for the general public.

Source: Pew Research 

Although many critics have bashed Hannity as being untruthful and unreliable, many conservatives see him as a bold truth-teller who has been wrongfully smeared. We can see this clearly in the Pew Research Poll, which shows that Hannity and his outlets are one of the few news sources with more trust (30%) than distrust (18%) among Republicans. Is as wrought with bias and a lack of trustworthiness as people believe? At Biasly, we endeavor to evaluate the accuracy and dependability of all media outlets. Let us investigate the reliability and accuracy of

Does Reliability Matter?

Reliability, in general, refers to how trustworthy or accurate information, or in this case, a news source is. If we consider this definition, it quickly becomes clear why reliability is important in media sources. If we can’t trust the things we read then there isn’t much of a point in continuing to consume content from that source, after all. So how exactly can we gauge the reliability of a news source anyways?

There are several potential measures of reliability to look out for when trying to determine whether a media source is reliable or not. Red flags for an unreliable article can include the presence of wild unsubstantiated claims, facts dependent on other unreliable sources, heavy use of opinionated language, and more. Some indicators of a reliable news source, on the other hand, include things like:

  • Absence of subjective/opinionated language in articles
  • Credible sources cited (e.g., neutral sources, .gov, .edu websites)
  • Facts and statistics backed by multiple relevant outside sources
  • Use of primary sources when possible (e.g., interviews, quotes)
  • Information that remains consistent across news sources

So How Does Fare in its Reliability?

The political reliability index developed by Biasly objectively assesses news organizations’ accuracy and trustworthiness. Hannity’s overall Reliability Score has been rated as ‘Fair’ by Biasly. This rating is a weighted average of two distinct scores: the Fact Analysis Score and the Source Analysis Score, each evaluating separate components of Hannity’s Reliability. When computing the Average Reliability of the article the Fact Analysis score is more heavily weighted. These ratings are as follows in the next two paragraphs:

Hannity’s Fact Analysis Score is ‘Fair,’ which suggests readers can trust some of Hannity’s content online. The Fact Analysis score focuses more on the accuracy of claims, facts, and sources presented in the article and any hints of selection and omission bias, which we will discuss further in the article.

Hannity’s Source Analysis Score is ‘Fair,’ which suggests readers can trust some of the sources, links, and quotes provided by the news source. This score, which is based on A.I., focuses on assessing the quality of sources and quotes used including their number, lengths, uniqueness, and diversity.

However, since these scores are based on percentages and averages, individual articles could be more or less trustworthy depending on the context, author, and other factors. Our findings show that Hannity’s reliability is mostly but not all factual because they have retracted several stories in the past or had pieces that were not factual.

Let us analyze the supporting data for Hannity’s rankings and discuss what to watch out for while searching for trustworthy news sources. Accuracy and Reliability

The credibility of news organizations is significantly impacted by bias and political orientation. Like numerous other media organizations, has often been criticized heavily for pushing a heavy conservative agenda that heavily leans away from the center in rhetoric. Evaluating different types of biases will allow a complete examination of the actual reliability of, and offer more insight into the different subjects Hannity appears biased on.

Selection bias is when stories and facts are selected or deselected, often on ideological grounds, to create a narrative supporting the new sources’ ideology. Omission bias, on the other hand, is when different opinions and political views regarding a situation are left out so that the reader is only exposed to the ideological perspective supported by the author. It’s essential to keep in mind these two types of biases when trying to assess an article’s level of accuracy.

Biasly assigns a percentage score to accuracy, with one being the least accurate and 100 being the most. Ratings are calculated by weighing assertions with supporting evidence, the number of reliable internal sources, and the number of reliable external sources employed. A full page at Biasly’s website includes dependability and accuracy ratings for newly released news stories. is currently rated by our Analysts as having a “Poor” rating. This score can vary from article to article, though, and the most extreme variations in dependability are caused by bias, notably omission and selection bias. Another example of a conservative site similar to Hannity with fluctuations between conservative and center ratings is Newsmax. For example, they had one article that was 73% reliable titled, “Sen. Braun to Newsmax: America Is Borrowing Its Way to a Deal” and another article called, “Brandon Judd to Newsmax TV: Biden ‘Completing the Smuggling Cycle” that is only 38% reliable. These stories have varying amounts of political bias which greatly influences their reliability score.

In the case of, this article titled, “DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS: Abbott Seizes Control of Park Along Border, Blocking Border Patrol” is rated at 45% reliable. Concerning the selection and omission bias, the authors of exhibit some omission bias when talking about the great job Greg Abbott is doing at the border while excluding the opposing viewpoints that may suggest otherwise. This bias is seen throughout the syntax used in the article. There is also evident selection bias in the article as facts about the state of the US southern border are omitted and framed to make the migrant crisis and illegal immigrants entering the country more of an issue to the website’s staunchly conservative following.

“Lone Star State Governor Greg Abbott and his National Guard have seized control of Shelby Park in the city of Eagle Pass, Texas — the center of the migrant crisis that has engulfed the U.S. border.”

This article portrays a somewhat conservative stance due to its selection and omission bias on the topic regarding the border, allowing it to be seen in a light more favorable to the conservative movement. This article reports on the changes that Greg Abbott has made to border policy but disregards telling the full picture, opting for a more conservative stance that damages its reliability rating.

Analysis of Reliability in Opinion Pieces

Opinion-style journalism is a suitable venue for reporters to express their opinions and beliefs, even if excessive opinion might be something to avoid while producing a general news article. Although opinion pieces are less trustworthy because they are subjective, they can still be worthwhile to read to increase one’s understanding of various political viewpoints.

Hannity’s tendency to promote a right-wing agenda over honest journalism has undermined its credibility as a news organization. It has been involved in multiple controversies where reporting was advertised as trustworthy but resulted in being sometimes unreliable. Examples include Hannity spreading possible conspiracies about Hillary Clinton’s health during the 2016 Presidential Election and the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. On, an article titled, “FAILED EXPERIMENT: Liberals in Oregon Reverse Course, Recriminalize Hard Drugs After Overdoses Skyrocket,” reads more like an opinion piece with heavy conservative diction and tone. Each example was Hannity attempting to slander Democrats or question credible institutions to galvanize his conservative audience.

Quality of Sources and Facts Used primarily relies on conservative news sources for its articles, whose articles may not tell the full picture. A good example of this is in the article, “DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS: Abbott Seizes Control of Park Along Border, Blocking Border Patrol” The authors, who were unnamed Hannity staffers, used six quotes. Each quote is a lengthy sentence or two, which indicate high reliability if the source is reputable. However, the article relies on multiple sources that lean to the right as shown before.

The sources were as follows:

  • Fox News (conservative leaning)
  • Texas Military Department
  • Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas (conservative leaning)
  • Brandon Judd, Border Patrol Agent

The authors used multiple, unique sources that were decently reliable, which enhanced the article’s credibility. The Texas Military Department and Border Patrol are nonpartisan and provide exclusive insight into events surrounding the U.S./Mexican border. One thing missing from the article is statistics regarding the situation at the border. This includes the number of migrants coming into the United States, the capacity of ports of entry like Eagle Pass, and law enforcement officers. Instead, all we get are quotes like the one below from the Texas Military Department (which was in response to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s emergency declaration on the border).

“The current posture is to prepare for future illegal immigrant surges and to restrict access to organizations that perpetuate illegal immigrant crossings in the park and greater Eagle Pass area”

Another flaw is that their sources lacked diversity because they are mostly right-leaning or conservative sources.

One example is from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a prominent conservative voice on issues like border security and immigration, releasing a statement on X (which is quoted in the article) following his emergency declaration.

“As caravans of migrants are moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border, we are making clear that Texas will be a tough place to cross.”

The Hannity staffers also failed to hyperlink its sources like the Fox News report. Overall, the quality of sources could’ve been better if the authors included ones that provided a full picture of the situation at the border and excluded significantly biased ones.

Selection and Omission Bias

Selection and Omission Bias is present throughout, as evidenced by numerous articles that pander to one side of the political aisle. In a more extreme example, posted the article “DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS: Abbott Seizes Control of Park Along Border, Blocking Border Patrol. This article references and praises Greg Abbott’s job on the southern border. Selection Bias and Omission Bias can be seen through the quotes in the article.

One prominent quote that slants heavily conservative is the statement from the Texas Military Department, which references migrants crossing the border as “illegal immigrant surges”. writers use only six quotes in the whole article, but all of them are slanted heavily conservative in their appraisal of Abbott on border policy.

As we discussed earlier, selection bias deselects specific facts to paint an ideologically popular image, and omission bias leaves out voices from the other side, unbalancing the biased leanings. Abbott’s tweet on X is an example of Omission bias by the editors as it only accounts for one side of the story.

“As caravans of migrants are moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border, we are making clear that Texas will be a tough place to cross.”

Throughout the article, demonstrates selection bias and omission bias that helps gain traction with the mainline Republican base. Out of the six quotes discussed in the article, there were no center-left or left-leaning quotes to balance out the conservative rhetoric demonstrated in the article, showing that, in this instance, omission bias is a key factor in structuring the article.

In the article we discussed earlier, we can clearly see that leans heavily Republican and conservative regarding issues on the border. Let’s reexamine the Texas Military Dept quote:

“The current posture is to prepare for future illegal immigrant surges and to restrict access to organizations that perpetuate illegal immigrant crossings in the park and greater Eagle Pass area.”

The use of only this quote and nothing else to highlight the situation at the southern border is another example of omission bias in and another reason why this particular piece may be less reliable than others on this issue.

In opinion pieces, issues with factuality, sources, selection, and omission are frequently present. The articles we’ve covered so far are mostly biased and exclude adequate relevant background and information that may contradict the author’s position. As a news organization with a heavily conservative slant, has to keep pandering to its audience, and it does so through the frequent use of conservative talking points and conservative quotes. But now that we’ve enumerated typical trustworthiness indications, you may stay current by keeping yourself informed on the most accurate news.

So, Is Reliable? is an outlier when it comes to news sources. It mainly repackages articles from other sites or reaffirms rhetoric displayed on the Hannity show through short articles which are typically highly opinionated and right-leaning. That being said, can be reliable primarily for articles covering an issue that typically has less polarization than hot topics like the southern border, and is a reliable, balanced source in those areas.

However, this can vary from article to article, and one topic is not a litmus test for the reliability of the rest of the news sources. The more you research media reliability and accuracy, the simpler it will be for you to spot problems with sources, selection, omission, and factuality. To help with this, you can use Biasly’s News Bias Checker to uncover reliability problems and assist you in finding the most accurate and dependable news.


Most Popular

Looking to save time on finding the best news stories?
Get increased access to the site, as well as the best stories delivered to your inbox.

    I agree to the privacy policy and would like to receive email updates and promotions.

    Fighting fear with facts.
    Top stories and custom news delivered to your inbox, at a frequency that works for you.

      I agree to the privacy policy and would like to receive email updates and promotions.

      Copy link