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Is Newsbusters.org Biased?

By · Nov 25, 2023 · 9 min read

Is Newsbusters.org Biased?

Since its inception in 2005, Newsbusters.org has established itself as a prominent conservative news website, offering an alternative perspective to mainstream media outlets. Unlike other mainstream right-wing news platforms, Newsbusters.org acts as a fast-paced blog, using this journalistic format to keep afloat with the ever-fickle political news cycle.

Newsbusters.org is a project under the Media Research Center (MRC) umbrella, an American conservative content exporter based in Virginia and founded by L. Brent Bozell III. Bozell, a prominent conservative activist, uses his work with the Media Research Center to act as a media watchdog and uncover liberal political biases within American media.

This Pew Research Center table presents a content analysis of posts made by major accounts on alternative social media platforms in June 2022. It particularly highlights the percentage of links leading to newsbusters.org. For instance, on Parler, 4% of the links from significant accounts were directed towards newsbusters.org. This information offers a valuable understanding of the website’s reach and impact within these alternative social media networks.

Appendix C
Source: Pew Research Center

In this article, we will critically examine Newsbusters.org to determine whether it exhibits political bias and how this bias manifests in its reporting. Through this analysis, we aim to provide a comprehensive answer to whether Newsbusters.org is biased and elucidate the factors contributing to media bias in conservative news outlets.

How Does Biasly Rate News Sources?

Biasly’s algorithms produce bias ratings to help provide multiple perspectives on given articles. Biasly has analyzed 200,000+ news articles from more than 3,200 news sources through our A.I. technology and team of political analysts to find the most factual, unbiased news stories.

Biasly determines the degree of political bias in news sources by using Biasly’s Bias Meter Rating, in which Biasly’s team analyzes media sources’ reliability and bias and produces three scores, a Reliability Score that measures the accuracy of media sources; an A.I. Bias Score, evaluated by A.I.; and an Analyst Bias Score evaluated by political analysts. These scores are rated based on seven rating metrics including Tone, Tendency, Diction, Author Check, Selection/Omission, Expediency Bias, and Accuracy. These metrics help our analysts to determine the political attitude of the article.

Our A.I. machine-learning system employs natural language processing and entity-specific sentiment analysis to examine individual articles and determine their bias levels. By analyzing the key terms in an article such as policies, bias phrases, political terminologies, politicians, and their nicknames, the algorithms can rate the attitude of the text. Bias scores range from -100% and 100%, with higher negative scores being more liberal and higher positive scores being more conservative, and 0% being neutral.

Is Newsbusters.org Politically Biased?

Newsbusters.org, as a conservative news website, Newsbusters.org typically provides political coverage from a far-right-leaning perspective. For example, they published one article discussing how American Girl was under fire for a book promoting transgender values and puberty blockers, prompting conservative backlash and calls to avoid the brand, with concerns about the LGBTQ agenda getting indoctrinated into children, including the release of a transgender Barbie doll by parent company Mattel:

“This isn’t the first time (and it’s probably not the last) that a Mattel product has pushed the LGBTQ agenda to children that innocently enjoy their products. Earlier this year the company released a transgender Barbie doll.”

Another article details how Warren Buffett gave $100 million in 2013 to pro-abortion groups, including $62 million to Planned Parenthood, amid controversies over alleged organ sales. His donations, exceeding the previous year by over $4 million, underscore long-standing financial support for abortion causes:

“In 2013 alone, Buffett donated $99,809,148 to abortion groups including $62 million to Planned Parenthood. The additional $37.7 million to five other pro-abortion organizations. That’s enough money to kill 221,306 babies through first trimester abortions, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.”

“Buffett’s 2013 Planned Parenthood donations exceeded his giving to the group from the previous year by more than $4 million – and were more than two times the amount he donated in 2010.”

Newsbusters.org’s evaluations by Biasly involve a dual assessment approach, combining computer algorithms and analyst evaluations. Recognizing that bias ratings can fluctuate across articles and authors within the same organization is crucial. Newsbusters.org explicitly states its ideological stance in the ‘About Us’ section, proclaiming a commitment to “Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias 24/7” as a project of the Media Research Center (MRC), known as America’s leading media watchdog in documenting, exposing, and neutralizing liberal media bias. This self-proclaimed mission underscores Newsbusters.org’s partisan leanings, warranting scrutiny.

Concerning Biasly’s analysis, the Computer Bias Score for Newsbusters.org is “Moderately Conservative.” The computer-generated bias score positions Newsbusters.org as leaning toward a moderate conservative perspective. In contrast, the Analyst bias score is more pronounced, marked as “Very Conservative.” This disparity between the A.I. and Analyst scores suggests that, according to human assessments, Newsbusters.org exhibits a far more distinct conservative orientation. These ratings are based on scrutinizing at least 15 articles by analysts representing diverse political perspectives, emphasizing a comprehensive and balanced evaluation.

It’s noteworthy that these Biasly scores align with assessments from other third-party bias research agencies, reinforcing the perception that Newsbusters.org predominantly provides political coverage from a conservative viewpoint. Understanding these biases is crucial for readers, as it enables them to navigate Newsbusters.org’s content with awareness, distinguishing between opinions and factual information.

Before we begin, we need to discuss bias. Bias is a natural function of humans, and we can express it both consciously and unconsciously. Bias is one of the most fundamental forms of pattern recognition in humans. This isn’t to lower the bar and say that “all things are biased,” but to explain the process in which we may come to trust certain news organizations that display patterns of coverage.

On the media’s part, there is an incentive to retain audiences, encourage them to purchase subscriptions, and rate products positively. Bias is a two-way street, people want to see news stories about things they care about, and the media needs viewers to continue their operations. This creates a positive feedback loop that influences what stories are covered and from what perspective. This also explains the actions of more liberal news organizations.

Analyzing Bias in Newsbusters.org Articles

When determining bias, Biasly examines standard metrics, including tone, tendency, diction, expediency bias, and author, which are crucial in understanding the publication’s perspective. The tone refers to the overall attitude of the writing. At the same time, diction focuses on the author’s word choices, and expediency bias refers to the swiftness by which biases are present within the headline, imagery, or text. The author metric considers the writer’s demonstrated stance on issues through past articles and social media posts.

Analysis of Tone and Diction

An example article by Gabriela Pariseau, titled “WHINER: Former Censorship-Obsessed Twitter Executive Yoel Roth Tries Playing Victim,” demonstrates a conservative bias. The article’s tone consistently supports right-wing values and policies, which aligns with its target audience.

The author’s choice of words or diction reflects a pro-conservative stance, using language that portrays conservative viewpoints positively while critiquing liberal positions on the censorship of former president Donald Trump on Twitter.

Regarding an op-ed Roth wrote for the New York Times, titled “I Was Attacked by Trump and Musk. It Was a Strategy to Change What You See Online,” on the Trump Twitter ban and censorship issue, Pariseau writes that Roth “pathetically begged” for “pity” in the subsequent op-ed. The author’s choice of diction in referring to Roth is accusatory and disapproving of both Roth and his role in the decision to de-platform Trump on Twitter.

“From the headline to the last word, Roth pathetically begged readers for pity while complaining about being attacked for censoring former president Donald Trump.”

Analysis of Headline and Images

Expediency biases appear evident in the article’s title, dubbing ex-Twitter executive Yoel Roth as a “whiner,” reflecting a fully-formed bias immediately.

Yoel Roth
Source: newsbusters.org

Analysis of Tendency

Regarding tendency, the leanings and tone presented in the article stay consistent until the final paragraph, where Pariseau addresses Mr. Roth directly, stating that Roth’s decision to ban Trump from Twitter was “an egregious violation of the First Amendment that should never happen again.”

Analysis of the Author

According to the author’s biography on Newsbusters.org, Gabriela Pariseau is a part of Newsbusters.org’s affiliate Media Research Center’s Free Speech Division and a B.A. graduate of Christendom College. Pariseau describes herself as a “conservative, catholic, and history enthusiast” in her biography on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter. Pariseau has authored other articles with similarly inflammatory titles, such as “WATCH: Musk Warns How Leftist Censorship Could Backfire” or “CENSORED! Facebook Flags Pro-Life Orgs for Abortion Pill Explainer Video.”

Furthermore, the author of this article is known for expressing conservative views through her past articles and social media posts. This bias indicates an apparent alignment with conservative ideology, which may influence her articles’ overall tone and perspective.

It is essential to acknowledge that Newsbusters.org primarily publishes opinion pieces and analysis articles intending to express conservative viewpoints. Unlike traditional news reporting, opinion pieces explicitly advocate for a particular perspective, contributing to the bias observed in these articles.

Uncovering Bias in Opinion Articles

Before proceeding, it’s crucial to distinguish between reporting and opinion. Reporting aims at neutrality, providing facts and quotes from primary sources for readers to form their opinions. However, opinions offer a platform for columnists to express their personal views. In the analysis presented, we observed some elements of factual reporting, but opinion pieces on Newsbusters.org inherently prioritize expressing opinions.

Newsbusters.org’s opinion articles often exhibit a conservative bias, which is evident in their titles and language. For example, an opinion article titled “WRONG! CNN Reporter Claims Hunter Biden ‘Has Struggled’ to Sell His Crappy Paintings,” by Tim Graham, displays a pro-conservative bias from the outset. The article’s main objective is to criticize CNN reporter Evan Perez’s reporting on Hunter Biden and disapprove of Hunter Biden’s lifestyle choices. The article quotes:

“The New York Post and other media outlets reported in July that Hunter’s paintings drew at least $1.3 million in revenue…how is that ‘struggling’? It sounds more like ‘immediate success.’ Artists who have actually struggled to make a living (not a million) would agree.”

This quote explicitly aims to belittle Hunter Biden and portray him as playing the victim, aligning with a broader conservative objective to discredit the Biden Administration and its associates. As such, these opinionated remarks about Hunter Biden’s art reflect a more overall right-wing narrative, thereby indicating right-wing biases.

Hence, it’s vital to differentiate between reporting and opinions when assessing bias. While the former tries to maintain objectivity, the latter serves as a platform for the writers’ biases and viewpoints. Opinion pieces on Newsbusters.org frequently employ language that resonates with conservative readers and communicates a specific ideological perspective.

Who Owns Newsbusters.org?

Newsbusters.org is a conservative news blog owned as an extension of their parent company, the Media Research Center, or MRC. The Media Research Center is an American right-leaning media research and analysis organization founded by L. Brent Bozell.

Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

Bozell is a prominent conservative activist and relative of National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. and former U.S. Senator James L. Buckley. Following his predecessors’ footsteps, Bozell has dedicated his professional goals to conservative activism through the MRC. However, Bozell has faced scandal as a prominent conservative figure. In 2014, former employees of the Media Research Center alleged that Bozell did not write any content himself. Instead, he solicited Newsbusters.com writer Tim Graham to ghostwrite his publications. However, Bozell has yet to face significant backlash over this speculation.

The Media Research Center, based in Virginia, oversees several projects that align with the Center’s goals. These projects include Newsbusters.org, MRC Business, MRC Culture, CNS News, and MRC TV. The MRC self-reports its mission as follows, as seen in the mission statement and the billboard picture they posted on their website.

“MRC has played a crucial role in countering left-wing bias in news media and popular culture, revealing the left’s agenda to undermine traditional values, restrict individual liberty, and stifle private enterprise.”

Media Research Center
Source: Media Research Center

How to Evaluate and Uncover Bias

It can often be difficult to tell if the news you watch is biased. If you have settled on a news channel, it’s usually because you trust the information you are gaining. Unfortunately, many trust the information they are hearing because it confirms what they already believe. This is referred to as “confirmation bias.” It is important to challenge your beliefs and get third-party verification that what you are hearing is the full story. This is why we recommend using Biasly to compare different news stories side-by-side using our bias ratings to figure out what both sides think of a political issue.

Newsbusters.org exhibits a clear conservative bias in its reporting and analysis. This bias is evident in its articles’ tone, diction, and authorship, which consistently align with right-wing values and positions. Newsbusters.org’s mission is to provide a conservative perspective on current events and media coverage, making it a valuable resource for individuals seeking news and analysis from a conservative viewpoint.

As with any news source, readers must be aware of the inherent bias in Newsbusters.org and other conservative news outlets. Recognizing this bias allows readers to differentiate between objective reporting and opinion pieces and make informed judgments about the information they consume. Additionally, using tools like Biasly to compare different news sources can help individuals gain a more comprehensive understanding of political issues by considering multiple perspectives.

 

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