Founded in 2015 by Ben Shapiro and Jeremy Boreing, The Daily Wire is a conservative media and news company that has grown rapidly since its establishment, now averaging around 22 million page views each month. According to NPR, The Daily Wire received the most engagement per article on Facebook compared to other mainstream and conservative, nonmainstream news sources. The Daily Wire makes no attempt at hiding its bias, even stating on its About page that “The Daily Wire does not claim to be without bias. We’re opinionated, we’re noisy, and we’re having a good time.” While the company outright admits to its bias, how far does this bias go in its online news and how does it impact its reporting? As a conservative source of news, The Daily Wire falls into a category that, according to Pew Research Center, is less trusted on average.
Source: Pew Research
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 The Daily Wire Politically Biased?
Over the years, The Daily Wire has gained a reputation as a conservative company. This reputation is well earned as one of The Daily Wire’s founders is prominent conservative political pundit Ben Shapiro. The Daily Wire’s about page even states that:
“The Daily Wire was meant to be something unique in the right-of-center media landscape — a truly for-profit business with an emphasis on distribution and marketing.”
This explanation also makes it clear that one of The Daily Wire’s primary objectives is to make a profit. The Daily Wire’s homepage is also very telling of the publication’s political biases as many of its featured articles very clearly carry right-wing bias such as the articles “WATCH: DeSantis Shreds Woke Heckler Who Interrupted Speech,” and “Town Swaps POW/MIA Banner For Pride Flag, Causing Anger.” Interestingly, The Daily Wire seems more supportive of Ron DeSantis than Donald Trump as evidenced by a recent interview of DeSantis by Ben Shapiro.
Biasly’s A.I. bias rating system gave The Daily Wire a score of 52%, placing the company at Very Conservative, as well as a similar policy leaning score of 54%, also Very Conservative. Similarly, Biasly’s analyst ratings gave The Daily Wire a bias score of 36%, making it Moderately Conservative, and an author bias score of 57%, or Very Conservative. Another bias research agency, Media Bias/Fact Check, classifies The Daily Wire as right and leaning towards the more extreme end of their scale.
While The Daily Wire does focus much of its efforts on news articles, that does not seem to be the main focus of the company. The company’s About page focuses more on the media side of the organization, describing itself as “one of America’s fastest-growing media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment.” While this might not impact The Daily Wire’s news articles too much, it bears mentioning that the organization’s primary purpose is to serve as a conservative political punditry platform rather than as a specifically news-oriented organization.
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.
Analysis of Bias in Daily Wire Online Articles
Although The Daily Wire is self-admittedly a conservative organization, how does this bias present itself in their online news articles? To find out, let’s examine the Daily Wire article “Inflation SKYROCKETS To Highest Levels Since Great Recession, Follows Disastrous Jobs Report.”
Biasly rated this article at 52%, making it Very Conservative at the same score as the publication itself. The author bias of the article was also rated at 52%. From the title alone, this article places a negative spin on the Biden Administration by emphasizing high inflation. While this isn’t self-evident from just the title, the image of Joe Biden at the top of the article makes the point clear.
The Daily Caller. While the author’s previous work isn’t directly relevant to the bias of the article in question, it is useful to see what biases the author has displayed in other cases to inform what their personal views are and how those personal views impact the bias in their writing.
The article makes numerous references to the economy and pins the blame for its issues squarely on Joe Biden. The first sentence of the article is a perfect example of this, in which the article states that:
“President Joe Biden received further negative news Wednesday about the economic environment in the U.S. under his leadership as newly released numbers show that the economy is overheating and inflation is growing at an even higher rate than anticipated.”
While the President certainly has an important impact on the economy, it simply is not fair to pin all of the blame for economic issues on the President when Congress is equally as important to economic policy. While the sources used in the article are solid, statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in particular are utilized several times, the idea that the President is the only person to blame for economic issues, or given credit for economic growth for that matter, is not true.
When pinning the blame on the President for economic issues, the author of this article refers to the economy as “Biden’s economy,” such as the statement “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that nearly 10 million Americans, 9.8 million to be exact, remained unemployed in Biden’s economy.” The implication that the Presidency is the sole controller of the economy is used to slight the liberal President. The article also mentions other issues relevant at the time, such as an increase in immigration arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border, as something the Biden Administration is to blame for.
Due to its conservative bias, this article uses its solid sources as evidence to blame economic struggles on a Democratic President. Because the sources are strong evidence, it ties the President, despite the position not being completely in control of the economy, as practically the only one to blame for any economic issues.
Analysis of Daily Wire Opinion Pieces
The Daily Wire Opinion page lists a number of opinion pieces with some pretty clear conservative bias. The most recent article on the page is entitled “Why A DeSantis Presidency Would Strengthen Our Bonds With Freedom-Loving European Nations,” though it is behind a paywall as with many other articles on The Daily Wire. The second most recent opinion piece, “With Trump The Big Loser In ’22 Midterms, DeSantis Now Frontrunner For ’24,” was published in November of 2022, so it seems that the Opinions page is not a major focus of the company. Interestingly, the title of both pieces implies a conservative bias specifically toward Ron DeSantis rather than Donald Trump.
To take a look at the biases in The Daily Wire’s opinion pieces, let’s examine the previously mentioned piece “With Trump The Big Loser In ’22 Midterms, DeSantis Now Frontrunner For ’24.” From the title, we can see that the author carries some bias toward the Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, and that the author might prefer a DeSantis Presidency over another Trump Presidency. In the piece, the author uses the disappointing Republican results in the 2022 midterms as evidence that Trump’s influence in the Republican party has waned while DeSantis’ influence within the party is growing with his victory in Florida. While an article of this nature could be misconstrued as liberally biased:
“Trump was so weak that his hand-picked candidate, Dr. Oz, got drubbed by a guy who suffered a stroke over the summer and could barely utter a coherent sentence.” (in reference to John Fetterman)
Statements like this make it clear that the author is still writing with a conservative bias, but isn’t particularly supportive of Donald Trump. This perspective is interesting as it shows that The Daily Wire, although conservative, is not necessarily pro-Trump.
Overall, this opinion piece confirms the well-known conservative biases in The Daily Wire, although paints a bit more of a nuanced picture of its authors as supporting a particular Republican politician without necessarily backing Trump as is the norm for many other conservative websites.
Who Owns The Daily Wire?
The Daily Wire is owned entirely by Bentkey Ventures, LLC, which used to be called Forward Publishing. In turn, Bentkey Ventures is owned by Jeremy Boreing, Ben Shapiro, Caleb Robinson, and Farris Wilks.
Jeremy Boreing, Caleb Robinson, and Ben Shapiro, the co-founders of The Daily Wire, are the main owners of the company today. Boreing and Robinson are the co-CEOs while Shapiro is the Editor Emeritus. The fourth owner, Farris Wilks, is a petroleum industry billionaire who gave the company its initial investment of $4.7 million. Farris Wilks and his brother, Dan Wilks, have funded a number of religious and right-wing organizations in the past as well as the campaigns of Republican politicians across the country.
As The Daily Wire’s owners all have their own ties to conservative politics, the company at large is, to put it plainly, intended to spread conservative values. The company has also made a push in recent years to break into the entertainment industry with a handful of movies and a streaming service, DailyWire+, so profit is another major factor that drives The Daily Wire.
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.
Although Biasly gave The Daily Wire a bias score of 58%, or Very Conservative, this bias might vary from article to article and it wouldn’t be fair to label everything released by The Daily Wire as Very Conservative. Even though The Daily Wire professes to be “right-of-center,” it is always important to examine news articles on a case-by-case basis. To do this, Biasly’s News Bias Checker is a useful tool to examine the biases of any particular article.