The Daily Wire is a media and news company with a right-wing conservative reputation. Founded in 2015 by Ben Shapiro and Jeremy Boreing, the company has grown quickly since then with their website receiving around 22 million visits each month. While The Daily Wire is certainly now a large news company, its focus seems to lie in its media and entertainment efforts with the recent push of its streaming service, movies and shows. Between The Daily Wire’s conservative bias and focus on entertainment, how reliable is the company as a news source?
Ben Shapiro, co-founder of The Daily Wire – Photo by Gage Skidmore
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
How does The Daily Wire Fare in its Reliability?
According to Biasly’s political bias meter, The Daily Wire has an accuracy rating of 76%. The similarly sized Today and Raw Story received reliability scores of 88% and 63% reliable respectively. For reference, Today is rated as Center, meaning it carries very little bias toward the right or left in its reporting, while Raw Story is rated as Very Liberal. For comparison, The Daily Wire is rated as Very Conservative in its bias. From this comparison, we can see that The Daily Wire is generally less reliable than Today but more reliable than Raw Story.
Media Bias/Fact Check found The Daily Wire to be less reliable, rating its factual reporting as “mixed.” According to MBFC, this rating was based on the “promotion of propaganda and a few failed fact checks.”
Daily Wire Accuracy and Reliability
Because The Daily Wire is widely considered right-wing in its bias, how often does the company place its conservative agenda above factual reporting? To find out, let’s examine a few articles on The Daily Wire’s website to see how accurate they are.
Selection bias is when stories and facts are selected or deselected, often on ideological grounds, to create a narrative in support of 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 important to keep in mind these two types of biases when trying to assess an article’s level of accuracy.
Biasly’s accuracy rating system is based on a simple percentage scale with 1 percent being the least accurate and 100 being the most accurate. These ratings are determined by counting the number of credible sources used by that publication on average. As established earlier, The Daily Wire’s reliability score using this system is 76%.
In general, articles with more bias score lower on the accuracy scale while less biased articles score higher. In the case of The Daily Wire, Biasly’s analyzed articles range from as high as 100% reliable to a low of 65%. However, it is worth mentioning that this only covers articles that have been rated by Biasly analysts and more articles might be more or less reliable than the average we’ve found.
As an example, the Daily Wire article “‘Hotwire Our Democracy Itself’: McConnell Attacks Dems ‘For The People’ Voting Bill,” was rated as 37%, or Moderately Conservative. In the article, the author, mainly citing a speech by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, uses both selection and omission to spin the For the People Act of 2021 as a power grab by Democrats rather than a bill aiming to make elections more fair. In the article, McConnell is quoted as saying,
“Let’s take a look at the bill. This legislation would let Washington Democrats dictate the terms of their own reelection races by rewriting all 50 states’ election laws. Popular safeguards, like voter ID, would be neutered. Ludicrous practices, like ballot harvesting, would be mandatory coast-to-coast. Democrats have a narrow majority in the House and a 50-50 Senate, but they want to make themselves the board of elections for every county and state in America?”
This assessment of the For the People Act contains omission bias. For example, McConnell frames the legislation as putting all 50 states’ election laws under the control of redistricting through the reforms in the bill. However, McConnell neglected to mention that the gerrymandering reforms in the bill would create independent redistricting commissions which would be made up of equal numbers of Republicans, Democrats, and independents/third-party members, creating a more fair system and preventing partisan gerrymandering.
Because the article only includes the perspective of McConnell, as well as a criticism of the bill by Mike Pence, the article does not represent the bill fairly by including the perspective of the other side. Overall, this article is a great example of selection and omission bias at work as the author intentionally selects the criticisms of the bill by Republicans while omitting any of the bill’s merits or a Democratic perspective.
Analysis of Reliability in Daily Wire Opinion Pieces
As the name implies, opinion pieces are written to showcase the opinions of their authors, making them particularly biased. However, that does not make them unimportant as they are a great way to understand the perspectives of their authors. Like most other news publications, The Daily Wire has a page on its website dedicated to opinion pieces, although this page is just articles tagged as opinions, so there might be more opinion pieces elsewhere on the site without that label. If so, they are difficult to find.
As might be expected from what we’ve discussed about The Daily Wire so far, its opinion pieces tend to align with the political Right. An interesting example is the piece “To The Perennially Butthurt Of America: Go Away.” While one might initially assume this article is a criticism of “woke,” especially given the first image greeting the reader is a sign reading “Wokistan.” The opinion presented in the article is actually more of a criticism of people being too “butthurt” about anything and everything, focusing on people who are constantly complaining about wokeness. The author gives an example of people on Facebook complaining about Cracker Barrel adding a plant-based vegetarian sausage to their menu. Essentially, the author is, from a conservative viewpoint, criticizing people on both sides of the aisle who make a big deal out of things that are not actual issues.
Of the six available opinion pieces on The Daily Wire’s site, two are behind paywalls. While we’ve already taken a look at “To The Perennially Butthurt Of America: Go Away,” the table below will show the biases of the other free opinion pieces to get a full picture of their bias using our News Bias Checker.
|Opinion Piece||Bias According to News Bias Checker|
|With Trump The Big Loser In ’22 Midterms, DeSantis Now Frontrunner For ’24 | The Daily Wire||A.I. Bias Rating:|
|SCOTUS Turning Up The Heat In Probe Of Roe Draft Opinion Leak: Report | The Daily Wire||A.I. Bias Rating:|
Moderately Conservative, 44%
|Amid Tensions Over Roe, Supreme Court To Release ‘One Or More’ Opinions On Monday | The Daily Wire||A.I. Bias Rating:|
Moderately Conservative, 30%
Quality of Sources and Facts Used
To examine the sources and biases of a Daily Wire opinion piece, let’s take a look at the more political article “With Trump The Big Loser In ’22 Midterms, DeSantis Now Frontrunner For ’24.” Although the A.I. Bias Checker found this article to be Center, but that is likely due to conflicting negative portrayals of Trump with positive portrayals of DeSantis. This article cites several quotes as sources for their claims, these sources being:
- Senator Lindsey Graham
- Donald Trump himself
- former Trump White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin
- Conservative commentator Scott Jennings
- former Obama campaign strategist David Plouffe
While most of these sources are on the political Right, the inclusion of a former Obama campaign strategist is interesting and lends a bit more credibility to the claims of the author because it presents a bit of the other side’s perspective. This source was likely included to help the author paint Trump in a negative light as he seems to be more pro-DeSantis. Even the quote by Donald Trump himself is included to portray him negatively as it states:
“‘Well, I think if they win, I should get all the credit … If they lose, I should not be blamed at all, but it’ll probably be just the opposite.”’ (In reference to Republican candidates endorsed by Trump).
By using both Right-leaning sources and a Left-leaning source, the author makes a fairly convincing argument that Donald Trump was the biggest loser of the 2022 midterms while Ron DeSantis is more of a rising star in the party, at least at the time of the article’s release in November of 2022.
Selection and Omission Bias
The previously mentioned opinion piece uses selection and omission bias by specifically selecting quotes from conservatives and liberals which place blame for the disappointing Republican election results on Trump while omitting any quotes which might paint Trump in a positive light.
As The Daily Wire’s readership is primarily conservative, it makes sense that their opinion pieces would be as well. However, this opinion piece in particular shows a Right-leaning perspective with a bit more nuance than might be typically seen. The article portrays a Right-wing bias that is specifically pro-DeSantis rather than pro-Trump, which seems to be prevalent across The Daily Wire as is seen in the opinion piece “Why A DeSantis Presidency Would Strengthen Our Bonds With Freedom-Loving European Nations.” Although this piece is behind a paywall, the title alone is enough to get a grasp of its contents. Regular news articles on The Daily Wire such as “Trump Vows To Fix U.S. In Six Months, Prompting DeSantis To Ask ‘Why Didn’t He Do It His First Four Years?’,” and “DeSantis Rips Trump’s Criticism Of Florida: ‘His Whole Family Moved To Florida Under My Governorship’,” follow this pro-DeSantis trend.
So is The Daily Wire Reliable?
Because The Daily Wire is undoubtedly guilty of right-wing bias in its reporting, its reliability overall does take a hit because of its unwillingness to portray both sides of issues in some articles, but does well in others. Regardless, the typical news article on The Daily Wire is generally fairly reliable and will use facts, albeit spinning facts to favor conservative causes. Similarly, opinion pieces on the site are generally conservative, though with an interesting bit of nuance. In the end, it is always best to analyze the reliability and bias of each individual article you come across, which can be done easily with Biasly’s Media Bias Checker.