Media Matters for America has come up with a study, Black and White and Re(a)d All Over: The Conservative Advantage in Syndicated Op-Ed Columns that purportedly “reveals the true extent of the dominance of conservatives” in newspapers.
You wouldn’t know it by looking. As Jonah Goldberg points out,
With the exceptions of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, I’m hard pressed to think of a top 20 newspaper that isn’t liberal editorially.
James Joyner takes a look:
One obvious concern in a study like this being conducted by an organization whose very mission is to expose conservative bias in the press is that the coding will be skewed. They looked at 100 columnists, many of whom I’m unfamiliar with, so I can’t provide detailed feedback on that score. Looking at the major columnists, though, raises a couple of red flags:
More posting later.
Copious Dissent rips to shreds the study:
This coding bias demonstrates emphatically that the people behind this study are deliberately trying to mislead their audience. They simply cannot be trusted. Astonishingly, what I am about to tell you next is even more ridiculous. According to the study, sometimes “editors of papers provided the name of a syndicate or syndi¬cates in addition to or in lieu of specific columnists.” When that happened, Media matters “recorded such syndicate data but did not include them in the analysis, except for a few rare exceptions.” So according to these dishonest people, we are supposed to believe they did not omit newspapers from their study that would throw off their agenda?
Why am I not suprised?