Media Bias / Fact Check claims to be “the most comprehensive media bias resource on the internet” with “3600+ media sources listed in our database and growing every day.” But “comprehensive,” doesn’t make it reliable or unbiased.
Most of the sources it lists aren’t even media nonprofits. Instead, advocacy groups on the right and left dominate its lists, with Christian and conservative groups often being lumped in with conspiracy-minded sources and the liberal bias of others is minimized.
A fundamental problem with how Media Bias / Fact Check rates bias is that it takes the word of International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) as gospel. IFCN participants PolitiFact, FactCheck.org, Snopes, Lead Stories, First Draft, NewsGuard and Full Fact UK are all rated “least biased,” despite frequent conservative criticism over their selection biases and other ways of favoring the left.
For example, PolitiFact often uses missing context to slap conservatives with “false” ratings over indisputably true facts. It and many other fact-checkers also check opinions which have no business being checked. Although conservatives often call out these sites for errors and unfair fact-checks, the IFCN has no appeals process. It is entirely up to the fact-checker to decide whether to make any changes.
So it’s no shock that Media Bias / Fact Check labels a host of conservative news sites and organizations among “questionable sources.” The site advises that “questionable” sources “may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis.”
The list included CNS News, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, PragerU, Project Veritas, the National Rifle Association, National Right to Life Committee, Alliance Defending Freedom and more.
Meanwhile, Media Bias / Fact Check’s other categories downplay the liberal bias of other sources and organizations. For example, the progressive magazine The Atlantic appeared on the center-left sources list for “slight to moderate liberal bias.” So did Qatar-government owned Al Jazeera, Earthjustice, Grist.org and Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen.
- On Jan. 25, 2021, Media Bias / Fact Check moved Whitehouse.gov from “Right to Left-Center biased,” clearly choosing to portray the Biden administration as moderate liberals.
- Media Bias / Fact Check lashed out at NewsBusters for criticizing its inclusion of prominent conservative non-profits on the “questionable sources” list. Rather than explain or change the designation, MBFC irrelevantly complained that Newsbusters “failed to mention the dozens of left-wing sources” on the list and then labeled Newsbusters “borderline questionable.”
- Media Bias / Fact Check adopts left-wing positions on at least two issues: climate change and religion. For example the word “prayer” is listed as pending in its “pseudoscience dictionary,” despite prayer being part of most of the world’s major religions and daily prayer being part of the lives of more than half of Americans.
- The site uses the pejorative term “climate change denialism” to attack the credibility of those who challenge the idea that climate change will be catastrophic and that human activity is solely or predominantly to blame.
- Several words related to religion, and Christianity in particular, are listed as pending terms for its “Pseudoscience dictionary” including prayer, creationism, exorcism, global flood as well as the non-specific concept of “intelligent design” which argues that given the complexity of the world it must have been created, but makes no claim to who created it.
- The site’s “conspiracy-pseudoscience” section lists religious sites including Catholic Online, CBN, Charisma News, Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, and The Stream as well as creationist and intelligent design proponents: Answers in Genesis, Institute for Creation Research and Discovery Institute. The same section takes aim at pro-life activist Lila Rose’s Live Action, and climate skepticism (CFACT, Climate Depot, JunkScience, Watts Up With That).
- The site lists organizations that support amnesty for illegal aliens as more trustworthy than organizations that support our nation’s federal immigration laws. Amnesty International and American Immigration Council are organizations that support left-wing immigration policies. The site rates both as “Left-Center.” By comparison, groups that support immigration laws including the Federation for American Immigration Reform and Center for Immigration Studies are rated as “Extreme.”
- Media Bias Fact Check, LLC is a Limited Liability Company owned solely by Dave M. Van Zandt, who works in the health care industry.