Bias In Cable News: Fox News vs. MSNBC

Sean Hannity - photo by Talk Radio News Service

A recent New York Times article (“Dueling Bitterness on Cable News“) uses examples of news coverage on Fox News and MSNBC to make the case that both news networks are guilty of partisan coverage. The article cites a Pew Research study which found that “of Fox News stories about Mr. Obama from the end of August through the end of October, just 6 percent were positive and 46 percent were negative.” The same Pew Study also found that MSNBC gave Romney positive coverage only 3 percent of the time.

OK, so we’ve established that Fox News and MSNBC are biased, but didn’t we already know that? I think the more important question is, which cable news network more often engages in intentional deceit? Or in other words, which network more often reports what they know to be bullshit for the sake of fulfilling an ideological narrative? Of course I have no data on this, and it might be impossible to do a study because it’s nearly impossible to prove intent, but I think I still have a pretty good idea.

I believe MSNBC personalities like Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes pride themselves on getting the facts right. Do they cover stories with a liberal bias? You bet. Do Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes intentionally mislead their viewers to fulfill an ideological narrative? I think that is a bridge too far, but I’m not sure the same could be said of Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. / photo by Talk Radio News Service

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#bias#cable news#Chris Hayes#Fox News#ideology#MSNBC#narrative#Rachel Maddow

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    I hear this absurd claim that “MSNBC is the liberal Fox” from time to time.
    I am personally still trying to find the MSNBC equivalent of “Tiller the Baby Killer”

    tick…tock…tick…tock…nope, nothing.

    Even Fox’s so-called “straight-up” news segments of the daily broadcast schedule are routinely injected with “straight-up” partisan agenda-driven disinformation.

    • It really does come down to, is there an agenda to misinform for ideological reasons? Bias isn’t so much the problem. You can be biased but still represent facts. It could be argued that bias leads to the public not getting the full story, but that’s not the same as intentionally misleading the public.

  • MYMY

    The fact that more Americans watched the conventions on MSNBC than Fox should tell a story. MSNBC is considered ‘biased’ only because it is pretty much a stickler for facts, which conservatives consider biased! After all, they called for Candy Crowley’s head when she stated a simple fact, and she isn’t even on MSNBC.

    • That is a good way to put it, that MSNBC (some hosts more than others) are sticklers for facts. That’s not to say they don’t get things wrong, but I don’t think hosts on MSNBC (at least Maddow, Hayes, Harris-Perry) intentionally spread falsehoods to serve a narrative.

      • K-Dog

        If you don’t think MSNBC is as biased on the left as Fox is on the right, you need to get your head examined. Al Sharpton is the host of a news segment on MSNBC, ’nuff said. You’re as blind to the left wing agenda as Fox news viewers are to the right.

        • Bias is not the same as deceit or misinformation. You can be biased, but still accurately report facts within your scope of view. MSNBC could be every bit as biased as Fox News (on some non-existent scale), but still report more accurate information. It’s a fair statement that MSNBC has a liberal/progressive focus, and therefore, a number of high value liberal/progressive issues bubble to the surface. Their intense focus on these issues is their bias, but that doesn’t mean when they cover these issues that they cannot accurately report facts. Do I think everything that is said by a host or guest on MSNBC is a fact? Of course not. My point is, there is greater misinformation and even outright deceit on Fox News. I believe Fox News personalities are more likely to put higher value on messaging than they do fact-checking. That does not, however, mean that I think MSNBC personalities never engage in this practice.

  • Chris Tyler

    C.N.N. ( Clinton News Network) and MSNBC are the most bias of the cable networks. They are basically state run television and propaganda for the liberal administration. An independent fact checker found 92% of the statements made on those two channels were found to be either strongly opinionated or just false.