Uncommon Knowledge with Tim Groseclose

With Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, Tim Groseclose has written an important book. Indeed, it may be the book of the year. Professor Groseclose measures media bias with social-scientific methods and concludes that: (i) all mainstream media outlets have a liberal bias, and (ii) while some supposedly conservative outlets—such as the Washington Times or Fox News Special Report—do lean right, their conservative bias is less than the liberal bias of most mainstream outlets.

To measure media bias, Professor Groseclose examines the political content of news and converts the content into an SQ, or “slant quotient.” To determine bias, he compares SQs of news outlets to the PQs, or “political quotients,” of voters and politicians. Professor Groseclose contends that the general leftward bias of the media has shifted the PQ of the average American by about 20 points on a scale of 100, the difference between (i) the current political views of the average American and (ii) the political views of the average resident of Orange County, California or Salt Lake County, Utah. With the kind permission of Professor Groseclose and his publisher, we excerpted the book in six installments accessible here.

Groseclose is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at UCLA. He holds joint appointments in the political science and economics departments. He has held previous faculty appointments at universities including Stanford and Harvard. He is not, shall we say, a right-wing ranter.

Peter Robinson recently sat down to interview Professor Groseclose about his findings. Through our arrangement with the Hoover Institution, we are pleased to present the interview in its entirety. Please check it out.

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