On 4/18/17 Bill Palmer of the Palmer Report decided to make up another false claim, without evidence, against Media Bias Fact Check. In his libelous article he claims “Scam site “Media Bias Fact Check” caught cribbing its ratings from Wikipedia.” He then sources our rating of Cosmopolitan Magazine in which our notes read: “Cosmopolitan is an international fashion magazine for women and has a circulation of over 3 million. (Wikipedia) Cosmo’s primary focus is on fashion, sex and relationship tips, but they also cover politics. Cosmo has a strong left wing bias in reporting and story selection. Though biased, Cosmo usually publishes sourced information.”
As can be seen we use the first sentence on Wikipedia that gives a basic description of what they do and how large their circulation is. We then go on to describe, based on our methodology, why they have a left bias rating. Bill Palmer also claims that our notes are only four sentences, which apparently is not enough. The purpose of this website is not to write a dissertation about each source, but rather to just give some basic facts so that people can have a general idea of a source’s bias and how factually they report. Ideally, it should take less than 30 seconds to read our reviews. At least that is the goal.
And yes, we do use Wikipedia in some reviews and like any credible source, we give credit to Wikipedia. In fact, if Palmer took the time to read our Frequently Asked Questions he would see we addressed this. But, I suspect that would not matter to him. From our FAQ:
Why do you use Wikipedia on some reviews?
Short answer is it saves time when locating the background of a source. For example, where they are located, when they were established and who owns it, etc?. It also is a stepping stone to credible links that may help with the research. Wikipedia is “not” used in any way to determine a sources rating. Ratings are determined by reading articles and calculating a score using our methodology. Further, we also use Politifact, Fact Check, Snopes and other credible fact checking sites to help determine factual reporting.
There really isn’t much to explain here. We will continue to use Wikipedia for background information when appropriate and as always it will have zero influence on our ratings.
Lastly, this whole ridiculous back and forth needs to end. I don’t want to waste precious time refuting false claims that Palmer dreams up. I would like to give Bill Palmer the opportunity to be a real journalist and interview me in a public forum. He can ask any questions he wants and I will answer. We can conduct this on the Palmer Report or Media Bias Fact Check Facebook/Twitter pages. What do you say, Bill? You have my Email.
I know our readers don’t want me to respond to Palmer, but I really don’t have a choice when false claims are made. I apologize.
Dave Van Zandt
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