These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage conservative causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy. See all Right Bias sources.
- Overall, we rate the Heritage Foundation Right Biased based on conservative policy positions as well as funding from right-leaning organizations. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to promoting misleading claims regarding global warming and the health dangers associated with tobacco.
Factual Reporting: MIXED
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in 1973 by Joseph Coors (Coors Brewery), The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. The foundation took a leading role in the conservative movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose policies were taken from Heritage’s policy study Mandate for Leadership. Heritage has since continued to have a significant influence in U.S. public policymaking and is considered to be one of the most influential conservative research organizations in the United States.
The Heritage Foundation has been described as a major influence on the presidential transition of Donald Trump and the Trump administration. The foundation had a powerful say in the staffing of the administration, with CNN noting during the transition that “no other Washington institution has that kind of footprint in the transition.”
The Heritage Foundation also publishes the conservative news website, Daily Signal.
Funded by / Ownership
The Heritage Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Heritage’s initial funding was provided by Joseph Coors, of the Coors beer empire, and Richard Mellon Scaife, heir of the Mellon industrial and banking fortune. The Heritage Foundation provides current financial information that you can view here. The Heritage Foundation currently receives funding through individual donations as well as grants from conservative organizations such as the Koch Family Foundations, Marlboro cigarette manufacture’s parent company Altria and the Bradley Foundation. The Wall Street Journal also reported that between 1993 and 1996, heritage received almost $1 million from the Korea Foundation, which reportedly “serves as a direct conduit of money from the South Korean government.” A look at campaign donations by Heritage shows that 96%, since 1990 have gone to Republican candidates and causes.
Analysis / Bias
In review, The Heritage Foundation website does not report straight news, but rather provides commentary by conservative writers. Typically, there is minimal use of loaded language such as this: Green New Deal Would Barely Change Earth’s Temperature. Here Are the Facts. They also provide in-depth research such as this: Part I: Mental Illness, Firearms, And Violence. This report is sourced appropriately to a wide variety of credible sources. While this report is minimizing the lack of restrictions on guns as the culprit for gun deaths, it does provide an evidence-based conclusion that “Serious Mental Illness Plays a Significant Role in Violent and Firearm-Specific Crime that Should Not Be Ignored.”
Failed Fact Checks
- None in the Last 5 years
Overall, we rate the Heritage Foundation Right Biased based on conservative policy positions as well as funding from right-leaning organizations. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to promoting misleading claims regarding global warming and the health dangers associated with tobacco. (7/19/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 10/07/2020)