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.
- Overall, we rate the American Spectator Right Biased based on story selection and editorial positions that consistently favor the right. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to poor sourcing techniques, a lack of disclosure with funding, and a couple of failed fact checks.
Factual Reporting: MIXED
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in 1924, The American Spectator is a conservative website that until 2014 was a U.S. monthly magazine covering news and politics, edited by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. and published by the non-profit American Spectator Foundation. The former magazine and now website carries articles by notable conservative writers such as Thomas Sowell, Ben Stein, P.J. O’Rourk, and Patrick Buchanan. According to their about page “The American Spectator Foundation educates the public on new ideas, concepts, and policies that favor traditional American values, such as economic freedom, individual liberty, self-sufficiency, and limited government.”
Funded by / Ownership
The American Spectator is published by the nonprofit American Spectator Foundation. The website does not disclose financing, however, they do have a subscription fee, a donation link, and advertising. Research shows that they have received considerable funding from the Koch Foundation.
Analysis / Bias
In review, The American Spectator reports news with a conservative bias. There is the moderate use of emotionally loaded language such as this: The Death of the Democratic Party. This opinion piece, which is not labeled as such, contains zero sourcing. As an online publication, there should be hyperlinks provided to support claims. In another article from their blog Immigration: Trump’s on the Right Track, there is again a complete lack of sourcing. Through reviewing dozens of articles we did find some that were appropriately linked to credible media outlets, but not many. Story selection always favors the right and denigrates the left. Editorially, the American Spectator favors President Donald Trump, such as this: The Reelection of Donald Trump. When it comes to the science of climate change they do not align with the consensus of science, which they make clear in this article.
Failed Fact Checks
- Nine Election Fraud Claims, None Credible – False
- Parkland mass shooting survivor Emma González admitted to bullying a former student who later killed seventeen people. – False
Overall, we rate the American Spectator Right Biased based on story selection and editorial positions that consistently favor the right. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to poor sourcing techniques, a lack of disclosure with funding, and a couple of failed fact checks. (7/18/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 1/31/2021)