Reasoning: Conspiracy, Propaganda, Lack of Ownership Transparency, Failed Fact Checks
Bias Rating: EXTREME RIGHT
Factual Reporting: LOW
Country: USA (45/180 Press Freedom)
Media Type: Website
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY
American Thinker is a conservative news and opinion blog founded in 2003 by Thomas Lifson (He frequently writes for the conspiracy site The Liberty Beacon) and Health Care consultant Richard Baehr (he also writes frequently for PJ Media, Jewish Policy Center, and Israel Hayom). Both Liftson and Baehr are Kenyon College Alumni. According to an interview with Richard Baehr, he originally launched the website as a forum: “I think we have one of the most thoughtful online forums out there,” Thomas Lifson is currently the Editor and Publisher of the site.
Funded by / Ownership
The American Thinker does not disclose who owns the website. The website is funded through donations and online ads and offers an “ad-free experience for a small fee.”
Analysis / Bias
American Thinker consists of two sections, one is articles, and the other one is a blog. You can check out their archives Here.
In review, American Thinker uses strong emotionally loaded language in their headlines: “The Most Memorable Leftist Hypocrisies of 2017-8”. This article is authored by Robert Oscar Lopez, who writes with extremely biased language: “The left is composed of horrible people. Most sane people realize this, even if they have friends on the dark side.” Another article with loaded wording is this one: “The Great Depression of 2019?” Although they utilize credible sources such as thebalance.com, CNBC, New York Times, The Guardian and factually mixed sources such as LifeZette, Wall Street Journal, Human Events.com, they also utilize questionable sources to back their claims, such as Breitbart and non-credible conservative blogs such as michaelsavage.com.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, American Thinker has published Anti-LGBT articles and those by prominent white nationalist Jared Taylor. Further, American Thinker routinely publishes conspiracy theories, such as those by Pamela Geller, who is also on the SPLC’s hate watch list due to anti-Islam positions: Report: Obama said ‘I Am a Muslim,’ which has been debunked as a false claim. They have also promoted conspiracies about the Seth Rich Murder, and they have published numerous articles that are not supportive of the consensus of science, such as this one: The Hoax of ‘Climate Change.’
Failed Fact Checks
- President Obama secretly signaled solidarity to African leaders at the White House using a Muslim hand gesture known as the ‘Shahada.’ – FALSE
- New Jersey is currently conducting, or plans to conduct, house-to-house confiscations of banned high-capacity gun magazines. – FALSE
- Do statistics in a chain e-mail give an accurate “report card” of President Obama’s first two years? – MOSTLY FALSE
- A group of Somali teenagers used hammers to physically attack and injure several passersby at a train station in Minneapolis in May 2019. – MOSTLY FALSE
- “Sea level rise has been slow and a constant, pre-dating industrialization” – INACCURATE
- Did the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confess to lying about COVID-19 death numbers? – FALSE
- The AMA “reversed course,” now “giving the green light to doctors prescribing HCQ to their COVID patients.” – INACCURATE
Overall, we rate the American Thinker, Questionable based on extreme right-wing bias, promotion of conspiracy theories/pseudoscience, use of poor sources, and several failed fact checks. (7/18/2016) (M. Huitsing 03/20/2021)