These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward liberal 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 liberal causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy. See all Left Bias sources.
- Overall, we rate Media Matters Left Biased based on selectively checking right-wing sources and High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information and a clean fact check record.
Factual Reporting: HIGH
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in 2004 by journalist and political activist David Brock as a counterweight to the conservative Media Research Center, Media Matters for America is a politically progressive media watchdog in the United States. He founded the group with help from the Center for American Progress. The organization has a stated mission of “comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media”. It is known for its aggressive criticism of conservative journalists and media outlets, including its “War on Fox News.”
Funded by / Ownership
Media Matters is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization that is funded through donations and sponsors. According to Sourcewatch they are funded by wealthy liberals and according to the right-leaning Influence Watch, “Media Matters was founded with $2 million in funding from wealthy progressives funneled through the Tides Foundation with additional funding from MoveOn.org and the New Democrat Network. The left-of-center donor group known as Democracy Alliance endorsed the group in 2004, resulting in a flood of donations. In 2010, George Soros gave the group $1 million. MMA has also received substantial funding from labor unions, most notably the National Education Association (NEA).” Finally, they are affiliated with the American Bridge 21st Century Super PAC.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Media Matters frequently uses emotionally loaded words that favor the left and denigrate the right such as this: Fox News bashes Bernie Sanders and misleads viewers about his policies after his Fox town hall. This report is properly sourced to credible media outlets and direct quotes. Here is another example of an emotionally charged headline designed to favor the left: The insane, toxic Trump adulation of Jeanine Pirro. Although biased in wording, this story is again properly sourced to OpenSecrets, the New York Times and the FEC. In general, Media Matters’s sole purpose is to paint the right negatively, while positively reporting on the left. Typically, they use proper sources and usually keep information in context, though opinions are clearly left-biased.
A factual search reveals Media Matters has not failed a fact check and in fact is used by IFCN fact-checkers for verification of data.
Overall, we rate Media Matters Left Biased based on selectively checking right-wing sources and High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information and a clean fact check record. (5/13/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 4/19/2019)