MSNBC – Bias and Credibility

MSNBC - Left Bias - Liberal - Progressive - Democrat - CredibleFactual Reporting: Mixed - Not always Credible or Reliable


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 information reporting that may damage liberal causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy. See all Left Bias sources.

  • Overall, we rate MSNBC Left Biased based on story selection that consistently favors the establishment left. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to news hosts and the website producing 3 pants on fire claims.

Detailed Report

Bias Rating: LEFT
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Country: USA
Press Freedom Rank: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: TV Station
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic


Founded in 1996 and based in New York City, MSNBC is an American basic cable and satellite television network that provides news coverage on current events. They are owned by NBCUniversal News Group, an NBCUniversal division, which is both owned by Comcast. Outside of news reporting, MSNBC features hosted news programs such as “All In with Chris Hayes,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” and “The Rachel Maddow Show,” hosted by liberal pundit Rachel Maddow. MSNBC also has moderate conservatives, namely Morning Joe’s, Joe Scarborough, co-hosted by liberal commentator Mika Brzezinski.

Read our profile on the United States government and media.

Funded by / Ownership

The MSNBC news outlet was established in 1996 by a merger between Microsoft (MS) and NBC. In 2005, Microsoft ended their partnership with MSNBC TV, but the web partnership remained until 2012, when Microsoft and NBC completely separated from each other. NBC was owned jointly by Comcast and GE until 2011, when Comcast completed its merger with NBC Universal, becoming the sole owner. Comcast’s chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) are Brian L. Roberts, founded by his father, Ralph J. Roberts. Advertising and cable/satellite broadcasting fees generate revenue.

Analysis / Bias

In review, MSNBC uses strong emotionally loaded headlines such as this “GOP senator says he’s ‘concerned’ Trump was ‘involved in a crime” and “Cohen gets 3 years in jail for covering up Trump’s ‘dirty deeds’”. Generally, story selection favors the Left; however, they are also occasionally criticized by left-leaning organizations. For example, according to, MSNBC did not dedicate much airtime to the West Virginia Teachers Strike until the article was published. Further, Salon published an article criticizing MSNBC for employing the “Republican Never Trump” type of conservatives.

According to the article, they are “Loading up on semi-repentant conservatives and ignoring the activist left, MSNBC is doing the nation a disservice.” In other words, MSNBC is so focused on negative coverage of Donald Trump that they are ignoring the progressive left and actually moving right. However, as a whole, according to Pew Research Center, MSNBC is favored by a liberal audience, which indicates content and story selection tends to lean left to appeal to their core viewers. Further, MSNBC frequently reports negatively on progressive candidates.  Lastly, in a 2018 survey conducted by the Knight Foundation/Gallup, they found that the public rates MSNBC the 3rd most biased media source (left) behind Fox News and Breitbart (right).

When reporting news, MSNBC mainly provides video clips from reporters in the field. Text-based news comes directly from the Left-Center NBC News website. When reporting straight news stories, MSNBC is highly factual and well-sourced. They use NBC News as their primary source; however, due to some of the guest political pundits spreading misinformation on their daily programs, we cannot rate MSNBC High for factual reporting on the whole.

2014 Pew Research Survey found that 48% of MSNBC’s audience is consistently or primarily liberal, 33% Mixed, and 18% consistently or mostly conservative. This indicates that a more liberal audience prefers MSNBC. Further, a Reuters institute survey found that 46% of respondents trust their news coverage and 35% do not, ranking them #5 in trust of the major USA news providers.

Failed Fact Checks

Overall, we rate MSNBC Left Biased based on story selection that consistently favors the establishment left. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to news hosts and the website producing 3 pants on fire claims. (5/13/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 04/16/2023)


This poll is for entertainment purposes and does not change our overall rating.


Last Updated on June 27, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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Left vs. Right Bias: How we rate the bias of media sources

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