- Although the Washington Times has an extreme right editorial bias, they report straight news with a much lower bias. Therefore, we rate them right-center biased overall. We also rate them Questionable and factually mixed due to poor sourcing, holding editorial positions contrary to scientific consensus, and numerous failed fact checks.
Reasoning: Numerous Failed Fact Checks, Poor Sourcing, Lack of Transparency
Bias Rating: RIGHT-CENTER
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Country: USA (45/180 Press Freedom)
Media Type: Newspaper
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY
Launched in 1982, The Washington Times is a daily newspaper concentrating on politics and news. Based in Washington, D.C., The Washington Times was founded by a self-professed messiah, Korean Sun Myung Moon. According to its parent company, during Washington Times 20th anniversary, Moon said: “The Washington Times is responsible for letting the American people know about God” and “The Washington Times will become the instrument in spreading the truth about God to the world.”
Larry Beasley is the current president and CEO of The Washington Times, and he will remain as The Times’s chief executive officer. According to a Washington Times article, however, Christopher Dolan has been announced as the next president of The Washington Times, effective January 1st, 2019. Mr. Dolan also will retain his role as The Times’ top editor.
On January 7th, 2021, the day after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building in Washington DC; The Washington Times falsely published an article claiming Antifa was behind the attack. They subsequently corrected the article after it was proven to be false: Facial recognition firm claims Antifa infiltrated Trump protesters who stormed Capitol.
Funded by / Ownership
Operations Holdings Inc is the Washington Times owner, which is owned by the Unification Church of South Korea, through their holding company HSA-UWC (Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity). In 1954, Reverend Sun Myung Moon founded this religious movement in South Korea, which is known for its mass weddings, and its members are referred to as “Moonies.” According to a Guardian article, former members have claimed that the Unification Church is a religious cult that utilizes brainwashing techniques. Subscriptions and advertising fund the paper.
Analysis / Bias
The Washington Times, although praised by conservative political leaders, has also been criticized for being the mouthpiece of the Unification Church. The Washington Times also has a strong pro- Christian bias, with a whole section dedicated to the Bible. They have also published articles that criticize left-leaning Christians such as this: “George Soros and his ‘rented evangelicals’ outed by Christian leaders.”
In review, The Washington Times utilizes emotionally loaded language in their headlines such as “Gowdy puts Comey on blast after FBI ex-chief’s snarky ‘search for the truth’ tweet” and “NBC News’ Mika Brzezinski problem.” When it comes to sourcing, The Washington Times re-publishes articles from the least biased Associated Press and occasionally utilizes credible sources such as Refinery29. In examining several articles, we found that The Times either does not source information or links back to themselves (internal linking) to information that is not relevant to the article. This article is a good example of internal linking: “Mueller: FBI did not mislead Flynn into lying.” Internal linking is a technique used to increase page views and improve SEO, thereby increasing advertising revenue. There is nothing wrong with internal linking if the link relates to relevant information, but it does not in the case of The Times.
When evaluating how The Times covers science, we found they published an analysis/opinion piece by L. Todd Wood that promotes a climate change conspiracy theory: “global warming and then the climate change narrative was cooked up by America’s adversaries to enable our enemies to eventually dominate us.” According to IFCN fact checker Climate Feedback, The Washington Times published an article with very low scientific credibility. However, when covering straight news on climate change, they report accurately, as seen in this article: “Trump admin releases National Climate Assessment with dire warnings.”
Failed Fact Checks
- “5.7 million — that’s how many illegal immigrants might have voted” in 2008. – False
- Taxpayers paid $4 million for President Obama to play golf with Tiger Woods. – Mostly False
- Christ Church “ripping out” a plaque dedicated George Washington because it might offend people. – Mostly False
- In passing H.R. 1 in March 2019, House Democrats voted in favor of allowing non-citizens to vote. – False
- Then-Vice President Joe Biden publicly revealed the special-operations unit’s identity responsible for Osama bin Laden’s killing during a 3 May 2011 speech at the Atlantic Council Awards Dinner. – False
- Did the U.S. Department of Homeland Security say that they fear illegal border crossings may increase the novel coronavirus spread? – False
- Did Joe Biden say he attended college at HBCU Delaware State University? – False
- A facial recognition software company identified Antifa supporters at the Capitol Hill riots. – False
Although the Washington Times has an extreme right editorial bias, they report straight news with a much lower bias. Therefore, we rate them right-center biased overall. We also rate them questionable and factually mixed due to poor sourcing, holding editorial positions contrary to scientific consensus, and numerous failed fact checks. (7/18/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 03/11/2021)