I felt like I was noticing an anti-Mitt bias in the headlines that pop-up on Google News and today it seems worse than ever. I know that his supposed gaffes have provided a heyday for those covering the trip and their editors back home but this seems really incredible.
I have no idea what mechanism Google uses to prepare the list that pops up at any give time, but this seems to have gotten to the point that warrants figuring out what might be going on. Here is a sample of the top headlines at the time I am writing this post (1:10 pm MDT on 31 July) :
Washington Post: Mitt Romney’s foreign trip didn’t go well. Does it matter?
Chicago Tribune: Romney’s travels take another detour into controversy
Washington Post: Mitt Romney wraps up foreign trip in Poland
Wall Street Journal (Blog): Romney’s Wind Stance Raises Iowa Risks
Boston Herald: Mitt Romney to announce VP pick by smartphone app
Huffington Post: The Mitt Romney Tax Break Guide
Washington Post: Mitt Romney’s 20th-century worldview
By Katrina vanden heuvel, The Washington Post. Like a caveman frozen in a glacier, Mitt Romney is a man trapped in time – from his archaic stance on women’s rights to his belief in Herbert Hoover economics.
Washington Post: Mitt Romney aide tells reporters to ‘shove it’
Huffington Post: Romney Aide Rick Gorka To Reporters: ‘Kiss My A–’
Los Angeles Times: Foreign gaffes won’t matter, Romney strategist says
Washington Post (Blog): Mitt Romney and gaffe management, Romney’s financial mysteries and more …
Washington Post (Blog): Romney’s less-than-Olympic narrative
Mother Jones: Mitt Romney’s Big, Gay Olympics
Los Angeles Times: Romney hails public healthcare system — Israel’s
Huffington Post: Mitt Romney Just Played The Race Card
New York Times (Blog): Before Candidates Debate, Their Lawyers Do
Sacramento Bee: Romney should release more of his tax returns
Note that the post from the Huffington Post on the “Race Card” was from 21 hours previous. The Mother Jones piece on the “Big Gay Olympics” was from 9 hours earlier, and the Washington Post (Blog) piece, “less-than-Olympic narrative” is from yesterday. So who knows how these are being updated?!?
In any case, I just refreshed the page and near the top was a new article, this one from only 30 minutes ago:
Wanting to know a little more, I Googled
“Google News” liberal bias
and came across a couple of links where people complained of liberal bias in the past. First there is this one from 19 May 2009:
I’m not sure how to block Google News’ obvious liberal bias..or maybe it just reflects the fact that most of the American media as a whole have a fantasy of being nothing more than the propaganda department for Big Barack’s government…
Then, there is this one from two years later on 8 August 2011:
What is up with Google News linking so many left-wing, slanted news and opinion pieces on their headline “news” page.
So, as the first writer wondered, this could be a reflection of the bias present in the media? Or is there something else going on? Well, most “disconcerting” (to use one of the favorite words of the day), or in this case should I say “alarming” is this post from 29 August 2011:
I have noticed a trend in looking at Google News over the past few years, and today it became even more obvious that Google News is not balance in reporting news openly and truthfully. It was announced today on various other news outlets that Obama’s uncle Onyango Obama, an illegal immigrant, was arrested last week in Framingham (west of Boston) after police said he made a rolling stop through a stop sign and nearly caused a cruiser to strike his sport utility vehicle. Anyway, it was briefly on the GN page but then for whatever reason it disappeared and has not returned during the day. Again, this is not the first time that I have noticed what clearly appears to be a pattern of bias and protecting Obama from negative news.
I thought that it would be interesting to see what sort of articles would come up on Microsoft’s Bing about the same time as I did the search on Google News. I used the terms
and came up with the graphic on the left that shows the items that came out on top.While this does not prove anything statistically, there does seem to be a definite difference in what we see there and what I found on Google. (Note: Click on the graphic to see a higher resolution version of screen shot.)
Going forward it will be interesting to observe the extent to which this might be an issue. I would love to received any comments or suggestions from anyone also interested in this possible