I’m delighted to report that Prof. Timothy Groseclose of UCLA’s Political Science Department will be guest-blogging this week about his new book, Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind. The topic (captured well in the title) will surely be controversial, but Prof. Groseclose is an experienced and sophisticated political science scholar; and though the book is written for the general public and not an academic audience, it reflects his expertise. Here’s the summary from the book’s Amazon page:
Dr. Tim Groseclose, a professor of political science and economics at UCLA, has spent years constructing precise, quantitative measures of the slant of media outlets. He does this by measuring the political content of news, as a way to measure the PQ, or “political quotient” of voters and politicians.
Among his conclusions are: (i) all mainstream media outlets have a liberal bias; and (ii) while some supposedly conservative outlets — such the Washington Times or Fox News’ Special Report — do lean right, their conservative bias is less than the liberal bias of most mainstream outlets.
Groseclose contends that the general leftward bias of the media has shifted the PQ of the average American by about 20 points, on a scale of 100, the difference between the current political views of the average American, and the political views of the average resident of Orange County, California or Salt Lake County, Utah. With Left Turn readers can easily calculate their own PQ — to decide for themselves if the bias exists. This timely, much-needed study brings fact to this often overheated debate.
(Note that, despite the similarity in name between PQ and IQ, the PQ is just a measure of one’s political position on a [more or less] Democrat/Republican axis, not a measure of one’s knowledge or intelligence.)