My Response to Prof. Kerr’s Reply to My Response

I think my and Milyo’s results in many ways support and are consistent with the points that Prof. Kerr made.

To see this consider this fact:  As surveys show, in a typical election, Washington correspondents tend to vote 93-7 for the Democrat.

It happens that the district that contains Berkeley, California voted about 90-10 for Obama.  Thus, the district votes very similarly to Washington correspondents, and if anything it votes slightly more conservatively than Washington correspondents. Accordingly, if the sole goal of journalists were to persuade people, then their reports would sound approximately like a speech by Barbara Lee, the House representative from Berkeley, California. Lee’s PQ is approximately 100.  Thus, if the sole goal of journalists were to persuade, then their average Slant Quotient would be about 100.

Instead, according to my and Milyo’s results, the average Slant Quotient of mainstream news outlets is about 65.

Meanwhile, if the sole goal of journalists were to inform people—and to inform them in a centrist way (that is, to choose the facts that a centrist would think are the most important)—then they would report with an SQ of 50.

My results suggest that journalists adopt a weighted mix of the two goals—with about 2/3 of the weight on informing and 1/3 of the weight on persuading.