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How cable news political leanings change over time


The political bias of cable news shows is surprisingly dynamic, according to new research investigating the average partisan leans of cable news channels over time.

Using a method to measure average political leanings, University of Utah political scientist Josh McCrain and colleagues found that even on channels that are well-known for a particular political bias, the strength of that bias can change from hour to hour and from show to show. They also found that the current polarization of cable news channels may be driven by the leanings of the primetime shows.

“This potentially tells us a lot about the cable news marketplace and how they compete for viewers,” McCrain says. “It’s not necessarily about quality of reporting or programming variety, but about the slant of their primetime programs.”

The research is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . TV is more than static

If asked about the political biases of news channels Fox News and MSNBC, many might readily say that Fox News leans conservative and MSNBC leans liberal, and that it has been so as long as they can remember. Political scientists and economists, in their studies of cable news, have typically assumed that the biases […]

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