Breaking Down the New York Times Endorsement by Bias

Breaking Down the New York Times Endorsement by Bias


Neutral Bias
This article has neutral bias with a bias score of 0.74 from our political bias detecting A.I.

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Welton Wang
Managing Editor
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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On Sunday, the 19th, the New York Times released its Editorial Board’s endorsement. Or endorsement(s) in this case. The two candidates were Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

They published an oped explaining their choice. Let’s break it down by the bias, assisted by our A.I, which you can try for yourself here (emphasis in the text below is ours).

American voters must choose between three sharply divergent visions of the future.

(A.I. Rating) [ -1.40 ] Not much bias overall, besides the implication that Americans can only choose three visions.

The incumbent president, Donald Trump, is clear about where he is guiding the Republican Party — white nativism at home and America First unilateralism abroadbrazen corruption, escalating culture wars, a judiciary stacked with ideologues and the veneration of a mythological past where the hierarchy in American society was defined and unchallenged.

[ -20.12 ] Woah. Let’s break it down. First off, there a clear anti-Trump sentiment here, shown through the use of negative terminology when describing him, such as “brazen corruption.” Here, we have an example of one-sided bias, where the NYT is purposely leaving out Trump’s more positive contributions and cherry-picking the negative ones to portray him as worse than he is. While some of the point may be factual (white nativism is debatable), the statement overall is very slanted against Trump (and therefore Republicans) and his ideologies.

Another example would be the implied parallelism by adding to the list, “America First unilateralism abroad.” Out of all the items listed, “America First unilateralism abroad” could be debatable whether it’s good or bad — conservatives generally want to prioritize America’s interest in foreign affairs — however, by including this item in a list that otherwise carries a very negative connotation, the New York Times Editorial Board is further one-siding that “America First,” a conservative value, is equivalent to white nativism and corruption in term of negativity.

On the Democratic side, an essential debate is underway between two visions that may define the future of the party and perhaps the nation. Some in the party view President Trump as an aberration and believe that a return to a more sensible America is possible. Then there are those who believe that President Trump was the product of political and economic systems so rotten that they must be replaced.

[ -7.45 ] More negative sentiment towards Trump. There are three things going on here. First, the notion that our nation is in shambles and it needs (the Democratic party’s) saving. Second, that Trump is making America “unsensible” and “rotten.” This is starting to seem more like a hit piece on Trump.

The Democratic primary contest is often portrayed as a tussle between moderates and progressives. To some extent that’s true. But when we spent significant time with the leading candidates, the similarity of their platforms on fundamental issues became striking.

[ 0.21 ] Not much bias here.

Nearly any of them would be the most progressive president in decades on issues like health care, the economy and government’s allocations of resources. Where they differ most significantly is not the what but the how, in whether they believe the country’s institutions and norms are up to the challenge of the moment.

[ -3.48 ] This paragraph is generally okay too.

Many Democratic voters are concerned first and foremost about who can beat Mr. Trump. But with a crowded field and with traditional polling in tatters, that calculation calls for a hefty dose of humility about anyone’s ability to foretell what voters want.

Choosing who should face off against Mr. Trump also means acknowledging that Americans are being confronted with three models for how to govern this country, not two. Democrats must decide which of their two models would be most compelling for the American people and best suited for repairing the Republic.

[ -5.38 ] Similiar to above, there’s firstly the slightly implied idea that we can only have three or two models to govern us, which is false. Then, its back to the idea that “Trump is bad and completely destroying us” and “Democrats are our savior” with the last statement

The party’s large and raucous field has made having that clean debate more difficult. With all the focus on personal characteristics — age and race and experience — and a handful of the most contentious issues, voters haven’t benefited from a clarifying choice about the party’s message in the election and the approach to governing beyond it.

It was a privilege for us on the editorial board to spend more than a dozen hours talking to candidates, asking them any question that came to mind. Yet that exercise is impossible for most Americans, and we were left wanting for a more focused conversation for the public. Now is the time to narrow the race.

[ 1.53 ] These paragraphs are pretty neutral, and I have to say, the line, “all the focus on personal characteristics — age and race and experience” is pretty well written and true, especially with the recent Sanders and Warren debate.

The history of the editorial board would suggest that we would side squarely with the candidate with a more traditional approach to pushing the nation forward, within the realities of a constitutional framework and a multiparty country. But the events of the past few years have shaken the confidence of even the most committed institutionalists. We are not veering away from the values we espouse, but we are rattled by the weakness of the institutions that we trusted to undergird those values.

[ -5.77 ] The New York Times has a clear history of endorsing Democrats, with the absence of any Republican endorsement since 1960. It could be that Republicans have gone out of touch, but it could also be the NYT’s liberal bias.

The line, “more traditional approach to pushing the nation forward” paired with the NYT’s history of choosing Democrats (26 versus 6 Republicans to date) could possibly be seen as a possible reference that Democrats and pushing the nation forward (and Republicans are not), though I’ll admit its a stretch.

“…the past few years” almost certainly refers to Trump’s presidency, and “shaken the confidence” once again carries an (unfairly) negative connotation towards it.

There are legitimate questions about whether our democratic system is fundamentally broken. Our elections are getting less free and fair, Congress and the courts are increasingly partisan, foreign nations are flooding society with misinformation, a deluge of money flows through our politics. And the economic mobility that made the American dream possible is vanishing.

Both the radical and the realist models warrant serious consideration. If there were ever a time to be open to new ideas, it is now. If there were ever a time to seek stability, now is it.

[ -8.46 ] Some little biases in here. The second sentence is partially referring to 2016 where the election was provably influenced by Russia. In the context of the previous paragraphs painting Democrat’s as a savior to this problem, the blame is shifted (but not directly) towards Republicans.

We’re going to stop here for part 1 for now — we’ll most likely be releasing part 2 tomorrow, stay tuned.

Generally, the biases so far have been unfairness and negativity towards Donald Trump, his policies, and the state of the nation.

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  • comment-avatar
    Kaye Andrews February 27, 2020

    This article is ridiculous since who knows better than the NYT that they HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!