The New York Times News bias is Lean Left.
Important Note: This page refers to the media bias rating for the New York Times' news content only. AllSides provides a separate media bias rating for The New York Times Opinion page.
- NYT Accused of Disinformation About a Capitol Officer's Death
- August 2020 Blind Bias Survey
- March 2013 Blind Bias Survey
- Third-Party Studies of New York Times Bias
- AllSides Community Feedback
- New York Times Editors' Comments on Bias
- About The New York Times
- Funding, Financing and Ownership
NYT Accused of Disinformation About a Capitol Officer's Death
The New York Times was accused of spreading disinformation in early 2021 after its story about a Capitol police officer being beaten to death with fire extinguisher story turned out to be untrue, after spreading rapidly through the press following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
In January 2021, The New York Times reported on the death of officer Brian D. Sicknick, a Capitol police officer who responded to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. The New York Times initially said that Sicknick was “struck by a fire extinguisher,” citing two unnamed law enforcement officials. But The New York Times updated their initial report a month later, adding a disclaimer: "New information has emerged regarding the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick that questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol Police." The headline has also been changed to “Capitol Police Officer Dies From Injuries in Pro-Trump Rampage.”
The story was finally laid to rest when a medical examiner ruled in April that Sicknick died of natural causes and did not find any evidence of internal or external injuries.
The original Times article was headlined, “He Dreamed of Being a Police Officer, Then Was Killed By a Pro-Trump Mob.”
The Times described the purported event: “Then on Wednesday, pro-Trump rioters attacked that citadel of democracy, overpowered Mr. Sicknick, 42, and struck him in the head with a fire extinguisher, according to two law enforcement officials. With a bloody gash in his head, Mr. Sicknick was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support. He died on Thursday evening.”
Some accused the New York Times of intentional disinformation to make the riots look more deadly than they were. Others see it as an honest mistake made in the midst of a chaotic event (which would make it misinformation, rather than disinformation). Also questioned is whether the Times adequately alerted readers to its correction of the error.
August 2020 Blind Bias Survey
AllSides' August 2020 Blind Bias Survey, in which over 2,000 people across the political spectrum blindly rated content from numerous media outlets, confirmed our Lean Left bias rating for the New York Times' news section.
The average bias rating for The New York Times across all survey respondents — liberals, centrists, and conservatives — was Lean Left.
A plurality of respondents who self-reported a personal political bias of Left, Lean Left, Center, and Lean Right all rated The New York Times as Lean Left. A plurality of respondents who self-reported a personal bias of Right rated The New York Times as far Left.
March 2013 Blind Bias Survey
Results from a March 2013 Blind Survey by AllSides confirmed The New York Times has a Lean Left bias.
Third-Party Studies of New York Times Bias
A 2005 study by UCLA found The New York Times news section has a left-wing bias.
A 2007 survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that 40% of survey respondents believed the New York Times had liberal bias, 20% thought it had no bias, and 11% believed it to be conservative.
AllSides Community Feedback
As of July 2016, the AllSides Media Bias Rating for The New York Times was Lean Left; the majority of the almost 7,000 of the AllSides community disagreed with the Lean Left rating. However, when users were asked what the New York Times news bias rating should be, the average of the votes was actually Lean Left.
New York Times Editors' Comments on Bias
In 2004, Daniel Okrent, the then-public editor of The New York Times, wrote an editorial in which he explained that when covering some social issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage, the paper did in fact have a liberal bias.
The New York Times public editor (ombudsman) Elizabeth Spayd wrote in 2016 that "Conservatives and even many moderates, see in The Times a blue-state worldview."
Times public editor Arthur Brisbane wrote in 2012, "When The Times covers a national presidential campaign, I have found that the lead editors and reporters are disciplined about enforcing fairness and balance, and usually succeed in doing so. Across the paper's many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times."
Times executive editor Dean Baquet stated, "We have to be really careful that people feel like they can see themselves in The New York Times. I want us to be perceived as fair and honest to the world, not just a segment of it. It's a really difficult goal. Do we pull it off all the time? No.""
Since Eisenhower ran for president in 1956, the New York Times has not endorsed a single Republican nominee for president, but has endorsed every other Democratic candidate.
About The New York Times
The New York Times was founded in 1851 by Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones and has been published continuously ever since. The newspaper is ranked 2nd in circulation in the U.S. and 17th in the world. The paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other news organization. The Sunday New York Times has an average print circulation of over 1.1 million papers.
Funding, Financing and Ownership
Note: Funding and ownership is not taken into account when determining AllSides Media Bias Ratings. While it's true ownership and financial interests can affect what goes to print, our bias ratings are determined by assessing the bias of content only. We provide financial and ownership information as an FYI to our readers.
Financing and ownership information last updated February 22, 2021. If you think this information is out of date or needs to be updated, please contact us.