The Washington Post has a Lean Left media bias rating. AllSides gives The Washington Post this media bias rating with high confidence.
A March 2013 AllSides blind bias survey found that The Washington Post has a Lean Left media bias. To conduct a blind bias survey, AllSides gathers readers from all over the political bias spectrum, and has them read and rate the bias of articles blindly — without telling them who wrote the article or which media outlet it came from. Then, we take the average bias rating of several articles from a given media outlet to arrive at our final bias rating. AllSides normalizes this data, making sure that the survey audience accurately reflects the social and political diversity of the nation.
A majority of over 7,000 community members agreed with a Lean Left AllSides Media Bias Rating as of July 2016. Among those who disagreed, 66 members gave the newspaper an average bias rating of 58.8, putting The Washington Post on the boundary of a Lean Left and Center media bias rating. These results, along with a 2005 UCLA study measuring media bias, reinforce AllSides' Lean Left Washington Post bias rating.
A 2014 Pew Research Center survey found most of the Washington Post audience — 61% — has left-of-center political views. Just 7% of Washington Post consumers are consistently conservative; 20% are of mixed political persuasion.
The Post has endorsed Democratic presidential candidates for at least nine presidential elections and has never endorsed a Republican for president.
The Washington Post was sued for defamation on February 19, 2019, following biased media reporting on a viral video of Covington Catholic High School students in January 2019. Attorneys for Covington student Nick Sandmann claim the Post published seven "false and defamatory articles." The complaint states:
"... [T]he Post engaged in a modern-day form of McCarthyism by competing with CNN and NBC, among others, to claim leadership of a mainstream and social media mob of bullies which attacked, vilified, and threatened Nicholas Sandmann ("Nicholas"), an innocent secondary school child. The Post wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red "Make America Great Again" souvenir cap on a school field trip ...
[T]he Post knew and intended that its false and defamatory accusations would be republished by others, including media outlets and others on social media."
The publication has been accused of both liberal and conservative biases over the years. American journalist and commentator Bill Moyers said that in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Post ran "more than 140 stories on its front page promoting the [Iraq] war, while contrary information 'got lost,' as one Post staffer told [journalist Howard] Kurtz."
In a study published in April 2007, a group of Yale professors found that study participants who were given a free subscription to the Post were 7.9–11.4% more likely to vote for the Democrat candidate for governor than those assigned to a control group. However, people who received a free subscription to the Washington Times, a conservative paper, were also more likely than controls to vote for the Democrat. The study authors said a sampling error might have played a role, as well as the fact that the Democrat candidate had more conservative positions than is typical for a Democrat, and "the month prior to the post-election survey was a difficult period for President Bush, one in which his overall approval rating fell by approximately 4 percentage points nationwide. It appears that heightened exposure to both papers’ news coverage, despite opposing ideological slants, moved public opinion away from Republicans."
According to a 2009 Oxford University Press book by Richard Davis on the impact of blogs on American politics, liberal bloggers link to The Washington Post and The New York Times more often than other major newspapers; yet, conservative bloggers also link often to liberal newspapers.
More about The Washington Post
The Washington Post is the dominant newspaper in the U.S. capital and usually counted as one of the leading daily American newspapers. Over the years, it has distinguished itself through its political reporting on the workings of the White House, Congress and the U.S. government. Among the Post’s sections are national and international news, a metro section covering local news, a style section and a sports section.
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