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121 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Insightful Look at Media Bias
Note: Normally, when discussing a book with political implications, I attempt to present an opinion tailored to the sensitivities of members of each major political party concerning the work in question. In the case of Left Turn, I have forgone this formula due to the objective presentation of the book and the value it serves despite political affiliations...
Published on July 19, 2011 by T. R. Kanavy

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31 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Support yes - 'Proof'?
I have read the book. Such a work is going to be polarizing. Those on the right will put it on a pedastal. The left will cringe like vampires in an Italian restaurant. The right will say the numbers are fine to support their charge of media bias. The left will attack it from every angle they possibly can in a desperate attempt to deny any media bias.

The...
Published on September 16, 2011 by The Riddler


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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freakonomics meets Ann Coulter, July 19, 2011
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This review is from: Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (Hardcover)
I am a big fan of Ann Coulter and I love the Freakonomics books by Steven Levitt. Left Turn, by Tim Groseclose, is what you would get if Coulter and Levitt spawned a love child. This excellent book is based on rigorous, social-scientific analysis, and it is fun to read. Best of all, it will drive liberals nuts -- just like a Coulter-Levitt love child.
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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Edifying, July 20, 2011
This review is from: Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (Hardcover)
Media bias aids Democratic candidates "about 8 to 10 percentage points," in a typical election, a professor of political science at UCLA , Tim Groseclose, claims in this new book.

The book cites a series of experiments and research conducted by the author and others. In one, researchers looked at markets in which Fox News was available in 2000 and markets in which it wasn't. "George W. Bush's vote share was 0.43 percent higher in Fox markets than it was in non-Fox markets," the book reports. In another experiment, Yale researchers bought Virginia residents gift subscriptions to either the Washington Times or the Washington Post. The ones who were randomly assigned to the more left-leaning Post voted for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate 3.8 percentage points more than those who were randomly assigned the more right-leaning Times.

Other research analyzes the text of newspaper articles or television broadcasts, focusing on things such as how often sources from conservative or liberal think tanks are quoted, or whether "partial birth abortion" is called by that term or something else.

The result is a wonderfully entertaining and edifying little book, full of sparkling examples. One of my favorites is from January 31, 2004, after the Commerce Department reported 4% annualized GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2003. "Economy Remained Strong in 4th Quarter," was the New York Times headline. "GDP Growth Disappoints," was the Chicago Tribune's headline. The author cites a study that for the same piece of news, "major U.S. newspapers are 20 to 40 percent more likely to report a negative headline if the administration is Republicans than if it is Democratic."

And that's just the research related to the content and effect of the coverage. Research about the political leanings of the journalists themselves is another area to explore: "in a typical presidential election Washington correspondents vote about 93-7 for the Democrat."

As a remedy to the bias, Professor Groseclose calls for journalists to be less secretive and more transparent about their own political views, so that readers or viewers are not deceived.

My main quarrel with this book is its design. The type is too small, there's too little space between lines, and the textbook-like subheadings and tables combine with Professor Groseclose's occasional lapses into political science jargon ("media lambda," "media mu") to make what's really a brisk and accessible book appear far more impenetrable than it actually is.

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy by the publisher.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Rendevous with Clarity", November 4, 2011
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This review is from: Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (Hardcover)
To say this book is shocking in it's implications is an understatement. Although most people, when questioned, would agree that the mainstream media is biased, I would doubt that anyone could guess to just what extent, and more importantly, how we are all affected by it. This book explains, in an unbiased and scientific manner, how "left leaning" most of our news outlets are. It then goes on to show how, over time, the public is being pulled to the left in overall political views.

I came away from reading "Left Turn" with a disturbing thought, "we the people" are under assualt. We're being lied to by our news providers who claim objectivity. And how can a free people make educated choices in voting when they are being shown a distorted world view? The answer is to educate oneself.

This book helps provide that education. It explains what's happening, proves it, and then provides solutions. It should be mandatory reading in colleges. (I just laughed as I wrote that to think of the absurdity of the statement).

Read this book. Get your family read it. Get your loved ones read it. And spread the word. Prof. Groseclose has given rationality a weapon for use in deprogamming those still "tied into the Matrix."
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proof: the media does indeed shift the country to the left!, September 28, 2011
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This review is from: Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (Hardcover)
Since "... journalists tend to choose Democrats at extremely high rates, usually higher than 95 percent" it can be easily assumed that they would tend to distort. But Professor Grosseclose does not assume anything, he proves it using rigorous statistical and scientific (as applicable to a social science) methods. After you read this enlightening book you will learn how great this distortion is and the magnitude of the effect it has on society.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new beginning for we the people, August 24, 2011
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This review is from: Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (Hardcover)
My conclusion is that according to this scientific endeavour we the people are cheated on a massiv scale by the bias of the media. We, the people who don't live under a glass cover as the intellectual elite does, should stand up and demand the truth and nothing but the truth. It is totalitarian that a small elite (see communist regimes) can determine the direction and the image of a country because their ego makes them do it and let We, the people pay for it. Thank you very much, prof. Tim Groseclose for your courage and foremost for your revealing work of science. I hope you will not suffer bad consequences because they don't like opinions, facts outside their intellectual bubble. Thank you many times.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is the Media Biased? Here's Proof., June 7, 2013
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Brent Graham (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (Hardcover)
Groseclose takes the reader on a journey through his scientific process of evaluating the degree to which "the media" is biased towards liberals. Not a big surprise to most people, but it's nice to see "proof" of what we all know.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will It Make a Difference, January 23, 2012
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B Kuehlhorn (Schaumburg, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (Hardcover)
A well researched study of News Media. Freakonomics applied statistical analysis to diverse topics. Tim Groseclose focuses on News Media. They are not going to like this, but what can they do?

I'm not surprised News Media is Liberal. Liberal want to change the World. What better way to change the World than report on all the bad things.

We should not blame the Liberal News Media. We need to understand them and consider the source.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good Book, December 27, 2011
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This review is from: Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (Hardcover)
This book took a look at the data behind the 'media bias' and was surprisingly thorough. The author does a great job of quantifying as much as possible this area, and providing solid evidence as to the scope and impact of the media bias. The ability to create solid measurable characteristics was quite impressive. The book was also well written and clear. Overall quite enjoyable!!!
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11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science answers the question "is media biased," once and for all., July 22, 2011
This review is from: Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind (Hardcover)
We hear a lot about media bias. Those on the right insist that media outlets like the New York Times, NBC, NPR and MSNBC are biased to the Left, past the point of credulity. Those on the left see Fox News as a bunch of toadies for the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. Turns out, the truth lies somewhere in the middle - but further to the Left than the Right.

Tim Groseclose has accomplished something nobody else has done - or thought to do - apply a rigorous, scientific method to data analysis, to determine not only IF the media exhibits bias, but to quantify that bias. He then goes further, and examines the question of "does media bias influence our elections, and if so, by how much?"

Stop and think about the implications of that for a second. They are staggering. Groseclose has found a way to measure media bias (what he calls a "Slant Quotient" or "SQ"). And rather than take the typical, polarizing approach of "my media = good, your media = evil," he spells out just how far to the left or right each media outlet has become. That alone breathes a breath of fresh air into this debate. From the book, I learned that ABC, for instance, is just a little to the left, and certainly not in the far-left camp like MSNBC. Fox News, as a whole, is not nearly as "far right" as media critics would have you believe. So why do we think otherwise?

Frankly, some of it has to do with partisanship. But as Groseclose convincingly points out, that's not the whole story. Bias is, in fact, insidious, because it can quite literally reset your own frame of reference, and distort how you see the world, especially as to politics. Think about it like this: My car has a gas gauge that is less than accurate. I've learned, over time, that when the needle sits at "Full," the tank is full or close to it. But when the needle reads "3/4 Full," the tank is, in fact, only half-full. When it reads "1/2 Full," I actually have only a quarter tank left, and so forth. If I believe the gauge, I could be in for some hoofin' it, on a long trip. (I speak from experience.) Problem is, I didn't realize the needle was inaccurate, until I learned, the hard way, that it was. Until the publication of Left Turn, we've had no such real-world, dispassionate metric, against which we could determine real media bias.

Media bias is hard to detect. In a way, it's like deafness. Listen to enough loud music or shoot guns at the range without hearing protection and, eventually, you'll lose your hearing. But when you've lost your hearing, you'll likely not notice it. You'll simply turn up the volume on the TV, and wonder why everybody's speaking to you in a whisper. Why? It's because you're married to your frame-of-reference, and have learned to trust it, and nothing else. Think of Groseclose's book as a "hearing test" for your own political senses.

Of course, detecting bias and acknowledging it are two different things. My late father, a WWII vet, lost most of his hearing in his final years. Yet, even after he had his hearing tested and got hearing aids, he insisted he didn't need them. I've read a lot of outrage and anger from Liberals over this book. Their attitudes remind me a lot of how my dad reacted to the news that his hearing was shot. Trouble is, if the media has changed your frame of reference and you have no way of knowing it, you're likely to find this book upsetting. That doesn't make it's conclusions any less accurate or valid. But your reaction to them may be influenced by the very bias the book exposes.

Regardless of your politics, Left Turn is an entertaining and thought-provoking read. If you're a Conservative, you'll read it and find vindication. If you're a Liberal, prepare to have your perspectives challenged. But do yourself a favor and read the book. It will open your eyes. And ears.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, scholarly but also humerous, January 27, 2013
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The title and subtitle obviously indicate the author's perspective on the topic of media bias, both overt and subtle, so if you are a flaming leftie with fixed views that, if anything, the media is biased to the right, you will have no interest in seeing your views challenged. But if you have an open mind and want to see some data and objective analysis, and have a good laugh, buy this book. There are many other books on this un-PC topic, but none that approaches it in quite the same scholarly way this social scientist professor does, or with such wit.
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Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind
Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind by Tim Groseclose (Hardcover - July 19, 2011)
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