by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The New York Times responded this week to reports alleging Facebook intentionally suppresses right-leaning news sites by publishing a headline suggesting the story originated with a few conservative cranks.
“Conservatives Accuse Facebook of Political Bias,” read the Times’ headline on the issue.
In reality, however, the very non-right-leaning tech news site Gizmodo is responsible for breaking news of Facebook’s supposed suppression of conservative thought.
“Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential ‘trending’ news section,” the site reported, citing a “a former journalist who worked on the project.” …
… For the Times, though, the story isn’t so much that Facebook may have been caught smothering right-leaning viewpoints, but that conservatives reacted at all to the news.
This isn’t the first time that the newspaper’s coverage of a likely scandal has focused an inordinate amount of attention on the right’s reaction, and less on the alleged wrongdoing.
In April, for example, after the outgoing president sent Congress his Guantánamo Bay closure plans, and members of the GOP reacted, the Times ran with a headline titled, “Republicans Seize on Guantánamo Fears in Re-election Races.”