Viral Chart Claims to Fight Fake News, Promotes Biased Media

Notice anything inaccurate?

A chart that is going viral on the image-sharing website Imgur claims to show where some major media outlets rate in terms of their reliability as news sources. Notice anything inaccurate about the image below?

One look at this chart is enough to call its reliability into serious question. In the center, under "Mainstream (minimal partisan bias)," are The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, BBC, NBC, ABC and others. if anyone thinks those sources are minimally partisan, then that person hasn't been paying attention. A comment pointing to those sources notes, "Great sources of news." Wrong.

Accompanied by the note, "Great in-depth sources of news" and "Skews liberal but still reputable" are The Atlantic, Slate, Vox, and The Guardian. They do not skew liberal; Slate and The Guardian, for example, are ragingly leftist. The Atlantic, home of Ta-Nehisi Coates, isn't much better. The Wall Street Journal is correctly situated under "Skews conservative but still reputable."

The chart is closer to target with MSNBC, which falls under "Hyper partisan liberal," and The Huffington Post, which is "Good for confirming your existing opinions but bad for convincing others. Be careful how much you hang out here." That latter description is also applied to Fox News, albeit on the conservative side.

The chart is again on target when it notes that Addicting Info ("Don't read this") and InfoWars ("Just no") are sensational, but it lumps The Daily Caller, The Blaze, RedState, and Breitbart together with them at the absolute bottom of the conservative side, which is of course nonsense. It's simply a way to delegitimize openly conservative news sources.

A chart like this seems mostly reliable to people who "skew" liberal, who then share it tens of thousands or more times online, confirming their assumption that "mainstream" news sources are unbiased and their dismissal of conservative sites as mostly garbage.