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Commentary By Eric Kaufmann

The Media's 'Far-Right' Obsession

Culture Culture & Society

Research shows the media is far more concerned about right-wing extremism than its left-wing counterpart.

Giorgia Meloni’s recent victory in the Italian national election prompted an outburst of references to far-right political extremism in American and European news media. Given the challenge of establishing a politically neutral reference point for determining precisely what counts as political extremism, it is natural to wonder whether media outlets are equally likely to denounce ideological extremism from the left as from the right. Our recent research shows that when it comes to calling out political extremism, media figures are much more likely to decry political extremism from the right than from the left. We have the data to prove it.

In our study, we conducted data analysis of millions of news and opinion articles from popular U.S. and U.K. news media outlets and quantified the media’s use of extreme qualifiers such as "ultra," "extreme," or "far" when speaking about right and left political orientation. That is, we counted the number of times different news outlets mentioned terms such as "far-right," "far-left," "radical right," "radical left," "right-wing extremism," "left-wing extremism," etc. Overall, we found that most mainstream news-media outlets mention the far right much more often than the far left.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The American Conservative


Eric Kaufmann is professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London and an adjunct fellow of the Manhattan Institute.

David Rozado is a researcher.

This piece originally appeared in The American Conservative