Conservative political commentator Glenn Beck launched The Blaze as a commercial alternative to mainstream media outlets in August 2010. What originally started as an “online-only network” that featured Beck’s TV show has grown into a multimedia entertainment platform that hosts podcasts, radio programs, cable news, and the entertainment streaming service Blaze TV. Its most unique feature is the ensemble of online conservative commentators paired with its internet-based network which attracts half a million subscribers, making this media business one of the most profitable in today’s conservative media ecosystem. Yet, critics would say this is at the cost of true journalism, leading The Factual to ask how biased and factual is The Blaze.

Note: The Factual’s analysis is specific to online written content and does not include tv, radio, or other media products.

What Is The Factual and How Does It Score Articles? 
The Factual identifies the most informative and least opinionated articles from thousands of sources across the political spectrum. It does this by using a consistent and transparent rating algorithm to evaluate articles based on their sources, writing tone, author expertise, and publishing site, ultimately producing a grade between 0 and 100 for each article. The Factual uses this data to explore trends across the media ecosystem as well as to inform our daily newsletter. To learn more about how we score articles, visit our How It Works page.

How Factual Is The Blaze? 

Over a dataset of 1,000 articles, The Blaze scored an average Factual Grade of 53.4%. This is below the average of 61.9% for all 240 news sources that we analyzed. This places The Blaze in the 15th percentile of our dataset.

These low scores are explained by The Blaze’s tendency to publish articles that lack quality news sources, use less supporting evidence for their claims, and feature authors with low expertise on specific topics. The Blaze has experienced numerous layoffs in the past few years which may be a contributing factor to these scores. 

Like any news source, scores for articles from The Blaze varied widely. For example, some scored above 80%, while others scored below 50%.

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How Opinionated Is The Blaze?

The Factual measures how opinionated an article is using a sophisticated natural language processing algorithm, producing a score we call the Writing Tone. For this metric, the algorithm looks for signs of subjective commentary (e.g., first person pronouns, unnecessary adverbs), as well as the emotional nature of selected words, and sees how prevalent they are for a given length of text. Text which is less opinionated gets higher ratings, with “0” being the most opinionated and “1” being the most neutral.

The Blaze had an average score of 0.55, placing it in the 40th percentile in our dataset. This suggests that articles from The Blaze vary between being opinionated and neutral in tone. The average Writing Tone score for all 240 sources was 0.56, so The Blaze’s Writing Tone scores are average.

What Is The Blaze’s Political Bias?  

The Factual classifies news sites by political bias as either Left, Moderate Left, Center, Moderate Right, or Right. This classification is derived from third-party assessments from media bias organizations such as AllSides and Media Bias/Fact Check. Based on this data, The Factual assigns The Blaze a “Right” bias.

MBFC assigns a “Right” bias” and lists The Blaze as a “questionable news source,” stating each article should be fact-checked. They regularly publish headlines that contain emotionally charged language or skewed political bias, such as “Devastating for the planet': White House, liberals meltdown after Joe Manchin officially kills Biden's social spending agenda.” Furthermore, it has failed a series of fact-checks and published debunked conspiracy theories. 

AllSides corroborates this “Right” ranking with a high degree of confidence. This is based on 182,765 community feedback ratings, a third-party analysis, and independent research. For example, AllSides notes a Pew Study found an overwhelming majority of The Blaze’s users are strongly or moderately conservative. 

Who Owns The Blaze?

The Dallas-based network is owned by Blaze Media LLC, which underwent a merger between The Blaze and CRTV LLC in 2018. At the time of the merger, executives boasted an audience of 165 million people. The Blaze incorporated a broad range of conservative cast to expand offerings to its viewers. The organization’s talent includes syndicated radio show hosts like Mark Levin and popular YouTube commentator Steve Crowder. Recently, the company has faced a series of journalist lay-offs but maintains its profitability.

This new business model along with the leadership structure indicates a bias to cover conservative issues more favorably. However, many of the platform’s creators have also experienced controversy for their commentary. Steve Crowder’s Youtube channel was demonetized in early 2021 after YouTube removed a video questioning the integrity of the 2021 election. Twitter banned another The Blaze show host for 24 hours, claiming the account spread vaccine misinformation.

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Why Does It Matter? 

News articles are bound to have bias because all authors have some frame of reference within which they describe a story. Political bias ratings are helpful in understanding this framing. However, it can be more beneficial to know how factual an article is based on quantifiable metrics that can be seen across the media ecosystem, from cited evidence, to author expertise, to the writing tone. This is what The Factual ascertains. 

Reading several, highly rated articles from across the political spectrum helps counter the bias of any news source or story. To have the day’s most factual news stories delivered to your inbox every morning, subscribe to our daily newsletter.

Published by Zain Bali

Zain is a researcher, writer, and marketer at The Factual. He is interested in policy, mass media, and politics. Before joining The Factual, he earned a B.S. in public health from Ohio State University. He has worked as a social media manager for a healthcare advocacy group and food science researcher.