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. However, 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.

How Does The Factual Rate News Sources? 

The Factual analyzes more than 10,000 news stories every day to help readers find the most informative, least-biased articles. Our news-rating algorithm scores each article along four metrics: (1) cited sources and quotes, (2) publication history, (3) writing tone, and (4) author expertise. These scores combine in a weighted average we call a Factual Grade, which ranges from 0–100%. (See our How It Works page to learn more about our algorithm.)

For this study, we analyzed ~1,000 articles each from 240 news sources. The average Factual Grade for the entire dataset was 62.5%. Based on these averages, we can compare the performance of news sites across the media ecosystem. The entire dataset can be explored in greater detail here.

How Factual Is The Blaze? 

The Blaze scored an average Factual Grade of 53.5%, placing it in the 14th percentile of our dataset. These low scores can be attributed to 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 70%, while others scored below 50%.

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How Opinionated Is The Blaze?

One of the metrics The Factual uses is the Writing Tone, which measures how opinionated the writing is in an article. For this metric, the algorithm looks for signs of subjective commentary (e.g., first person pronouns and unnecessary adverbs), as well as the emotional nature of selected words, and sees how prevalent they are for a given length of text. More neutral text receives higher ratings, with “0” being the most opinionated and “1” being the most neutral.

The Blaze had an average Writing Tone score of 0.59, placing it in the 45th percentile in our dataset for that metric. This suggests that articles from The Blaze tend to include opinionated writing. The variation between biased and neutral language can be seen in article titles such as “Biden brags about 16-cent savings, looks even dumber now” and “Senators reach bipartisan gun control deal.”

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 comes 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 requires fact-checking. 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?

Blaze Media LLC, which underwent a merger between The Blaze and CRTV LLC in 2018, is the current owner of The Blaze. 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. For example, 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 always have some 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.