The Daily Caller is a for-profit news organization established in 2010 by conservative media personality Tucker Carlson. Surprisingly, the site does not employ a single journalist in its news coverage. This is because that work is done through a non-profit called the Daily Caller News Foundation, which distributes its news product to 250+ publishers free of charge. The organization invited controversy after accusations that it exploits a legal loophole to avoid taxes generated by its for-profit affiliate. Given the site’s controversial background, how biased and factual is the Daily Caller?

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 Daily Caller? 

The Daily Caller scored an average Factual Grade of 51.3%, placing the site in the 10th percentile of our dataset. Several factors explain these low scores. In terms of cited evidence, the site almost always links only to other Daily Caller articles, meaning it often fails to incorporate external evidence. Authors generally have low overall expertise scores, suggesting they rarely cover the same topics consistently. Additionally, opinionated writing and headlines further reduce overall scores.

Like any news source, scores for articles from the Daily Caller varied widely. For example, some scored above 70%, while others scored below 50%.

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How Opinionated Is the Daily Caller?

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 Daily Caller had an average score of 0.58, placing it in the 43rd percentile of our dataset. This suggests that articles from the site are often moderately opinionated. This can be seen through article titles such as “Another American Dream Clings To Life Under Biden’s Watch” and “Democrats’ Worst Nightmare Is Coming True In Texas.”

What Is the Daily Caller’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 (MBFC). Based on this data, The Factual assigns Daily Caller a “Right” bias. 

AllSides assigns a Right bias to the Daily Caller based on 14,461 community ratings, a blind survey, independent research, and an editorial review. The AllSides editorial review finds that the outlet has a tendency to publish sensationalist news and stories that favor conservative narratives. Headlines often feature emotive language such as “Ocasio-Cortez Escapes NYC Lockdowns For Sunny Florida: Report.” Story selections often focus on conservative political critiques, such as “EXCLUSIVE: Enes Kanter Freedom Blasts Woke Companies That Refuse To Stand Up To China.”

Conversely, AllSides gives credit to Daily Caller for balanced coverage, making clear distinctions between opinion, news, and entertainment articles, and practicing sound journalism by using proper sourcing and seeking other perspectives. 

MBFC assigns the site a “Right” bias rating based on similar observations regarding story selection. However, MBFC notes that the Daily Caller has failed numerous fact-checks. It also states that the site has a tendency to omit information that damages conservative causes. 

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Who Owns the Daily Caller? 

The Daily Caller is a for-profit business originally founded by Neil Patel and Tucker Carlson. After accepting his primetime show in 2017, Carlson remained a minority stakeholder until selling the remainder of his stake to Patel in 2018, who is now the majority stakeholder. Patel previously worked as a policy advisor to former Vice President Dick Cheney and runs a real-estate business. Omeed Malik, a former hedge fund manager with Merrill Lynch, joined the Daily Caller in 2020 as a minority investor and contributing editor. Malik has donated to several politicians and groups, including Hillary Clinton in 2015 and President Trump in 2019, as well as a range of other presidential candidates and state representatives. Malik and Patel have expressed a sentiment for non-partisanship. Patel has characterized the Daily Caller as a new organization intended to break partisan “echo chambers.” 

As mentioned at the beginning of the article. The non-profit arm of the site, the Daily Caller Foundation, is the news publisher for the Daily Caller LLC. This business model has impacted the quality of news coverage because it often relies on unpaid freelancers and visiting fellows. In 2017, a report by The Atlantic identified Daily Caller editor and columnist Scott Greer as a contributor to a white nationalist site. Soon after, Greer was removed from his publishing positions. Since then, the Daily Caller states it has vastly improved its vetting programs.

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.

Article updated on September 15, 2022 to reflect new data.

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.