Is the American Spectator Reliable?

The American Spectator is a conservative magazine and website that grew in prominence in the 1990s publishing “political scandal” articles related to figures such as former President Bill Clinton and Clarence Thomas accuser Anita Hill. Internal strife, including debates about financial transparency, saw the magazine nearly collapse before being rebuilt over the 2000s and 2010s. Today, the publication hosts conservative thinkers, respected and controversial alike, but is also the subject of considerable scrutiny. So, how reliable are news articles from the American Spectator? 

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Is the National Review Reliable?

Once called the “bible of American conservatism,” the National Review is often credited with being a uniting force for conservative thought in the second half of the 20th century. Today, it remains a consequential forum for conservative thought, including tensions and overlap between traditional conservatism, neoconservatism, the populist right, and libertarianism. But the site has also been the subject of some controversy, from problematic contributors to contradicting scientific consensus on climate change. So, how reliable of a news source is the National Review?

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Which Countries Are Sending Weapons and Equipment to Ukraine?

Almost immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, neighboring countries and others started making commitments to send weapons and military equipment in response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s urgent requests for assistance. The list grew in the first days of the conflict to include states that had previously seemed unlikely to get involved, such as Germany, Sweden, and Norway. Buttressed by these shipments, including $350 million in weapons and equipment from the U.S., Ukraine appears set to continue to put Russian forces at risk over the weeks to come.

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Should RT and Sputnik News Be Banned?

After Russia invaded Ukraine, severe economic sanctions were accompanied by a multinational decision to ban Russian-state media from many spaces. First, the European Union (EU) said Sputnik News and RT would no longer be seen in the EU, then tech platforms systematically limited access to these networks or applied warning labels about their content. Following years of concern about tech censorship and perceived bias, was this the right decision? What consequences might it have?

At The Factual, these questions were discussed at length within our team due to the editorial process for preparing the daily newsletter. While we employ a rating system to identify highly informative articles and minimize our biases when selecting stories, we still employ human judgment on the final selection as we look to present different angles across the political spectrum. So, where did we land on the banning decision?

Below are excerpts from the internal team conversation presenting arguments for and against banning Russian state media. The discussion illuminates the many factors that go into such a decision and the complex implications involved. We hope that sharing this with you provides some insight into the guiding principles and discussion behind The Factual.

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Can a No-Fly Zone Be Used in Ukraine?

A wide range of figures from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Senator Adam Kinzigner (R-IL) have advocated for the use of a no-fly zone in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on February 24. The idea largely seems to be put forward as a way to impose costs on the invading Russian forces without putting “boots on the ground.” However, there is limited awareness about what the policy would entail, leading to many articles clarifying how dangerous such a move could be.

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Is the Associated Press Reliable?

The Associated Press (AP) is one of the most widely used news services in the world. As of 2016, its news reports were published in over 1,300 media outlets, including news organizations across the political spectrum and around the world. As of 2020, it had a presence in over 245 news bureaus and 97 countries, including a reporter in every U.S. statehouse. It also published over 440,000 news stories, boasting that “half the world’s population sees journalism from The Associated Press every day.” So, how reliable is AP as a news source and how biased is its news coverage?

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Is The Federalist a Reliable News Source? 

The Federalist is an online conservative news website founded in 2013 that has seen its popularity grow in recent years, particularly during the Trump administration. According to the New York Times, The Federalist leans “headfirst into the culture wars,” questioning the Me Too movement and routinely contradicting medical and scientific expertise during the Covid-19 pandemic. So, how reliable is The Federalist as a news source?

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Is NBC News Reliable?

As one of the biggest names in news, NBC News boasts an extensive network of journalists and significant resources, including foreign bureaus around the world. But with this significant presence in the news ecosystem comes accusations of being a part of “mainstream” media, including accusations of having a liberal bias. So, how reliable and biased are news articles from NBC News?

Note: This analysis is specific to online articles from NBC News, not any of its television or other media content.

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Is CNBC Reliable?

Perhaps best known for its television presence, the business news network CNBC also has a large and growing online presence. In 2020, CNBC logged an average 84.9 million unique monthly users and 1.92 billion total video starts. But as a member of what some have termed “mainstream” media — alongside outlets like ABC, NBC, and CBS — CNBC has also had to contend with accusations of having a liberal bias. So, how reliable and biased is CNBC’s news coverage?

Note: This analysis is specific to online written content from CNBC, not its television or other media presence.

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