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Does Google News Favor Partisan(Slanted) Reporting?

After posting the previous links about global warming and pollution, I have to wonder: why doesn’t Google News catch any of these things? Yet they still catch a lot of biased and shallow articles on the subject. Check Google News for “Al Gore”. Here are the top search results:

  • Al Gore Sides With China Instead of US on Global Warming NewsBusters – 1 hour ago
    Following in John Kerry’s footsteps, former Vice President Al Gore was in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday basically blaming the world’s problems on the country … (basically false report about Al Gore’s speech in China)
  • Al Gore To Announce Massive Series Of Climate Change Concerts!
    Ecorazzi, NY – 1 hour ago.
    Al Gore is proving himself to be a triple-threat on climate change! From the movies to the Internet and now, music? In what will be an incredible event, … (fairly objective–though slightly rah, rah–reporting of Gore’s plan to stage global warming concerts in July.)
  • Letter: Al Gore for ‘best actor’
    Marblehead Reporter, MA – 5 hours ago
    25), I read professor Richard Lindzen’s critique of Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth.” The doctor makes a good case against an imminent climate catastrophe, … ( somewhat misguided but honest attempt to respond to Gore’s facts written by a layman. I have to ask: why isn’t Chris Mooney’s blog showing up?)
  • Sadly, Al Gore’s Nobel Nomination Is No Joke, Post Chronicle – 13 hours ago
    Al Gore has been nominated for the prize on the strength of “An Inconvenient Truth,” his film about global warming. Of course, the adoring leftist legions …( a very shallow response to Gore’s argument by a columnist I think I blasted about before).
  • Al Gore’s baking my patience to death, renewamerica.us, DC – 18 hours ago
    The object in question went by the name of Al Gore. Any friend of Hugo Chaves is no friend of mine. And any friend of Zappo is also no friend of mine. … (a totally irrelevant article that happens to mention Al Gore)
  • Dave’s 2007 Oscar Preview, Part One: Al Gore vs. Jesus, Blogcritics.org, OH – 14 hours ago
    The Nobel Peace Prize nod for Gore doesn’t hurt. The only film I’ve seen here is An Inconvenient Truth. It’s a good doc, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a .. (humor article).
  • Al Gore’s Having an Effect [Iain Murray],National Review Online Blogs, NY – 18 hours ago
    Al Gore’s constant cries of ‘WE ARE ALL GUILTY!” are obviously getting through. Nevertheless, a majority of the respondents don’t want the government to … (my main complaint here is not National Review’s bias but the fact the article is only two paragraphs. Why does Google think that is noteworthy?)
  • Cut & paste: UN report contradicts exaggerations by Al Gore and co, The Australian, Australia – Feb 7, 2007
    This is especially interesting since it fundamentally rejects one of the most harrowing scenes from Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth. … (Amidst chatty talk about politics, somewhat factual paragraphs by discredited ecologist Bjorn Lomborg)

I’ve leaving out a lot of links here, but these headlines are fairly representative. They should be a lesson to those who think that google’s algorithm for displaying articles by newworthiness has any value.

Later thoughts: Perhaps I exaggerated. If you type in “global warming” you get a more balanced mix of articles. Al Gore (like Hilary Clinton, Tom Delay and Dick Cheney) are virtual lightning rods for criticism. Still, it is a warning against using google news too often for quick searching.

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