The Washington Post

Snapshot: Is health news reporting politically slanted?

I spend a lot of time tooling around online, looking at the health news that others are reporting. One site I frequently check is NPR's health page.

In light of recent events, I wondered whether NPR's (alleged) liberal bias showed in its health news reporting. For comparison's sake, I looked at NPR's top health stories and those atop the Fox News health site, the home of "fair and balanced" reporting but, like NPR, considered by some to be a politically slanted source -- if slanted in the other direction.

Here are the top three health headlines appearing on the two sites on Wednesday, March 9, at 8:45 p.m. (Fox's health page led with a couple of consumer-oriented ask-the-doctor pieces, one about normal heart rates and the other about Charlie Sheen. I skipped past them to get to the actual news reporting. Both sites included other stories, but these, as I say, were the top three apiece.) I've included links to the full stories, which will give away which organization's site they're from. See if you can guess before you click the links.

Premature Ejaculation Could Be Treated With 'Heat Therapy' Premature ejaculation is the most common sexual dysfunction and affects 20 to 38 percent of all men - but the good news is - there's a new treatment on the horizon that uses "heat therapy" to treat this often embarrassing problem

Was $105 Billion Really 'Hidden' In The Health Law? Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) says she was shocked to learn that last year's health law included $105 billion in "hidden" funding that no one knew about. Democrats say the money is surprising only if one failed to read either the bill or the official cost estimates.

Hospital Dismisses Pregnant Woman's Labor Pains as Kidney Stones When a 19-year-old pregnant woman arrived at the hospital five weeks early, complaining of contractions and labor pains, doctors dismissed her pain as kidney stones

Recession Hits States' Mental Health Budgets States cut $1.8 billion from their total mental health budgets between 2009 and 2011.

Big Medicare Spenders May Have Good Reasons

Study: Lack of Sleep Can Make You Overly Optimistic When people do not get enough sleep, they tend to make overly optimistic decisions and may be more prone to risky gambling

This snapshot surely isn't sufficient to support any broad, sweeping judgments. But I find it fascinating nonetheless. How about you?


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