Something that's been on my mind for a while. Yahoo news has been my morning home page for a while, simply because it used to be an easy way to compare coverage from AP, Reuters and Agence France Presse all in one spot.
Over the past few years I've noticed trend with AP (maybe it's always been there, I don't know). Their stories, if not simply short fact pieces, lean right 95% of the time, sometimes significantly and in a distorted manner.
Today's special is brought to us by Ken Thomas (http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas), "GOP-leaning group targets Senate Democrats" (http://news.yahoo.com/gop-leaning-group-targets-senate-democrats-0441241...). The story is how Crossroads GPS, a subsidiary of American Crossroads, is firing up campaigns against 6 Democratic senators. American Crossroads is as soft money PAC whose purpose is to support Republican candidates and opposed Democratic candidates. An interesting story on their recent fundraising efforts here: http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/09/american-crossroads-shadow-rnc.html
I guess you could call it "GOP-leaning." "GOP shill" or "GOP mouthpiece" or "GOP straw dog" might be a more accurate description though. The Center for Responsive Politics details it's spending for and against various politicians here: http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/indexpend.php?cmte=C00487363&cycle=2010. American Crossroads spends for right-wing Republican candidates, and against Democrat and moderate-Republican candidates.
Ken Thomas is either guilty of being stupid or gullible, OR, is deliberately misleading AP readers. Either way, this was too much for me.
It strikes me that AP's local news focus is inherently biased to the right because of the institutions that dominate "local" news: local chambers of commerce, large retail advertisers, and banks: none of these are forces of progress. Using this as a thesis, I'll start to compile some examples of how this works.