NY Times Covers A Few Million Gays More Than 76 Million Catholics

Want confirmation that The New York Times is biased? Just ask it.

The Times unveiled a new graphing tool called Chronicle, designed as “a tool for graphing the usage of words and phrases in New York Times reporting.” Chronicle allows anyone to search the “162-year archive of Times reporting” for how often words were used.

The tool is simple to use and the results can be damning. The New York Times disproportionately reports on gays versus Catholics, according to its results. Catholics account for almost 25 percent of the U.S. population and gays and bisexuals account for 2.3 percent. Yet The New York Times placed “gay” in 1.84 percent of articles and “Catholic” in just 1.14 of articles in 2014. Graphs Below.

That’s more articles for a group that is less than one-tenth that of American Catholics.

This isn’t a new reality. Before 2008, Catholic was the more common term. In that year, with the rising tide of media pushing LGBT issues, the terms flipped. In 2013, “gay” appeared in 2 percent of Times stories. “Catholic” in just 1.43 percent.

According to CARA, a Georgetown University affiliated non-profit research center, the self-identified Catholic population in the United States stands at 76.7 million – or, almost 25% of the U.S. population. In contrast, a recent CDC study found that the gay/bisexual population accounts for 2.3% of Americans. (And, thanks to the media including the Times, young Americans think that number is 13 times higher).

LGBT groups, including The Human Rights Campaign, routinely attack the Catholic Church’s stance on gay marriage. But, as with the Times, the media appear to more often offer gays a voice.

And a positive one at that. The New York Times’ emphasis isn’t too surprising, from incidents like Times reporter Josh Barro proclaiming “we need to stamp [anti-LGBT] attitudes out ruthlessly” or Times blogger Farhad Manjoo suggesting “rehabilitation” for the “anti-gay” Mozilla CEO to reporters ignoring the March for Marriage.

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.

Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture at the Media Research Center