In a recent Facebook exchange about Elizabeth Warren's claim to be a native American, someone raised the issue of what news sources one should rely on, comparing Breitbart unfavorably to Mother Jones. In support of that comparison, she cited a web page, NewsTrust, which posts its evaluations of news sources and gives Mother Jones a high rating.
That raises an obvious question that apparently had not occurred to her: What reason do we have to trust NewsTrust? To answer that I looked at their web page
and discovered that the single source of information for which it showed the highest rating was Rolling Stone
, the magazine responsible for the bogus UVA rape story—not merely a mistake, but a mistake pretty clearly due to irresponsible reporting with an ideological bias. Add to that the fact that the two blogs which they rate on that page are Daily Kos and Think Progress, both well to the left, and I conjecture that their ratings tell me more about which side a source is on than about how reliable it is.
That leaves us with the problem of how to figure out what facts to believe, given that not only news sources but sources of information about news sources are likely to be biased in various ways. In that particular exchange, I had already demonstrated one solution to that problem. The Mother Jones article
was introduced to the discussion by me, as evidence against Warren, not for her. Both the politics of the publication and the tone of the story made it clear that any bias would be in Warren's favor. Hence I concluded that any negative evidence it presented was probably true—and cited that evidence in the exchange.
For a detailed discussion of the controversy over the evidence on Warren's ancestry, see this
Breitbart piece and its links. Believe it or not as you wish.