Exclusive: Massive Analysis Exposes Tim Pool’s Biased News Diet

Summary

According to our analysis of over 330 videos, Tim Pool heavily relies on sources which favor the right. 59% of the sources he used over a two month period had a pro-rightwing bias, while sources biased towards the left, and least biased sources made up 31% and 10% of his sources respectively.

Pool’s top five sources were: Daily Mail (used 96 times), Fox News (used 36 times), The New York Times (used 30 times), Andy Ngo tweets (used 26 times), and the New York Post (used 24 times).

Tim Pool did not use a single extreme left publication as source despite having used over 800 sources across those 330+ videos. Meanwhile, extreme rightwing sources made up 5% of the sources used with Breitbart being Pool’s joint 6th most used source.

Introduction

Tim Pool is a prolific content creator. Every day he releases approximately four hours of footage across his three Youtube channels. Keeping up with all his videos and their content is near impossible. As a result trends in his content can be hard to track. Against the advice of several medical professionals, we decided to watch over 300 of Pool’s videos to track which sources he used between June 25th and August 31st 2020.

Pool’s three active Youtube accounts are named Tim Pool, Timcast, and Timcast IRL. He generally releases one video per day on the first channel. The third channel features clips taken from his daily livestreams. The second channel which he uploads to five times per day was the channel considered in this analysis.

Methodology

We watched every single video released on Tim Pool’s Timcast channel between June 25th and August 31st 2020 and noted the first three sources he displayed on screen. This number of sources was chosen because in the vast majority of his videos he uses 1 – 3 sources. We estimate that fewer than 5% of his videos feature more than 3 sources.

The bias of each source was determined using the data from the mediabiasfactcheck.com (MBFC) website to ensure an independent standard. The MBFC bias scale runs from “extreme left” to “extreme right” bias with “least biased” in the center of the scale. Bias ratings from MBFC were compared with the bias assigned by other similar services such as AllSides.com. Results were found to be largely consistent however MBFC was chosen as it had a more subdivided scale.

When Tim Pool cited a tweet by a journalist we would assign the bias of that journalist’s primary employer to them for the purposes of our analysis.

When a source was not listed on MBFC its bias was labelled as N/A. Most of the sources falling into this category were random tweets or articles from local news stations. Some were also what we would judge to be obscure conservative publications.

Finally, we used Microsoft Excel to add up the data and then checked these results correcting any errors we found e.g. a source’s name being misspelled or being assigned the wrong bias. We then ran the numbers again to reach the final results presented here.

Results

During the time period being studied Tim Pool released 336 videos featuring 818 sources from 302 media organisations or social media accounts. The average number of times he used each source was 2.70 times however this result is misleading because it is pushed artificially high due to outliers such as him using the Daily Mail 96 times. The median number of times he used each source is 1 time however using this number the presence of the outliers is not reflected at all. Most of his sources were used 1 or 2 times other than his 20 most used sources which were all used at least 7 times.

59% of Pools sources were biased in favor of the right, 31% in favor of the left, and 10% fell into the “least biased” category.

Tim Pool’s 10 most used sources are displayed in the graph below (11 sources are present because there is a tie for 10th place).

Pool’s top five sources were:

Daily Mail (used 96 times)
Fox News (used 36 times)
The New York Times (used 30 times)
Andy Ngo tweets (used 26 times)
The New York Post (used 24 times)

Put another way 11.74% of Tim Pool’s total sources from June 25th to August 31st 2020 were Daily Mail articles. This contrasts with the only 10% of articles he used from “least biased” sources such as Reuters or the Associated Press.

Despite his claims of being center left Tim Pool did not use a single source from an extreme left publication in the 336 videos analysed however 5% of his sources have an extreme right bias including Breitbart which is his joint 6th most used source.

General observations

Despite his dislike and criticism of mainstream media, the vast majority of  Tim Pool’s sources came from long-established organisations. If mainstream news organisations didn’t exist Tim Pool would either not have a job or be forced to scale back his video production.

Although Pool occasionally used sources coded as ‘center left’ such as The New York Times and Washington Post he often only showed these sources so he could criticise and attack them for perceived bias. Few rightwing sources experienced the same treatment.

When Tim Pool used The Gateway Pundit as a source (as he did 6 times) it was often for articles written by his long-time friend Cassandra Fairbanks, who he attended the 2017 DeploraBall with.

Tim Pool rarely recommends any particular source however in multiple videos he has suggested his subscribers should follow Andy Ngo who has been accused of doxxing leftwing protestors and spreading misleading news about protests.

Conclusions

Although we assumed Tim Pool’s sources would lean right we were still surprised by his vastly disproportionate use of them. For someone who claims to be on the left he sure loves to promote the rights framing of almost every situation.

Some people may question whether relying largely on rightwing sources is an inherent predictor of being rightwing and we agree it is not. However, when a person uses sources biased in one direction they will inevitably receive and in Tim Pool’s case also promote a specific framing of situations and stories. With Pool, the effect is even more heightened as he regularly reads his viewers long tracts of the articles and adds his agreeing commentary.

When our results are taken together with Tim Pool’s frequent support of voting for Donald Trump, him labelling voting for Joe Biden as voting for the ‘suicide of America,’  him stating he would likely vote for a Republican in a generic ballot race, him donating thousands of dollars to a Republican political candidate, and his over 70 million monthly Youtube views (higher than any other independent rightwing Youtuber) it becomes hard to deny that at the very least Pool is providing significant help to right.

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