Regarding Media Bias Fact Checks reference to John Lott’s research receiving money from the NRA

20 Feb , 2019   Video

Given that Media Bias Fact Check (MBFC) is often pointed to as a useful source to evaluate bias in think tanks we have put this post together. MBFC references Alan Dershowitz’s claim 2012 claim on CNN to report that John Lott “has been accused of accepting funding from the National Rifle Association. Lott denies this claim,” we have put up this video to show Dershowitz twice saying that he was hardly making a clear claim and that no evidence was provided.

It would be nice if Media Bias Fact Check would correct the record.

Their other claim that one person has claimed Lott’s research is “junk science” is equally absurd. They point to one report that was written by Ted Goertzel, a sociologist at Rutgers who has never published a single refereed paper on crime. A list of academic research that has confirmed Lott’s research is available here.

Media Bias Fact Check is also not able to do simple math. While their scale indicates that the CPRC is located between someplace between the “right” and the “extreme right,” if you use the votes that they have collected, the CPRC is located between “right-center” and “right,” with it actually being slightly closer to the “right-center.” [If you take the votes on a 1 to 7 scale, with 7 being “extreme right,” the CPRC is at 5.44.) Of course, given the very biased write up by MBFC, it would be surprising that we were viewed as anything other than biased to the right.

UPDATE: May 24, 2020

Although there have been claims made that John Lott and the CPRC are funded by the NRA, there is not evidence to support that claim. Unfortunately, the website lacks transparency and does not disclose funding. It appears funding is derived through donations
Donors up through June 2016 available here.
We stopped posting donors after that date because gun control groups have been contacting and harrassing donors. You can see what they have done to our academic board members (see here).
As to the claim that we are funded by the NRA, please note that the NRA makes its grants for researchers public and neither the CPRC or anyone associated with the CPRC has ever gotten $1 for our research.
As to the link for Alan Dershowitz claim that you link to at Mediaite. They no longer have the video but we have put it up at the top of this post.
In the video, Dershowitz was hardly making a clear claim about funding and no evidence was provided. If you think that Dershowitz’s claim was clear, please explain why you think that is the case.
This research was conducted by John Lott. In viewing the research present on their page, all of the research is favorable toward gun ownership and minimizes gun dangers.
The research is done by multiple people associated with the CPRC, not just John Lott, including Arthur Berg (Harvard) (e.g., see here and here), Carl Moody (William & Mary and the CPRC research director) (e.g., see here, here, here, and many more places), Gary Mauser (Simon Fraser University) (here, here, here, here, and here), and others.
The website features an Op-Ed section that curates news from other right leaning outlets such as Fox NewsTownhallWashington Times and the Daily Caller.
This is an extremely biased selection of all the op-ed pieces featured on the website.
Is the New York Times a right wing outlet? List of pieces published there.
Is the Washington Post a right wing outlet? List of pieces published there.
Is the New York Daily News a right wing outlet? List of pieces published there.
Is The Hill a right wing outlet? List of pieces published there.
John Lott’s work has been called “Junk Science
Ted Goertzel’s claim was discussed above.
factual search reveals a few failed fact checks by IFCN fact checkers.
Again MBFC has been extremely selective in what examples it references. Cases where politicians have quoted John Lott or the Crime Prevention Research Center (or at least tried to quote us) and we got higher ratings. Pieces by Politifact are available here, here, here, and here.
Just some of the cases where fact checkers have called on us for figuring out what is true. See examples here, here, and here.
Overall, we rate the Crime Prevention Research Center Right Biased based on strongly advocating for guns and the conservative agenda. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting based on a few failed fact checks. (9/2/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 5/24/2019)
We have professors on BOTH sides of the gun control debate (see here).
Indeed, our research director, Professor Carl Moody at the College of William & Mary (economics and statistics), has published peer-reviewed research on both sides of the gun control debate.
For example, one academic advisor, Professor Paul Rubin at Emory University, has published peer reviewed research that is critical of our research.
Others on the pro-gun control side include Jonathan Karpoff at the University of Washington.
We take a lot of pride in having researchers on BOTH sides of the gun control debate. Name me one other organization who can make that claim. We believe that it is important to have people on both sides so that we can produce high quality research.

Here are MBFC’s numbers as of February 24, 2019.


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