It’s that fuzziness you cite that bothers me about this line of research.
So it seems to me that you’re trying to determine the truthiness a source by virtue of who reports it. Am I wrong here? Because if that’s accurate, I have problems with that approach.
More to the point, there have been times when the major news organizations got scooped by such outfits as the National Enquirer, Mother Jones, or CampusReform. No, I do not refer to such sources on a regular basis for my every-day news, but I don’t automatically dismiss a story just because it was first reported there.
So I guess my question is why does it matter who reports something first? If the story has any foundation to it, wouldn’t other news organizations pick up on it and run with it?