The Russians didn’t swing the 2016 election to Trump. But Fox News might have.

Throughout our work, we find clear patterns, before and after the election. The Russians are there. They are trying. But in all these cases, American right-wing media did the heavy lifting to originate and propagate disinformation.

To be sure, it is impossible in such a close election to rule out that Russian efforts contributed the tiny sliver of support that separated defeat from victory in decisive swing states. In such a tight race, countless factors could have tipped the balance. But the focus on Russian skulduggery has become disproportionate.

Our analysis underscores not only the enormous power of right-wing media but also their distinctiveness from left-wing media. The conservative network of outlets, with Fox at its center, feeds a large minority of Americans narratives that confirm their biases, fills them with outrage at their political opponents, and isolates them from views that contradict these narratives. It is a closed propaganda feedback loop.

Left-leaning media, whatever the goals of some of their members, have failed to produce anything similar, our analysis found.