The Science of Fox News: Why Its Viewers are the Most Misinformed

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Free Thinker, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Authoritarian people have a stronger emotional need for an outlet like Fox, where they can find affirmation and escape factual challenges to their beliefs.

    In June of last year, Jon Stewart went on air with Fox News’ Chris Wallace and started a major media controversy over the channel’s misinforming of its viewers. “Who are the most consistently misinformed media viewers?” Stewart asked Wallace. “The most consistently misinformed? Fox, Fox viewers, consistently, every poll.”

    Stewart’s statement was factually accurate, as we’ll see. The next day, however, the fact-checking site PolitiFact weighed in and rated it “false.” In claiming to check Stewart’s “facts,” PolitiFact ironically committed a serious error—and later, doubly ironically, failed to correct it. How’s that for the power of fact checking?

    There probably is a small group of media consumers out theresomewhere in the world who are more misinformed, overall, than Fox News viewers. But if you only consider mainstream U.S. television news outlets with major audiences (e.g., numbering in the millions), it really is true that Fox viewers are the most misled based on all the available evidence—especially in areas of political controversy. This will come as little surprise to liberals, perhaps, but the evidence for it—evidence in Stewart’s favor—is pretty overwhelming.

    My goal here is to explore the underlying causes for this “Fox News effect”—explaining how this station has brought about a hurricane-like intensification of factual error, misinformation and unsupportable but ideologically charged beliefs on the conservative side of the aisle. First, though, let’s begin by surveying the evidence about how misinformed Fox viewers actually are.

    Iraq War

    In 2003, a survey by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland found widespread public misperceptions about the Iraq war. For instance, many Americans believed the U.S. had evidence that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had been collaborating in some way with Al Qaeda, or was involved in the 9-11 attacks; many also believed that the much touted “weapons of mass destruction” had been found in the country after the U.S. invasion, when they hadn’t. But not everyone was equally misinformed: “The extent of Americans’ misperceptions vary significantly depending on their source of news,” PIPA reported. “Those who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions.”

    Global Warming

    At least two studies have documented that Fox News viewers are
    more misinformed about this subject.

    In a late 2010 survey, Stanford University political scientist Jon Krosnick and visiting scholar Bo MacInnis found that “more exposure to Fox News was associated with more rejection of many mainstream scientists’ claims about global warming, with less trust in scientists, and with more belief that ameliorating global warming

    Health Care

    In 2009, an NBC survey found “rampant misinformation” about the healthcare reform bill before Congress — derided on the right as “Obamacare.” It also found that Fox News viewers were much more likely to believe this misinformation than average members of the general public. “72% of self-identified Fox News viewers believe the healthcare plan will give coverage to illegal immigrants, 79% of them say it will lead to a government takeover, 69% think that it will use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, and 75% believe that it will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing care for the elderly,” the survey found.
  2. Conversely to propaganda , authoritarian regimes come most readily from the left and those who entertain collectivist idiot-ologies.
  3. Brass


    Get educated on the authoritarianism of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Mao. Watch this brief and informative video, and in just 2 minutes you'll be less stupid:

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  4. I corrected my post so you can delete your nonsense.
  5. Lucrum


    IF only there was some way to make you less stupid in two minutes.
  6. Very good video Brass, but what is ironic, is that the right is very well aware of this. Their tactic is to repeat something no matter how ridiculous, and hope it takes hold.

    Guess who invented that?:D
  7. Brass


    Still missing the point, I see. And I had such high hopes for a quick fix. I guess your inner doofus runs deep.
  8. Lucrum


    IQ47? RCG?
  9. Good thread also FT. Conservatives, by the very definition of what they claim to be, know what this is about.

    One reason why conservatives are overwhelming male, straight, and white.

    The fifties are gone, and they are never coming back.
  10. Of course these supposed facts that fox viewers have wrong are eminently debatable.
    #10     Apr 16, 2012