Yes, it’s certainly strange that a 30-minute entertainment show on the appropriately-named Comedy Central television network is more informative than actual news media.
But a focal point of the study isn’t odd. It should be, true, but … we’re all well used to the fact that the Fox News network tells its viewers nothing but crap.
And sadly enough, it seems to be working. Fox viewers knew significantly less about current news on the national and global levels than those who rely on news from all other media – national and local television, national and local newspapers, and even political blogs.
Not only do Fox fans know squat about current events, but they even know less than folks who don’t watch or read any news at all – 18 percent less than those media-hermits, in fact.
Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the PublicMind Poll, concluded, “ the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all.”
But this has been par for the course for quite a while now. For example:
- An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found 75 percent of Fox News viewers to believe the then-proposed healthcare plan consisted of “death panels.”
- They remain misinformed to this day about the healthcare act, according to a Kaiser Foundation poll.
- A World Public Opinion poll from last year learned Fox News viewers were apt to believe their income tax rates recently increased, TARP was opposed by Republicans, and Obama was born outside the U.S.
- They don’t believe in global warming, a study done by Stanford Univ. found.
- A study done at Ohio State University found Fox News’ report on rebuilding a New York City mosque to be rumor-laden, and with its viewers believing its construction was funded by terrorists who had declared intent for the mosque to be an anniversary celebration of 9/11.
This isn’t necessarily a reflection on the intellect of those viewers (well, not necessarily, at least), but clearly indicates their gullibility.
Fox News reports complete garbage, such its recent claim “we caught Bin Laden by waterboarding”; telling the public that the pepper spray infamously used against peaceful protesters at UC-Berkeley was just “a food product”; that an Obama budget proposal was “four times bigger than Bush’s costliest plan”; and the list goes on.
This compilation by Media Matters might be a couple of years old, but it’s still very indicative of what we get from the Fox network.
And there seems to be little anyone can do about it. Fox already testified in federal court that it had every right to lie in its broadcasts, and because there’s no law against knowingly distorting news with deliberate intent to misinform, it argued. Fox News won the lawsuit.