Fox and misinformation--association or cause?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 17, 2010 9:17 PM GMT
    I thought I should repost this since there's been no replies from Fox enthusiasts. Note that I didn't use the verb disinform, but misinform.

    Interesting poll--the more Fox you watch, the worse misinformation you get, no matter what your political affiliation is. FOX viewers simply people who watch the station to reinforce misinformed views they already have? “No,” says Clay Ramsay, Lead Researcher for the project, “Even Democratic voters who watched FOX News were more misinformed than others.” While all cable news earns some criticism from Ramsay, “FOX displays a particular pattern of misinformation. The more you watch the more inaccurate your views."

    The researchers didn’t originally intend to rank news outlets. They simply wanted to know sources of voter misinformation. Ramsay discovered the unusual FOX correlation—the more you watch the worse it gets—unexpectedly, while sifting through the data. FOX was alone in this regard. who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe that most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely), most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points), the economy is getting worse (26 points), most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points), the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points), their own income taxes have gone up (14 points), the auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points), when TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points) and that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points). The effect was also not simply a function of partisan bias, as people who voted Democratic and watched Fox News were also more likely to have such misinformation than those who did not watch it--though by a lesser margin than those who voted Republican.

    There were cases with some other news sources as well. Daily consumers of MSNBC and public broadcasting (NPR and PBS) were higher (34 points and 25 points respectively) in believing that it was proven that the US Chamber of Commerce was spending money raised from foreign sources to support Republican candidates. Daily watchers of network TV news broadcasts were 12 points higher in believing that TARP was signed into law by President Obama, and 11 points higher in believing that most Republicans oppose TARP.

    Next step:
    Randomized trial in which volunteers are isolated from the world, and exposed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a month to either Fox News or any other news channel(s) of their choice. They are then polled for their views. Then you switch the two groups and repeat the testing.

    That is, if they don't throw the TV out the window before then. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 17, 2010 9:28 PM GMT
    "Is this surprising­? Fox preys on the weak and uneducated­-- which means uninformed or those seeking to preserve their greedy interests."

    "Not one FOX viewer will accept these findings."

    "Well, DUH! When you have Repubots who deal with misinforma­tion, innuendo, and outright prevaricat­ion, you are going to get a huge audience share of people who simply like the lies with which they have been misled."

    A few a few random thoughts from the blogsphere. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 17, 2010 9:30 PM GMT
    Here's the original study (which has the data in tabulated form and the "accepted" version of information about the various issues, rather than the misinformed view):

    And no, I don't even have cable, so I don't have a clue why Fox is so potent in its brew of misinformation. Mechanism remains to be elucidated. Further study is warranted.icon_razz.gif
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2478

    Dec 17, 2010 9:56 PM GMT
    Can't say I watch FOX, CNN, or even MSNBC. Almost 100% of my news comes via Internet sites or the standard news feeds such a Reuters via a clipping service. I do not have time for opinion. I'd rather come to my own conclusions concerning a particular subject.