In a poll conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org, dated December 10, 2010, and titled “Misinformation and the 2010 Election” it became very evident that Fox News viewers were victims of the misinformation and misleading information that propagate through both the opinion and news sectors of the organization. There is no doubt given the disparity between the political knowledge of Fox News viewers and those from other outlets that getting information from Fox News is a detriment to one’s knowledge.
The report found that while viewers of all news channels did believe some information that was actually false, Fox News viewers were significantly and measurably more likely to believe the false information they were fed. The report found that Fox News viewers 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 crosstabs on the report shows that the more Fox News is watched, the more ignorant the viewer becomes.
It is not by accident that the Fox News viewer is living in an alternate state of reality. Fox News has done an impeccable job that I would wager was aided by the best psychologist to corrupt its viewer’s psyche that makes them more inclined to believe the onslaught of misinformation.
They have done an excellent job by encircling the viewer’s mind allowing them little room for escape. First they convince the viewer that they are really fair and balanced by including token lefties that have been willing to sell their souls for a few bucks. Secondly they convince the viewer that all other media is biased and cannot be trusted. Lastly they simply make stuff up or blatantly misinform since they know their viewer will unlikely go elsewhere for corroboration.
When confronted with the data, one should not expect Fox News to be at all ashamed. After-all as virtually the media arm of the Republican Party, their goal has been fulfilled.
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