In 2004, the documentary Outfoxed revealed that watchers of Fox News were far less informed than watchers of PBS. Outfoxed was a brilliant journalistic study of bias in the news and of how bias has impacted American politics. Now there’s a new study out, an empirical study done by the University of Maryland, which corroborates Outfoxed’s findings.
36% of people who say they "rarely" watch Fox News (a figure pretty alarming in itself) believe, for example, that Obama was not born in the United States. But of those who say they watch Fox every day, that figure is 63%.
60% believe climate change is not occurring, and they are similarly misinformed about stimulus legislation, health reform, the economy, taxes, TARP and the auto industry bailouts.
Because each of these issues reflects the Republican Party platform so closely, the conclusion of the study is that the misinformation by Fox is deliberate. That Fox is a Republican Party propaganda machine is no secret, but telling the news with an ideological slant is one thing and calculated lies are quite another. The 2010 election outcome is a direct result of this manipulation of information, and we have turned ourselves over to leaders catering to a deliberately misinformed public, a chicken and egg story of a downward spiral.
Have a look at the study and see for yourself.
Lest you think the left is no better, and this is simply the pot calling the kettle black, note the sources on which this study is based. And the evidence for the facts on which the conclusion is based. It is very sobering information. Go to the World Public Opinion website, click on the pdf site, and check it out.
Note that there is an issue about which democrats appear to be more misinformed than Republicans. They are willing to believe the worst about the American Chamber of Commerce. But other than that, the weight of misinformation is entirely on the other side.
On the side of the political party who will take over Congress on January 3.
And away we go…