I had to post this. Since our resident lefties went on the attack this morning against good ole USW when I called this study complete BS. Of course, no one bothered to address the study itself. They simply took shots at me and shots at Fox News in general. But a simple reading of the article that Mathius provided regarding the study was enough, in my opinion, to prove my point.
Let’s take a quick look at a single fact that they used as their proof that watching Fox News makes you less aware of the truth than not watching any news at all: The situations in Egypt and Syria. According to the article:
Among other topics, New Jerseyans were asked about the outcome of the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East this past year. While 53% of New Jerseyans know that Egyptians were successful in overthrowing the government of Hosni Mubarak, 21% say that the uprisings were unsuccessful, and 26% admit they don’t know. Also, 48% know that the Syrian uprising has thus far been unsuccessful, while 36% say they don’t know, and 16% say the Syrians have already toppled their government.
But the real finding is that the results depend on what media sources people turn to for their news. For example, people who watch Fox News, the most popular of the 24-hour cable news networks, are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all (after controlling for other news sources, partisanship, education and other demographic factors). Fox News watchers are also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to analyze this, which is why I was surprised that such smart people on the left would not see right through the BS. Just put some critical thought into what was said here. In order for this to be true and somehow correlated with Fox News, the reality would be that Fox News would have to be reporting something other than the fact that the toppling of Mubarek was successful, or at least not reporting it at all. Yet a cursory search shows this not to be true. Fox News clearly reported the facts around the fall of Mubarek’s regime. The same is true of the reporting on the situation in Syria.
So if Fox News is reporting the news accurately on those two subjects, which they clearly are, then how would it be possible to have those who watch Fox News not know the correct answer? That is like me saying if I tell you that 2+2=4, you are less likely to know that 2+2=4 than someone who was never told this fact. That is just ridiculous.
As for the rest. I could go on to show several things about this poll that are not mentioned in the article, which was clearly written with the intent of tearing down Fox News. For example:
- On the question about Syria, 20% of Fox respondents said it was successful. The best ANY news source had was 17% believing that it was successful. That really isn’t a lot of difference between Fox and any other network or news source. It is, in fact, within the stated margin of error. Odd that this was not pointed out.
- No bothers to mention that there is a new poll on who is leading in the races about every hour and every poll seems to give a different answer. Yet they sure seem to stake a lot on whether the news organizations do a good job of telling people the news.
- Lost in the shuffle is the fact that while the article implies that Fox viewers are simply uniformed, it also implies that MSNBC watchers are intentionally DISinformed. Fox viewers, we are told, don’t know what happened in Africa. MSNBC viewers were actually lied to regarding the party affiliation of the OWS movement.
The bottom line, as I read the article and look at the methodology info, is that the poll is really a BS poll, just like most of the polls out there. Concocted to make whatever statement FDU was interested in making, especially about Fox News. Worse, the article itself draws inaccurate conclusions and refuses to use any critical thinking skills in the analysis.
I am unsure why the left is obsessed with Fox News. I suppose it just goes to them fearing and disliking any message that doesn’t support their side of the story. I want to be clear that I don’t support Fox News at this point. They are no different than any of the other sorry ass “news” sources these days. But it is clear that this poll was BS. To say that Fox News viewers knew “less” than someone who watches no news at all is a clear implication that Fox News is either lying on the issues analyzed or isn’t reporting them at all. Since both of those things are not true regarding the world issue that were cited in the questions, common sense would tell us that the poll is fatally flawed.
You can go ahead and poke fun, saying that “USW thinks he is smarter than us,” but if you couldn’t see past the flaws in this “study” and if your bullshit meters weren’t going off as you read the article and applied some critical thinking….
Then I AM smarter than you. 😉
Now don’t go into a tizzy. I know you boys are very smart individuals. I have said so of each of you multiple times in the past. This is why I was surprised that Buck would even begin to accept this poll. Take my words with a grain of salt. I am a right wing nut who loves war, worships Wall Street, and bows at the alter of capitalism. I am clearly not as smart as you enlightened lefties. So I am unsure how this BS poll got past you.