Monday, December 20, 2010

Survey: The Fox Trot to bad information

TOMORROW, TUESDAY December 21, is the first day of winter, according to countless authorities who have long declared December 21 to be the first day of winter. But if somebody should come along on Fox News and insist that the date is the consequence of scatterbrained liberals engaged in junk science, don't laugh. When it comes to weather reports, the experts at Fox might also report that those melting icebergs are optical illusions that have been digitally created by enemies of the people.

I have been troubled to mention this by a recent poll from WorldPublicOpinion.Org based at the University of Maryland. Unsurprisingly, the survey reported that a great number of voters in the November election were misinformed about the issues that contributed to their ballot choices. And the leading culprit that emerged from the flood of misleading information was, um, Fox. Even without the poll, I sort of assumed that.

The survey noted that on national issues regarding the economy, taxes, the stimulus, and health care reform, the Fox audience was "significantly more likely" than the non-viewers to
be on the other side of the facts.
"The effect," the pollster noted, "was 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."
Couple these findings with earlier studies that reported more than half the Republicans question Obama's birthplace, and you can see where we're headed in the early stages of the returning Dark Ages.

The Fox commentators (one of whom used to be our very own John Kasich) will not react to the survey, one way or the other. They operate beyond the realm of good and evil because that's where the money is. But as I have written before, when a nation's electorate bases more of its decisions on erroneous information than on realities, it is time for Paul Revere to saddle up.

Meantime, I report; you decide.


Anonymous said...

They've already gone on the attack criticizing the sources of funding for the survey (George Soros and his Tides Foundation) and a Fox News spokesman went on to criticize the University of Maryland as a party school.

Grumpy Abe said...

So be it, but I had assumed as much about the Fox audience long before the survey was published. Bottom line: Fox News has simply added the "twist" to its trot and apologizes for nothing as it operates as the voice of the Republican Party.

Elena said...

So you're saying we should just unquestioningly accept the results of polls and research as if God himwelf handed them down from the mountaintop?

Mencken said...

Talk about a strawman conclusion Elena. Jeeesh.

I'm sure if you took the time, their data and methodology could verified, or in your case challenged.

Their studies are subject to peer review,
and this study is not the first to show this trend.

You stating disbelief and nothing else isn't much of an argument.

Have you ever asked the Vatican for uh, proof?