The Problem Isn’t Fox News and its Lies; It’s People Hungry to be Lied To

Those 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.

Of course, the easy thing to say is that Fox News is doing a disservice as a news organization by misleading or misrepresenting factual information. It is likely more Truthful, however, to say that Fox News willingly misleads Americans who desire to be mislead.

That Fox News is a carbuncle on the face of actual Journalism, and any sort of Decency, is almost too trite to bother typing; everyone knows this, most especially Fox News viewers. Other cable news network viewers do only somewhat better, because they are the sort of idiots who watch cable news, but not the sort of idiots who will watch Fox News.

Attacks on Fox News will be seen as partisan; what Real Journalists ought to do is stop being so grateful to get their faces on the teevee and start condemning television news, and most particularly cable news and local news franchises, as the Bastions of Ignorance they actually are. When public opinion rightly looks down on people who get their “facts” from cable “news” organizations, and rightly looks down on people affiliated with these “news” outfits, the problem will be solved, because the problem isn’t Fox News, it’s the people who find it acceptable to watch Fox News.


About dilaceratus

Encaustic Artist
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