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Extended exposure to Fox News makes voters stupid, university study finds

A University of Maryland study (PDF) published earlier this month found that people in the survey who had the most exposure to Fox News were more likely to believe falsehoods and rumors about national and world affairs when compared to those who paid attention to other news outlets.

91 percent believed the stimulus legislation lost jobs;

72 percent believed the health reform law will increase the deficit;

72 percent believed the economy is getting worse;

60 percent believed climate change is not occurring;

49 percent believed income taxes have gone up;

63 percent believed the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts;

56 percent believed Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout;

38 percent believed that most Republicans opposed TARP;

63 percent believed Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear).

[url=]Link to study (PDF)[/url]
It seems to me that one would have to be stupid to begin with in order to be a fan of Faux News.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
Doubting Thomas
I don't doubt this one bit. My in-laws are big Fox News watchers, and my mother-in-law is always repeating the latest conservative urban legend. For instance:

(prior to the election) Someone asked Obama if a baby somehow survived during a botched abortion, should they allow it to live and he said they should kill it. This was a lie spouted by Ann Coulter on Fox News.

Recently she said that the Obama health care plan calls for a 1% tax on ALL electronic money transactions in the country to be active Jan 1, 2011. So if you use your debit card to pay for groceries, they will charge you 1% tax on top of what you're already paying. Not only is this not in the health care plan, it was never one of Obama's ideas. It was an unpopular idea that some members of Congress came up with to replace income tax, but never got support and isn't likely to happen in the near future. [url][/url]

My father-in-law was recently talking about how the Democrats in Congress and Obama were planning on passing 51% tax rate on individuals and businesses making $250,000 a year or greater, and he doesn't know how he'd be able to pay that. Not only is the highest proposed tax rate only 38% for people making over $250,000 a year, when I googled the info the only reference I could come up with for 51% was several polls stating that 51% of people in the country supported higher taxes for those making over $250,000.

So no, they don't check facts at all and just let Fox News do their thinking for them. Which I guess is par for the course because they're very religious, too.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
I will offer a comparison. I watch (on the internet, mostly Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow) MSNBC a lot and I often will comment to the screen, ask this question or wait a minute what about this fact and invariably the commentators will not follow my advise. I also read Counterpunch on the internet, more than once I have caught them in factual errors when they discuss things I know something about. It is not only Fox News that twists facts and ignores things to try to prove their points.

One must always question the sources they use. One cannot accept what one is told simply because they in general have similar beliefs with the person telling them something.

The problem with Fox News is that they are very popular and unfortunately much of their audience has no sense of critical thinking. This is a problem with much of what is happening in America.

This is not limited to Fox News adherents. It is a human problem. Stepping outside oneself and considering a point of view in opposition to ones own is a very difficult thing.

None of the above should be considered a defense of Faux News.
The worst aspect IMO of this sort of distorted news is that other news venues end up distorting themselves to compensate. Soon all news becomes untrustworthy if for no other reason than that no one really has the time to fact check everything.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
seeker wrote:
The worst aspect IMO of this sort of distorted news is that other news venues end up distorting themselves to compensate. Soon All news becomes is untrustworthy if for no other reason than that no one really has the time cares to fact check everything anything.

I first started wondering about news reporting in an odd fashion, going to football games. I would attend games and see one team dominating both sides of the ball for the entire game but a lucky score or two by the losing team led to a score that did not reflect that fact. The headline would invariably reflect the final score more than the actual game. Similarly a game that was closely contested would have a final score that would not reflect that fact, say a late score by the winning team. The headline would again invariably reflect the final score and not the actual game.

Then as a student at a very politically active college in the mid sixties I saw events that may have had some violence around the edges, but were essentially peaceful, be described by the news media as riots.

All news media should be suspect. The greatest problem with an organization like Fox News is the fact that often more reasonable news organizations will pick up some of their claims and report them without doing any research on their own. The whole tea party movement got a lot of free publicity from Fox and that was uncritically passed on by the standard media. The financing of the tea parties for example was very much under reported in the standard media.

To date few have payed much attention to how most of the tea party activity disappeared after the recent election. There is a simple reason for this, the tea party is no longer necessary for stirring up the republican base. The movement disappeared when republican party cohorts found no more need for it. It was never a real public movement it was an election year publicity stunt well funded by shadowy figures.
Doubting Thomas
All news media loves to sensationalize to a certain extent. And there's a reason for it. I'm sure you've all heard the saying, "If it bleeds, it leads." People want to hear about the dirty underside of society more than they want to hear that things are fine. A news story about a murder will garner a lot more interest than a story about a county fair.

But the problem I have with Fox News is that they're so blatant about being one-sided, yet they ostensibly claim to be a legitimate news source instead of mouthpiece for the GOP. I don't even know why they call it Fox News anymore, since they rarely have news. It's all editorial pieces on how evil Obama and the Democrats are, and how great all the Republicans are. Then they have the balls to use the slogan "fair and balanced." Yes, as long as you're a Republican, but if you're a Democrat, they'll be anything but fair and balanced toward you.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
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