This Just In: Watching Fox News Will Actually Make You Stupid

This one I just found too funny not to mention. As Harold Meyerson points out in his column “Fact-Free News” in today’s Post, a new study — “Misperceptions, The Media and the Iraq War“ (PDF format) — has demonstrated that Fox News would appear to be doing a better job of misinforming people than informing them. Given three categorically false statements — one, the government has demonstrated a close relationship between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda; two, we have found the so-called “weapons of mass destruction”; and three, most people in other countries supported our invasion of Iraq — 80 percent of Fox viewers believed at least one of them, while a whopping 45 percent believed all three. That compared with CBS — 71 percent believed one (which, admittedly, is pretty bad), but only 15 percent believed all three — and PBS/NPR — 23 percent believed one, and only 7 percent the full set. And before anyone starts saying, “Well, people listen to the media outlets that mirror their own perceptions,” the researchers did take that into account, and even among like-minded ideologues, the Fox News viewers were substantially more ignorant of the facts.

Meyerson hits the nail on the head in figuring out the rationale: The Fox agenda has nothing to do with providing information; it’s all about making sure that Duh-bya gets reelected in 2004... I’m sorry, elected in 2004.


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