Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fox News Makes You Dumber

You are probably already dumb, or lazy, if you enjoy watching Fox News or consider it an accurate source of information. Or maybe you just enjoy hearing angry men raving inanely about matters they know little about. Therefore, it should be no surprise to hear that Fox executives deliberately order their staff to put out deceptive news. (See FOXLEAKS: Fox boss ordered staff to cast doubt on climate science)

Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon sent an email questioning the "veracity of climate change data" and ordered the network's journalists to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question." Sammon also send an email to Fox journalists at the peak of the health care reform debate, ordering them to avoid using the term "public option" and instead use variations of "government option." That email echoed advice from a prominent Republican pollster on how to help turn public opinion against health care reform.

The Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, conducted a survey indicating that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. Here are just a few of Fox viewers’ erroneous beliefs:
  • 91 percent believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs
  • 72 percent believe the health reform law will increase the deficit
  • 72 percent believe the economy is getting worse
  • 60 percent believe climate change is not occurring
  • 49 percent believe income taxes have gone up under Obama
  • 63 percent believe the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts
  • 56 percent believe Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout
  • 38 percent believe that most Republicans opposed TARP
  • 63 percent believe Obama was not born in the U.S.

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