Thursday, November 24, 2011

Watching Fox News Makes People Ignorant – Confirming What We All Knew

But Finally An Explanation of Views of Conservative Voters

Thanks to the wonderful political site of Taegan Goddard we now know the results of a study by Farleigh Dickinson University on whether or not watching TV talk shows and news makes one better informed.

According to the latest results from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll,some news sources make us less likely to know what’s going on in the world. In the most recent study, the poll asked New Jerseyans about current events at home and abroad, and from what sources – if any – they get their information.

How do you measure whether or not watching a news show makes you less informed.  FDU compared the knowledge of persons who watched those shows with the knowledge of persons who did not watch any news shows?  Here is what that told them.

Sunday morning news shows do the most to help people learn about current events,  while some outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who they don’t watch any news at all.

Need some specifics?  Here they are

people who watch Fox News, the most popular of the 24-hour
cable news networks, are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all (after controlling for other news sources, partisanship, education and other demographic factors). Fox News watchers are also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their
government than those who watch no news.

And the study looks like it was well done and professional

"Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News," said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the PublicMind Poll. "Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at

So now we know the answer to one question plaguing many rational thinkers, which is why are Conservatives so irrational.  It is the answer we all thought was correct, if you get your news from a biased and unprincipled and generally false news network you are likely to be uninformed.   There, that’s not so hard, is it?

1 comment:

  1. Not hard at all, TDPE. And may the Gawds bless you for the holy task of posting on this day. Being related, too close for comfort or sanity, to people that are these viewers, it's even worse. In reality, Fox News viewers are less informed than the illiterate of the 14th century. And they are damn proud of it because they are right, notwithstanding history, facts, reality, or psychosis!