Today’s shocker: Study Says Fox News Viewers Are More Misinformed


From a study conduction by, managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland:

In most cases those who had greater levels of exposure to news sources had lower levels of misinformation. There were, however, a number of cases where greater exposure to a particular news source increased misinformation on some issues.

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.

MSNBC and public broadcasting viewers, however, were not spared some humiliation.

There were cases with some other news sources as well. Daily consumers of MSNBC and public broadcasting (NPR and PBS) were higher (34 points and 25 points respectively) in believing that it was proven that the US Chamber of Commerce was spending money raised from foreign sources to support Republican candidates. Daily watchers of network TV news broadcasts were 12 points higher in believing that TARP was signed into law by President Obama, and 11 points higher in believing that most Republicans oppose TARP.

stun gun enema, originally uploaded by pirano.

Reporting on Teabaggers

NO, this won’t be another juvenile joke about this unfortunately named group of protesters who took to the streets yesterday in the U.S. Besides a collective hatred of Obama, precisely what they were protesting still isn’t really clear.   When calling Obama both a socialist and fascist in the same breathe, their own confusion is self-evident. (For the teabagging-curious, Rachel Maddow has a delightful oral history of the nascent movement here.)

From the get-go, Fox News, who has a history of crossing their fair and balanced line (!), had been urging their audience to take part in the coast-to-coast orgy of public teabagging events. No big surprise. But this guy, Cody Willard, one of their reporters on the scene, has got to take top prize as top teabagging reporter. How did he get a job as a journalist? And more importantly, is he still gainfully employed this morning?

Guys, when are we going to wake up and start fighting the fascism that seems to be permeating this country?

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.2377430&w=425&h=350&]

The lunacy on the right has been amusing over the course of Obama’s first 86 days, a frustration cum desperation that has now turned to paranoia over the past 72 hours upon the release of a Homeland Security report which said that right-wing extremism is on the rise throughout the U.S. (Here in Slovenia too, but that wasn’t in that report).

While mentioning in general terms “militia movements” and “white supremacist(s)”, nowhere does it mention “conservatives”, “republicans”, or crazed right wing radio jocks. (No, not even teabaggers). But that, or the fact that the findings were compiled while Bush was still in office, hasn’t stopped many on the right, who are apparently taking it quite personally and thinking this was about them, of condemning the report as a hatchet job. Or, maybe it hit a little too close to home?

Hannity, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Malkin, et al, please, stop embarrassing yourselves. As Jon Stewart succinctly pointed out, it’s supposed to taste like a shit taco now.  So kick back, relax, and enjoy some teabagging in the comfort of your own homes.

Kiss of death, originally uploaded by pirano.

News: Neo-Nazi Skinheads are Camera Shy


On Wednesday, a group of about a dozen neo-Nazi skinheads disrupted a roundtable discussion on hate speech, nationalism and neo-fascism at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana. On their way out, they reportedly broke a couple cameras, but on one the footage was preserved for internet posterity.  PopTV has video of the scuffle here. Anyone you know?

Some reports pointed the finger at a nationalist group, Tukaj je Slovenija, or This is Slovenia, which the group vehemently denied. “We are not an organization,” read a statement on its website, but rather an association of individuals. [Their website is here where, among other things, you can buy black t-shirts with dragon designs so you can dress up like neo-Nazi skinhead youths the world over!]

Related? Shock! Richard Poplawski, the man accused of gunning down three police officers in Pittsburgh last week, was apparently a gun-loving racist pinhead who hung out on neo-Nazi and white supremacist websites and firmly believed the Fox News line that Obama’s impending socialism would signal the end of his right to own and love guns.

At least it’s a lot harder to get your hands on a gun here.

UPDATED to add this link to a couple posts on the topic from Pengovsky, always worth a read.

(screenshot from PopTV video)

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