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

 

From a study conduction by WorldPublicOpinion.org, 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.

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