Friday, December 17, 2010

Watching Fox News rots your brain

I've long suspected it and now there is some independent proof: Watching Fox News rots your brain.

The University of Maryland has conducted a study of consumers of news from various sources and they found that by a rather overwhelming percentage, the viewers of Fox News were the most ill-informed group that they surveyed. They polled their survey participants on a wide range of topics and found that Fox viewers were most likely to believe things that were demonstrably untrue.

Overall, 90% of respondents, consumers from all sources of news, said they felt they had heard false information being given to them during the 2010 election campaign. However, while consumers of just about every news outlet believed some information that was false, the study found that Fox News viewers were "significantly more likely" 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 more likely)

--The economy is getting worse (26 points more likely)

--Most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points more likely)

--The stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points more likely)

--Their own income taxes have gone up (14 points more likely)

--The auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points more likely)

--When TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points more likely)

--And that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points more likely)


All of these statements are false on their face. They are provably false. Incontrovertibly false, based on facts that are readily available to anyone who takes the time and trouble to look. But, of course, some people do not believe in facts. They assert their alternate reality as the "true facts". Such people are called Fox viewers.

Not surprisingly perhaps, the study not only found that viewing Fox led to believing outright lies to be facts, but increased viewership of Fox News led to increased belief in these false stories. Like I said, it rots your brain.

2 comments:

  1. I laughed out loud at the title of this post! Amen!

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  2. It may seem like hyperbole, but I think it is a simple fact, Snap. If Fox viewers can have their own "facts", why can't I?

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