No News Is Better Than Fox News

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Fair, balanced, and misinformed
Where do you get your news -- from Fox News or from The Daily Show With Jon Stewart? If you answered Jon Stewart, congratulations! You are better informed than the people who get their news from Fox. Oh no you didn't?!? OH YES I DID. And I have a poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University to back me up. Haters, start your engines, the news entertainment wars are about to get ugly!

Who would think to pit Fox News against Jon Stewart? Duh, everyone. This study is SO OVERDUE! I can't believe it took so long to actually measure the misinformation and compare the two. And yes, I will do an obnoxious happy dance in the end zone. Team Daily Show, yeah! Now if you'll excuse me, I'll give you a few details and then go into hiding.

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Okay, so how bad is it? The PublicMind Poll asked 612 New Jersey adults about various current affair topics and then asked them where they got their news. The people who say they watch Fox News are 18 percentage points less likely to know that the Egyptian uprising has been successful than people who don't watch the news at all. And yes, they did control for partisanship -- this is not Democrats vs. Republicans.

It's just that, I don't know, there's something misinform-ish about Fox News. Or as the researchers put it, "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 all."

MSNBC watchers aren't much better, by the way. They're the most likely to think the Occupy Wall Street protesters mostly lean Republican as opposed to Democrat (um, actually, I'd say they're kind of left of Democrat, but that's a technicality). But if you happen to watch Jon Stewart, you are more likely to answer that question correctly than if you watch the Sunday morning news programs. This, even though it's a freakin' comedy show, not a news program. Yet, “when he does talk about something, his viewers pick up a lot more information than they would from other news sources,” says a spokesman for the poll. Shouldn't a news network do a better job of informing the public than a comedy show that just happens to tell jokes about the news?

"The fact that Fox News, the preferred media outlet for many of the candidates, doesn't do better in informing viewers is very surprising." Nooooo, seriously? You're surprised? Oh Fairleigh Dickinson University researchers, your naivete is so charming. By the way, only half of New Jersey residents seemed capable of naming either Mitt Romney or Herman Cain as front-runners in the race, so the bar is already kind of low.

Oh, and another poll conducted in Maryland this summer came to pretty much the same conclusion about Fox News. Aw, guys, why are you picking on Fox News? You're gonna make Shepard Smith mad! Oh I laugh and I laugh. And then I cry. Because Fox News is the most-watched news network. We are so screwed.

Do you watch Fox News? What do you think about this poll?

 

Image via Fox News

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