For many years, those of us who dont subscribe to the way-off-the-right-wing-cliff ideology have claimed that Fox News Channel is worse than no news at all. Now we have proof:
According to the latest results from Fairleigh Dickinson Universitys PublicMind Poll, which asked people in New Jersey about current events, those who watched Fox News were less informed than those who say they dont watch any news at all.
For example, people who watch Fox News were 18 points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all. Fox News viewers were also 6 points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news.
And the news sources that do the most to help people learn about current events? The so-called lamestream media that conservatives hate so much. According to the poll, the best informed respondents were those who watched Sunday morning news programs giving them a 16 point greater likelihood of knowing what happened in Egypt. Next were those who read a national newspaper such as The New York Times or USA Today. They were followed by listeners of National Public Radio.
The failure of Fox News to inform its viewers may have as much to do with the style of reporting as the content. “Sunday morning news shows tend to spend a lot more time on a single issue than other news broadcasts, and they are less likely to degenerate into people shouting at each other,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the PublicMind Poll. “Viewers pick up more information from this sort of calm discussion than from other formats. Unfortunately, these shows have a much smaller audience than the shouters.”