in journalism, politics, Uncategorized

Fox News Makes You Dumber

A study [PDF] conducted by (managed by the University of Maryland) has shown that greater exposure to Fox News was associated with greater levels of misinformation. Quoting the NYTimes:

“Almost daily” viewers of Fox News, the authors said, were 31 points more likely to mistakenly believe that “most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit;” were 30 points more likely to believe that “most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring;” and were 14 points more likely to believe that “the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts.”

This association held even in instances when the person voted Democrat (i.e. regardless of party affiliation). Fox’s response to the study:

Asked for comment on the study, Fox News seemingly dismissed the findings. In a statement, Michael Clemente, who is the senior vice president of news editorial for the network, said: “The latest Princeton Review ranked the University of Maryland among the top schools for having ‘Students Who Study The Least’ and being the ‘Best Party School’ – given these fine academic distinctions, we’ll regard the study with the same level of veracity it was ‘researched’ with.”

It should go without saying that some silly Princeton Review rankings should have absolutely no bearing on the accuracy of the study or the issues that it raises. That being said, this is the most prominent instance of a large corporation issuing a response that amounts to “Bitch, please” that I can think of.