Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why Fox News misinforms

A recent study shows that Fox News viewers are the most misinformed consumers of news because those viewers choose ignorance over enlightenment.

CNN and MSNBC took their lumps in the study, but Fox News won the day for deliberately misinforming viewers.

The University of Maryland study shows what Fox News viewers believe:

* 91 percent believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs

* 72 percent believe the health reform law will increase the deficit

* 72 percent believe the economy is getting worse

* 60 percent believe climate change is not occurring

* 49 percent believe income taxes have gone up

* 63 percent believe the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts

* 56 percent believe Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout

* 38 percent believe that most Republicans opposed TARP

* 63 percent believe Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear)

If you were to confront a Fox News viewer with these falsehoods, they would say you are lying.

As Groucho Marx would say: Fox News is to news what military music is to music.

In other words, Fox News exists to present an alternate reality in which the viewer decides what is true. If a Fox News viewer believes the sun rises in the west, then so be it.

In the Fox News realm, all truth is relative. Ironically, Fox News is the ultimate in moral relativism.

Talk to an avid Fox News viewer and they really don't know what's going on in the world. Either their minds are filled with all the things Obama is doing to destroy America or matters like Natalie Holloway's disappearance.

I have to admit that I don't watch Fox News these days because my low-end cable package doesn't include that channel. Nor does it include MSNBC, Comedy Central or ESPN.

But, I routinely check out the Fox News website in my daily perusal of news sources that include: the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC website, ESPN and the Huffington Post.

The WSJ and Fox News are owned by Rupert Murdoch, an Australian who has found a way to divide Americans better than the Communists or slave-owners.

In fact, the deep polarization in American politics can be traced to when Fox News came on the air in the mid-1990s. Since then, we've had this alternate reality competing with what is real.

When Fox News deliberately misinforms viewers, it naturally creates a fissure that mainstream corporate media cannot repair.

This results in disunity where there is little room for consensus-building and no space for compromise.

Fox News proclaims that it is "fair and balanced," but that is only true if you believe up is down and down is up.

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