File under Things We Already Knew:
To perhaps nobody’s surprise, a study released this week finds that Fox News viewers are the most misinformed of any news consumers.
The University of Maryland study, called “Misinformation and the 2010 Election,” looked at “variations in misinformation by exposure to news sources,” among other things, and specifically newspapers and news magazines (in print and online), network TV news broadcasts, NPR and PBS, Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN.
These are some things Fox viewers believe, all of which are patently not true:
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)
The economy is getting worse (26 points)
Most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points)
The stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points)
Their own income taxes have gone up (14 points)
The auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points)
When TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points)
And that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points)
To us over here in Reality Land, to hold even one of these beliefs is beyond stupid. But Fox’s genius has been to feed easily led people complete bullshit in service of the Almighty Dollar while simultaneously convincing them that allegiance to their network is part of a larger tribal war for “Real Murrika.” The fact that so many people have, like peasants, pledged their heartfelt fealty to this paradigm is a sad statement about our country, but that’s just how it is.