According to a new study conducted by the University of Maryland, “Fox News viewers were ‘significantly’ more likely than non-viewers to erroneously believe false information about the economy, taxes, climate change, bailouts and whether President Obama was born in the United States.”
Yes, apparently political propaganda thinly disguised as news and shamelessly used to fearmonger does not make for the most informed viewers. Take it away science:
Those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe that 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). The effect was also not simply a function of partisan bias, as people who voted Democratic and watched Fox News were also more likely to have such misinformation than those who did not watch it — though by a lesser margin than those who voted Republican.
It shouldn’t require an explanation here, but because some of our readers are retarded, it’s worth noting that all of those assumptions are wrong. Barack Obama was born in the United States, Bush also bailed out the auto industry, and there is an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community that climate change is real and caused by people.
As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
Of course, there should probably be a FOX News corollary: if you’re watching FOX News, you’re not entitled to any facts. In fact, you might just hear the PolitiFact Lie of the Year, over and over instead.