You’ve Probably heard This
Many people who voted in the midterm elections voted Republican, not because they knew Democrats did a bad job, but because they were misled into believing so. A poll conducted by the university of Maryland found that not only were voters misinformed on key issues, but viewers of Fox News were most misinformed, with the greatest lack of understanding about what is true and what is not. The highlights of how Fox News viewers fared on some basic points that the average voter should be be responsible for knowing:
- 38 percent believe that most Republicans opposed TARP
- 49 percent believe income taxes have gone up
- 56 percent believe Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout
- 60 percent believe climate change is not occurring
- 63 percent believe Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear)
- 63 percent believe the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts
- 72 percent believe the economy is getting worse
- 72 percent believe the health reform law will increase the deficit
- 91 percent believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs
Seriously, it’s a pretty solid conviction of Fox as being a source of misinformation rather than of information. The evidence could not be more clear that the stimulus saved millions of jobs–not a few, but millions. And that a quarter to a third of it was tax cuts. And half of these people don’t even know what their own tax status is? Almost two-thirds are birthers?
Some of these I could almost understand–the economy certainly would feel like it’s getting worse to many, and it could be hard to understand health care’s impact on the budget. But let’s face it, it’s not as if these are issues that Fox gives a fair and balanced look at. They constantly spread lies (excuse me, “opinions”) about this kind of thing.
Nor are Fox viewers innocent dupes, the likelihood is that many if not most of these people watch Fox because it tells them what they want to believe. Which right now is anything bad about Obama.