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Study: Fox News Viewers Less Informed…

Study: Fox News Viewers Less Informed…

Faux News ChannelAccording to a a new poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Fox News viewers know less than those who don’t watch any news.  The poll asked New Jerseyans about current events and confirmed what many consider to be the obvious: “Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News… the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

But the real finding is that the results depend on what media sources people turn to for their news. For example, people who watch Fox News, the most popular of the 24-hour cable news networks, are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all (after controlling for other news sources, partisanship, education and other demographic factors). Fox News watchers are also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news.

As for networks informing their audiences, this is where it gets interesting…

Only 55% of New Jerseyans are able to name correctly either Mitt Romney or Herman Cain as the Republican candidates most recently leading in the polls, with 37 % saying that Romney is ahead, and 18% saying that Cain is. Watching Fox News didn’t help or hurt respondents on this question. MSNBC, however, helped: Watching MSNBC was associated with a 10-point increase in identifying Romney as the leader, and a 5-point drop in the likelihood of identifying Cain compared to those who got no exposure to news at all.

“Given the amount of time and effort the media spent covering these candidates, the fact that only about half of the public can name one of the front-runners is embarrassing,” said Cassino. “The fact that Fox News, the preferred media outlet for many of the candidates, doesn’t do better in informing viewers is very surprising.”

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Bill O’Reilly, Fox & Friends Survey Falsehoods

Fox News personalities are on the forefront of spreading misinformation about health care reform and here’s one example that takes the cake.

Bill O’Reilly, citing the New England Journal of Medicine stated that  “46.3% May Leave Medical Profession” and “If half of the nation’s doctors are considering bailing on the profession if Obama-care passes, that is a frightening consequence.”

Here’s what the “poll” actually stated:

46.3%of primary care physicians (family medicine and internal medicine) feel that the passing of health reform will either force them out of medicine or make them want to leave medicine.

Misleading, yes, but that’s not the most interesting part. The New England Journal of Medicine states that they never produced a health care survey!

For example, on Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said: “The New England Journal of Medicine has published a report and did a survey, and they said the impact of reform on primary care physicians, 46 percent, they say, feel reform will force them out or make them want to leave medicine.”

This is false.

Media Matters for America contacted the New England Journal of Medicine, which confirmed it neither conducted nor published the “survey.”

NEJM spokesperson Jennifer Zeis told Media Matters that the study had “nothing to do with the New England Journal of Medicine’s original research.” She also made clear that the study “was not published by the New England Journal of Medicine,” and said that “we are taking steps to clarify the source of the survey.”

The “report” that right-wing media are citing actually appeared in Recruiting Physicians Today, which is an employment newsletter produced by “the publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine.” According to Zeis, that report actually “was written by the Medicus Firm,” the medical recruitment firm that conducted the “survey.”

UPDATE: Following inquiries from Media Matters, the “NEJM CareerCenter” website has now posted the following statement, making clear that Recruiting Physicians Today is a “free advertiser newsletter” whose content is “produced by physician recruiting firms and other independent groups involved in physician employment” and that Medicus was responsible for conducting and publishing the “survey” in question…

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FoxNews.com Tea Party Poll: ‘Racism, Conspiracy Theories’ Winning

FoxNews.com currently has a poll asking, “What Do You Think Tea Party Movement Is About?” At this moment, the leading response is “Fruitless mix of racism, conspiracy theories.” Classic!

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Fox & Friends Producer Defends Fuzzy Math

As reported, Fox & Friends manipulated a Rasmussen poll to show that more people think that scientists falsified data to support Global Warming. The error was obvious and inexcusable, especially in light of the new Fox News “zero tolerance policy” for such mistakes.

Media Matters for America sent an open letter to Fox News senior vice president Michael Clemente regarding the “zero tolerance for on-screen errors.

The erroneous percentages Fox & Friends showed in its graphic added up to 120 percent (even without the 15 percent who responded that they weren’t sure).,” wrote Ari Rabin-Havt, Media Matters’ vice president of communications and research. “More importantly, Fox News’ presentation of the data made it seem as though 94 percent of Americans think it’s at least “somewhat likely” that climate scientists falsify their research data.

Unfortunately, Fox & Friends executive producer Lauren Petterson defended the erroneous reporting.

PETTERSON: We were just talking about three interesting pieces of information from Rasmussen… We didn’t put on the screen that it added up to 100 percent… The mistake I do see is we could have been a little clearer here

Media Matters has responded to Petterson’s statements:

Lauren Petterson clearly did not watch the segment in question. Host Steve Doocy agreed with Media Matters’ interpretation seeing as he attempted to add up these numbers as they appeared on air and said “so you get 90 – you got a lot of people.” On Fox News, percentages don’t add up to 100 and, apparently, “zero tolerance” means unless we get caught

So, there are a few possible scenarios here: 1) Lauren Petterson does not understand percentages, 2) Petterson does understand percentages but is inept at displaying data correctly, 3) Petterson did not watch the segment and responded without fact checking, or 4) Petterson, executive producer of the show that made the mistake, is an outright liar.

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Fox News Manipulates Global Warming Poll to Show 120%

Fox & Friends used a Rasmussen poll to show how people feel about scientists falsifying research to support Global Warming. Fox News then took the poll results, did some manipulation, and displayed the results… totaling 120%.

Apparently, the actual poll results were as follows: According to the poll, 35 percent thought it very likely, 24 percent somewhat likely, 21 percent not very likely, and 5 percent not likely at all (15 percent weren’t sure).

Fox News added the “very likely” and “somewhat likely” figures together, which total 59% and retained the “somewhat likely” label. They then included the 35% “very likely” in their graphic in addition to the new “somewhat likely” votes. The result shows a total of 120% and that doesn’t include the 15% who weren’t sure…

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Fox Affiliate’s Fuzzy Math Re: GOP Nominations for 2012

The Fox News’ local Chicago affiliate used some fuzzy math to show the division of favorability between the leading GOP candidates for nomination in 2012, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. The poll, on which the pie chart below was based, shows Palin with 70%, Huckabee with 63% and Romney with 60%. Folks, that’s 193%.

Not only is the math wrong, but the basis of the chart is wrong – the poll was not asking for respondents’ favorite candidates, but rather favorable ratings among Republicans for each candidate, separately.

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Fox & Friends Uses Outdated Poll to Show Balance

It’s a wonder that there are still so many people who don’t question Fox News Channel’s honesty, but rather question why it’s criticized so much lately. Considering they get their news from FNC they wouldn’t know that shows like Fox & Friends get caught doing things like using an outdated poll to show that they’re “much more balanced.” Of course, these polls don’t dig too deep and definitely don’t show a full picture, but the issue here is the fact that Fox & Friends is being dishonest in their presentation.

Here is what you’d see if you watched Fox & Friends:

Here is the reality – in other words, using a poll that’s not a year old:

The survey found: “More than three times as many Republicans (34%) as Democrats (10%) say they get most of their national and international news from Fox. By comparison, Democrats are more than twice as likely than Republicans to cite CNN (29% vs. 13%). A similar pattern is evident for MSNBC, with more Democrats (9%) than Republicans (3%) citing it as a main news source.” Nineteen percent of independents said they get most of their national and international news from Fox.

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Bill O’Reilly’s Poll – Where’s Fox News?

Bill O’Reilly‘s web site currently has a poll asking, “Which news agency do you trust the least?” Fox News Channel is conveniently missing…

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Fox News’ Questionable Use of Health Care Reform Poll

Vice President of news at Fox News Channel, Bill Sammon references a poll (see below), which Fox News attributes to ABC News, as showing that more people do not want a public option included in the health care reform package.

SAMMON: Well, that’s true. And, you know, you have to — you have to figure that President Obama is feeling whipsawed, because on the one hand, people are saying they don’t want the public option, as that poll demonstrates. Republicans are showing up at these town hall meetings and objecting. On the other hand, you’ve got liberal Democrats saying, look, you better put that public option back in there.

Keep reading to see why this doesn’t show the whole picture…

The poll figures, as seen above, are from an Ipsos/McClatchy poll from early July, 2009. Click on the image below to view the actual poll questions and results. You’ll notice that the first question shows that the majority feel that it’s necessary to have a public option.

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The O’Reilly Factor Poll of Irony

I think, once you take a look at the following, you’ll know exactly how to vote…

The O’Reilly Factor wants to know what you think the WORST Entertainment TV show series of all time is. No news shows or specific episodes should be given as answers. The winning show may be featured in a new “American TV Icons” segment!

Pro Tip: copy = ctrl+c, paste = ctrl+v

Click here to vote!

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Poll: Fox News On At Businesses

If Fox News is on at a business, do you ask them to change the channel?

View Results

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If you have asked a business to change the channel from Fox News, or turn the TV off, what did you say? What was the response? If you haven’t asked, why not?

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Majority Give Obama Good Marks in O’Reilly’s Poll

Bill O’Reilly has a poll on the Fox News web site asking visitors to grade President Obama‘s first 100 days in office. At this time, the vast majority have given Obama a passing grade, with 43% giving him an A.

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Bill O’Reilly Uses Poll To Show Lower Rating For Obama

First things first – A Fox News poll shows Barack Obama’s approval rating above 60%.

So, why would Bill O’Reilly not use that poll’s findings? Is it not accurate? Is it because he found one that gives Obama a lower rating? According to the Rasmussen poll, only 34% of American approve of the job Obama is doing. He chose to use that poll instead.

What is this Rasmussen poll? Scott Rasmussen is a frequent guest on Fox News and the poll’s questions have frequently been criticized for have a strong right-wing slant. Ah hah.

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Glenn Beck Poll on Waterboarding

It looks like the vast majority (three to one) of those who took Glenn Beck’s poll asking, “Is waterboarding torture?” agree that it is torture. As of this moment, over 9,000 votes have been cast and 75% have voted “Yes.” It’s comforting to know that not all of his viewers are sadistic maniacs or cop killers.

BTW, the poll is still broken when I tried using FireFox.

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Glenn Beck’s Poll Has Issues

Hey, Glenn Beck… Your poll is broken. You might want to have that checked out. I wasn’t able to submit my “No” vote for your poll asking, “Will tea party momentum carry on past Tax Day” using FireFox, but it seemed to work with Internet Explorer. Here’s a screenshot:

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