Skip to comments.Study Proves – Watching CNN and MSNBC Makes You Stupid!
Posted on 02/05/2013 12:37:56 PM PST by Starman417
This is another one of those subjects I wanted to write about a few months ago but it fell on my back burner. Every so often we see some new study that "proves" that Fox News viewers are stupid. The latest one that came out a few weeks ago proved that your average Fox News viewer has an average IQ of 80. PJ Media's Charlie Martin proceeded to dissect this study, first by contacting its author. The author didn't give a full name, worked for some fictitious organization, used a bizarre methodology, and could not reveal who had commissioned the study nor is he going to release the study's actual results. You can read both sides' arguments in the two links above.
The study that caught my interest initially was the subject of an article by Ben Adler over at The Nation last May that was an entertaining read to say the least. It starts off by saying that the people over at "Fox News think they are despised by real journalists only because they are conservative and most journalists are liberal." He then states that this is nonsense and proceeds to inform us that this is accuse their viewers are uninformed, as evidenced by a study done over at Fairleigh Dickenson Univeristy. Adler follows up by sharing some of the conclusions, and out of curiosity I did something radical and extremist - I looked at the study itself to see the source data behind these conclusions.
Naturally, Fox News viewers fared the worst. But then I looked closer at the breakdowns - the two lowest scoring groups were "Democrats Who Watch Fox News" and "Republicans Who watch MSNBC". That should have sent up some flags, as someone of one ideology who listens to opposing views is probably going to be better informed than his peers who don't. My guess is that these were some yahoos who were messing with the poll, and I'd be curious to see what the results looked like if they were excluded (raw numbers for how many people were in each category weren't included). When you look at the overall Democrat vs. Republican in general the results were unsurprising. The gap was a lot closer, with each side scoring a little bit higher in different areas. Democrats fared a little better with the foreign policy questions, as I would expect considering NPR's overseas coverage is a lot better than that of Fox News, in my opinion. And the GOP subjects did better on domestic politics, also unsurprising since two of the questions were regarding the Republican primaries. Personally I don't think the primary questions were good to use either, since they give a small advantage to Republicans who would be more likely to be following these events in the news.
And at the end of Adler's post there are six other studies that further prove the ignorance of Fox News viewers. Here is how each of them reach that conclusion:
1) The first one is on Global Warming, and unfortunately Adler's link no longer works, but I think that the study he references is here. Basically, your "intelligence" is determined whether or not you believe in a religious cult whose beliefs are are built on lies and are impervious to scientific methodology.
2) How well do you understand the Obamacare? The Kaiser Family Foundation found out. Democrats scored better, but that's because some of the survey's answers are just flat wrong. One question where the "correct" answer is a negative to the statement that Obamacare will "Allow a government panel to make decisions about end-of-life care for people on Medicare." Obama getting embarrassed over that got that piece of language stripped out, but IPAB remains. Yes, I'm getting into semantics, but any panel that has the power to reject certain drugs or procedures that could be used by someone on Medicare fits this description. Another is that "Cut benefits that were previously provided to all people on Medicare". I'd call cutting $700B from a program to fund Obamacare a cut. And spare me that it's being "paid for" by lowering reimbursement to doctors. Lower pay means fewer doctors accepting patients, and longer waits with the ones who still will.
3) Next, MSNBC chimes in on Health Care: Here's another way to look at the misinformation: In our poll, 72% of self-identified FOX News viewers believe the health-care plan will give coverage to illegal immigrants, 79% of them say it will lead to a government takeover, 69% think that it will use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, and 75% believe that it will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing care for the elderly.
The question on illegal immigrants was an interesting one, and had similar results in the Kaiser poll. To be honest I had no idea either way, and as much as I followed the debate I didn't recall hearing anything way on this specific point. Does anyone else remember this? As for the government takeover? Check. That's going to be the eventual outcome be as private insurers are regulated out of business. Of course, if you read how they worded the question above how do you survey people about predicting the future? And the abortion question? Planned Parenthood already gets taxpayer dollars, so it may not be a good question as to whether or not direct abortions are part of this bill. One other piece of the abortion question is getting a bit into semantics, but that's why some drugs that businesses are being forced to cover are called "abortifacients".
4) Ohio State chimes in that Fox News is spreading misinformation about the Ground Zero Mosque in New York and the people behind it.. You know, the facts behind the Ground Zero Mosque.
5) PIPA weighed in on the Iraq War, and I have to admit that the lefties have us on this one. The gist of the survey was around Iraq having ties to 9/11, WMD's being found, whether or not Saddam had ties to Al-Queda and world perception. The only question I have a bone to pick with is the Al-Queda one, as some respondents might have mistaken it for ties terrorists in general, which Saddam certainly had. But aside from that I thought that of all of the surveys listed here this one had the best worded questions and details behind its methodology. I am surprised with this one's results, as I watched Fox News back then quite a bit more than I do today and listened to Sean Hannity's radio show (He has had a prime time show on Fox News for many years) during my then afternoon commute and don't remember any of these misperceptions being preached, but the opinions are what they are.
Just so there's no misunderstanding I still fully support taking out Saddam, but the reasons are too much of a tangent for this post. If you want to read in depth on the subject try Doug Feith's book, or you can look here for a quicker summary. And no matter how good an argument one makes against the war, you're never going to convince me that with everything else going on in the Middle East that Saddam still being around would be better, or that Iraq and Iran in a nuclear arms race would be a good idea.
6) World Public Opinion.org looked at misinformation around the 2010 election. They have an bone to pick with the Citizens United ruling - apparently Viacom, Disney, Comcast and the New York Times Corp. are the only corporations that are entitled to free speech. The first part of the survey is pretty useless, citing numbers of Americans who felt that they witnessed misinformation in ads prior to the election. I call this useless because my basic definition of misinformation is "An opinion expressed that you don't agree with", and yes this cuts across both sides of the aisle.What were the questions that the public got wrong? There were too many questions to address each one, but here are some highlights:
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that by the third quarter of 2010, the stimulus legislation had increased the number of full-time equivalent jobs by between two and five million. Other economists concurred that it had a positive effect on growth for the economy. However, most voters did not seem to have this information.
That's great, as we can see every job that the government "created", but how many did they destroy? Any first year economics student knows that every dollar spent or borrowed is a dollar not used toward private consumption or investment. And which "Other economists" agreed on the positive effect? Data-challenged preachers like Paul Krugman? Forgive us for not joining you in celebrating the high unemployment, low growth, and soaring deficits we've enjoyed under the Obama Presidency.
(excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...
My doctor’s waiting room tv was tuned in to the king’s speech today. Two minutes of that was enough to shave 40 points off my IQ.
I believe CNN and MSNBC are programmed to appeal to the less intelligent in our society. My worthless Brother-in-law (If you know him he probably owes you money) watches it all the time.
Or is it “being stupid makes you watch CNN and MSNBC”? Sounds like a chicken-and-egg problem to me...
Well then, they should definitely watch these channels at least 20 hours a week so they won’t reproduce.
A few years back, while I was at the VA hospital, I had one waste-case drugged-out gibmedat insist to me that CNN was right-wing, and FauxNews was liberal.
There were too many conversations among the denizens of the VA hospital that went the way of “How can any veteran not vote for Obama? He gives us our VA benefits. You vote for someone else, you’re stupid!”
Even the vets are gibmedats.
Hey-—he told me you were good for the $50!
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