Posted in: Media Industry

Study: Fox News Viewers Less Informed Than Those Who Watch No News At All

Fox News

A new study is showing that viewers who watch only Fox News are the least informed people in the country. In fact, the study is showing that those who watch Fox News are more uninformed than those who don’t watch any news at all.

Researchers at Fairleigh Dickinson University had originally done a study in 2011 that found the exact same statistics. They recently updated the study to find out if they would get the same results nationally that they got in the first study which was only conducted in New Jersey, where the University is located.

The poll interviewed participants about their knowledge of international news (Iran, Egypt, Syria and Greece were included) and news that is strictly for domestic consumption (Republican primaries, Congress, unemployment and the Keystone XL pipeline). The pollsters found that people were usually able to answer 1.8 out of 4 questions on foreign news, and 1.6 of 5 questions on domestic news, and that people who don’t watch any news were able to get 1.22 of the questions on domestic policy right.

Then the study found out that those who watched only Fox News fared much worse than the average.

The study found,

“The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly — a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. On the other hand, if they listened only to NPR, they would be expected to answer 1.51 questions correctly; viewers of Sunday morning talk shows fare similarly well. And people watching only The Daily Show with Jon Stewart could answer about 1.42 questions correctly.”

MSNBC viewers also did worse than those who watch no news at all but only in the international news section of the study.

Among those who did the best in the study are people who only listened to NPR or watched Sunday morning talk shows or “The Daily Show” .

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92 Responses to “Study: Fox News Viewers Less Informed Than Those Who Watch No News At All”

  1. Jim Hickerson

    Just tell them to Google Fox News Viewers, Cindy…It's the first thing that comes up.

  2. Stephen Gomez-Fox

    Another one? Interesting to see that MSNBC viewers faired only slightly better than Fox News. Balance really *is* important, whether you lean left, right, or are ambidextrous… Most interesting part: Daily Show viewers did nearly as well as NPR listeners!

  3. Steve Cheney

    Comedy tends to require more thought and research than just punching the autocue keyboard or whatever they do on the news.

  4. Lotisha Jefferson

    The most important finding of this study was that Republicans were better informed than Democrats. On each and every questions asked, there were more Republicans that got the correct answers than Democrats. So, I guess that we should conclude that Democrats are the main audience for Fox News!

  5. Nancy Fields Gravely

    how can we rectify disinformation propaganda so ingrained? man, MSNBC bombed too. thanks to the daily show, BBC, FreeSpeechTV & L ink TV, for those who get their news on TV…but FOX viewers I know will never ever watch any other news unless it's CNN. Why do they call it FOX news anyway? It's commentary…

  6. Nancy Fields Gravely

    Faux News or Fox So-called News. Call it anything but News. so i'm a so-called liberal. I prefer Stephanie Miller's: Liberally Speaking for my COMMENTARY. "Democracy Now" with Amy Goodman does great job of reporting actual fact based news. Another commentator i like is Thom Hartmann.

  7. Ascencion Gomez

    There is no mention of people interviewed who watched other TV news outlines or use other sources of news information. This study has flaws i.e. huge gaps of information. Besides the results would be the same for anyone who uses TV news as their only source of information. This isn't just commend for Fox news viewers.

  8. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Hey, where's the study link? I'd like to look at this study please….

  9. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Let me guess, empty assumptions? No, I don't watch my news, I read my news. Let me know how your mind reading booth is going at your? What is it? Art institute in Las Vegas? Keep going places buddy. I've looked at the study by now as it's been almost a month and the study is not a study at all, it's a POLL….there's a huge difference between a POLL and a STUDY. If you are not aware of the difference, I suggest you go look it up and educate yourself.

  10. Rock Putansu

    Wow that's quite literally one of the rudest responses I've ever seen. He actually gave you the link too! If you feel the need to be rude though I feel I should point out that it's actually an analysis of a SURVEY not a POLL. Maybe you should educate yourself or go see someone about that anger issue…

  11. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    hahahaha….he gave me a link like a month after I commented. Let me ask you something, please define the differences of using the word "poll" and using the word "survey"…now, after you've defined said difference (which I highly doubt there's a significant one) I'd like you to then carefully research the difference of a poll/survey and a study. And it was him who was rude first upon making the assumption that, b/c I pointed out the huge misleading lie of this article, I was somehow an uninformed Fox news watcher. He got an angry response upon obviously passively insulting me. So no, I won't go get my "anger problem" sorted out, but you should definitely go look up those terms before declaring yourself somehow above me for pointing out poll and survey. (especially b/c the university website refers to it as both….and they're the ones who ran the study)

  12. Rock Putansu

    They are similar in many respects but generally a poll will consist of a single question and the results are simply tallied and displayed, no analysis. Surveys consist of several questions that are typically more in depth and require more time to complete. The results are then analyzed and reports are created with the data rather than simply adding the results and releasing them. I guess after I read his comment I thought more or less he was just making a little joke, not accusing you of some horrible thing. Then I read your reply where you assumed that he meant it in the worst way. That was followed up by insulting the man personally including his choice if educational institution. Here's a link where you can read more about the differences between polls and surveys:

  13. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    indeed, differences of interpretation are commonly found among such posts. Just know that, while you interpreted his "joke" as harmless, I interpreted it differently. Such is human nature I suppose. To each his own. Especially interpretation wise. Needless to say, Rock, I've actually looked at the findings on the university's website (who, before this article ,I didn't even know existed, which should definitely speak for the validity of the research being performed here) and they seem far from rock solid on the results of said survey/poll (see, they refer to it as a poll I believe…if you follow the links far enough, you'll find the university ran a poll…I could be wrong, but I do believe it was such). If you look at the fact that they only surveyed people from one state and only within a certain mileage of the school, it indeed looks foolish of the Inquisitor to publish such findings as fact for all of America, don't you think?

  14. Rock Putansu

    Sure. The results are interesting but inconclusive. I'd be interested to see more research in these areas though because I believe that most people(from either mainstream party) do not do any of their own fact checking and simply swallow what the media feeds them.

  15. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Oh, I completely agree. I don't think people who watch any mainstream media station religiously do any fact checking or consult other information sources. I think it's quite bias to say that Fox is the worst when really, any mainstream media station is horrible for getting the truth.

  16. Val Erickson

    I lost you when you said that a "poll" is not a "study". I understand why Mormons have a contempt for science, what with how archaeology disproves your entire religion, but I really do wish you would keep it to yourself. There is no difference between a poll and a study. A poll is a type of study.

  17. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    bahahahahahahaha…..oh dear god….please…for the love of the rational science world, please go look up the difference. You just embarrassed yourself beyond repair….a poll is not a type of credible study by which fact can be obtained and then be applied to 330 million people….but please, please, for entertainment's sake, please argue that it is.

  18. Val Erickson

    My goal is to entertain idiots, so please, do tell me how I can continue to enrich your life. Shall I explain to you the scientific method? I'm sure you'd find it hilarious.

  19. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    lol, I need not your never ending google knowledge. I have, at my fingertips, a machine that does the work for me. I'm neither stupid nor ignorant on the workings of the scientific method though it does appear that you do not wish to look up the usage of a poll in regards to it's application to a population in comparison to a study in regards to it's population. Not surprisingly a poll is used to make generalizations about a local population and a broadened study is used to make generalizations about a far larger population. Therefore, this article's claims about anyone who watches Fox news being less informed than the average propaganda mainstream media lover are false. This poll can only be generalized for the local population in which it was conducted and not for the entire rest of the populace who also watch Fox news.

  20. Val Erickson

    Your never ending google knowledge? Let's just cut to the chase and call it knowledge. I didn't call you stupid or ignorant, but since you've labelled yourself as such, who am I to argue? I would suggest to you that those of us with education beyond an MRS degree are more capable of speaking on the nature of polls and studies without having to google it, but I guess you have to do the best you can with the limited education you have. Good luck with that.

  21. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    lol, I do love how you didn't debate my definition of the ways in which they can be generalized. Do you disagree or not? B/c if not, then you're simply diverting the conversation in a way in which you can personally insult me rather than address the point I just made. You can call me uneducated and try to twist my words, but you'll fail at both. I clearly stated that I'm NOT ignorant NOR stupid. Therefore, your assumption that I've "labeled" myself as such is either a result of not being able to read or not wanting to read. Regardless, you've again made a fool of yourself. Please actually stay on topic here. Am I wrong? Are generalizations of a few hundred people done by a poll in one state out of 50 considered a fair assessment for the other 49 states? I'm pretty sure any research scientist would disagree with you.

  22. Val Erickson

    You're pretty sure. Well I'm sold then. Why bother with science when we can be pretty sure? P.S. You're accusing me of ad hominem. Which is entirely correct, btw. I entirely believe that your lack of experience with science informs your lack of understanding of such. I sincerely do wish you were smarter. This would be way more fun for me that way. Still pretty fun, though.

  23. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Hahahaha….I do love how you dodged the question. Clearly you don't want to address the truth. I guess ignorance really is bliss.

  24. Val Erickson

    I was ignoring your question because I don't take you seriously. But I am enjoying this and would like to keep it going, so I'll play along. You see, the way science works is you take a sample and extrapolate the results to a population, using statistics to determine how reliable that extrapolation is. Scientists take a limited sample and use their characteristics to make informed opinions about the population as a whole all the time. They call it science.

  25. Val Erickson

    In other words, yes, I do think it is a fair assessment, as would actual research scientists. Not the quorum of imaginary bobbleheads in lab coats that you've imagined, maybe, but then you've never actually met a research scientist, have you?

  26. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    You skipped perhaps the most important factor of extrapolation: it depends on the sample size and variation of that sample size to account for all demographics in relation to the population size, variation of that population and demographics of that population for which you are trying to make generalizations about. I hardly think a sample size of 500 or fewer people in a single state out of 50 states constitutes an accurate sample of the entire demographic of the United States. You were ignoring my question because you really don't have a leg to stand on here. There's no way to call a poll of a couple hundred people in New Jersey an accurate representation of the entire United States population. Also, the rules for running a poll and the rules for running a study are quite different depending on how accurate you want your results to be (Yeah… of my former professors is a statistician, I do actually know people who are or have been research scientists in the past). This Poll was run on a small sample size. The people polled were polled because they could be found locally and were easily accessible to the students running the poll. The poll's population size was far smaller than what would be needed to accurately claim what the article above is claiming. There's really no debating that this article takes a local poll and publishes it far out of the context for the audience it was originally intended for (which would be the locals of New Jersey within a 20 mile radius of the school that ran the study; a school I've never heard of. A small university in New Jersey…not Harvard….not UCLA….not any major research university.) But a tiny school in New Jersey and somehow one poll is now hard credible evidence that if you are American and you watch Fox news (which, I honestly don't) than you are less informed than everyone else.

  27. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    “Most news providers in the United States don’t spend much time on international affairs,” said Cassino. “It is not surprising that most media have little impact on how much people know about the world,” said Cassino. “What is interesting is that when people are exposed to media that cover the world, like NPR, they do pick it up. It’s not that people aren’t interested, it’s that no one is giving them the information in the first place.” (this is straight from the poll's poll, aka, the larger poll that JUST came out in May, that this article is based on (this article made claims that weren't even proven true till May and is linked to the small case study they originally performed in New Jersey alone)….the differences in how well anyone answered this poll were all within 1 point of each other, most variations being .8 or less in accuracy. Why? Well, because Fox news and most national news coverage does not accurately or fully cover worldwide events. They cover nationwide events instead. Therefore, as Cassino said, it really depends on whether or not a news station even covers international affairs. NPR does, but MSNBC, FOX, CBS, ABC do not. Sure, there's "world news tonight" but it does not typically, on any station, cover accurately or fully the events that these people are being polled about. Not surprisingly, this is what is responsible for most of the differences seen between who watches what. Fox doesn't cover international affairs on a normal or an accurate basis. They're much more focused on what's going on in the United States. Therefore it makes sense that those who are consulting Fox for international knowledge are going to be worse off than everyone else. It's not because Fox news is providing false information about international events, per say, but more often than not, it's that it's not covering international events AT ALL. So this article puts a twist on this finding by saying that if you watch ONLY Fox, you'll be less informed about international events. And on that basis they're right. But they are failing to explain the constraints of how this poll was performed. They are failing to explain that this is regarding knowledge ONLY coming from Fox on ONLY international events. Taken out of context, this does make Fox look awful. Put in context, it looks as though they are focused nationally rather than internationally like some of their counterparts.

  28. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    "The study showed that the effects of ideologically-pitched media, like Fox News, MSNBC and talk radio, depend on who is listening or watching. On the whole, MSNBC, for instance, had no impact on political knowledge one way or the other. However, liberals who watched MSNBC did better on the knowledge questions, answering correctly 1.89 of the domestic questions and 1.64 of the international questions correctly. Similarly, while moderates and liberals who watch Fox News do worse at answering the questions than others, conservatives who watch Fox do no worse than people who watch no news at all. Talk radio also had differential effects depending on the ideology of the listener, but they were much smaller. None of the other news media had effects that depended on ideology.
    “Ideological news sources, like Fox and MSNBC, are really just talking to one audience,” said Cassino. “This is solid evidence that if you’re not in that audience, you’re not going to get anything out of watching them.”
    The domestic political questions covered the Iowa and New Hampshire primary contests, the composition of Congress, the unemployment rate and the Keystone XL pipeline. The easiest question was: “Which party has the greatest number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives?” 65% knew it is the Republican Party. The hardest question was about last December’s short-term extension of the payroll tax cut: Only 9% knew it was tied to a deal on the Keystone XL pipeline. The international questions referenced sanctions on Iran, uprisings in Egypt and Syria, and the Greek bailout."

  29. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Looking at the confirmed poll, out of the questions answered, on every single one 30-40% of the sample didn't know the answer.That means that these findings are based exclusively on the 60% that might guess one way or the other. 30-40%…..didn't know…..and only 65% of the sample knew that Republicans hold the most seats in the House of Representatives….only 9% knew that the short term extension of the payroll tax cut had anything to do with a deal involving the Keystone XL pipeline…that's out of 1185 people (which still, that sample size is iffy when extrapolating for a country who's current population is 311 million people). This poll is also subject to non-sampling error, which, according to the study, cannot be calculated. Another interesting finding is that Liberals who listen to talk radio and Conservatives who watch Fox score exactly the same for international questions.

  30. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Also, according to the poll's own published results, those who identified themselves as Republicans were more knowledgeable on domestic events than those who identified themselves as Democrats.

  31. Val Erickson

    You were more fun when you were just masking your ignorance with condescension. I read the study. Your regurgitating it point by point while reiterating your uninformed opinion about how research works in the social sciences is not nearly as persuasive as you'd like to think. What it boils down to is that calling someone who gets their information from Fox News uninformed is like calling water wet. We didn't really need a study to tell us, but it's nice to have the confirmation.

  32. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    No, calling someone from Fox news uninformed on INTERNATIONAL EVENTS ONLY is like calling water wet. Telling someone they're uninformed if they get their NATIONAL news from Fox would be incorrect. Therefore, your oversimplification of the study is false. Only those who go to Fox for INTERNATIONAL news are worse off. That's all this study says. International news meaning anything going on outside of the United States (which, btw, Fox doesn't really cover international news….their focus is on national news, so that's why the findings are what they are). Anyone who watches Fox news for information about what's going on in THIS country is no worse off than anyone who watches MSNBC or the Daily Show or no news at all.

  33. Val Erickson

    That's funny, cause they sure can't seem to shut up about this Cairo thing. How would you know that Fox doesn't really cover international news, given that you've adamantly insisted you don't watch it? What are you basing that assertion on, besides the fact it confirms the version of reality you've constructed in your head? And I didn't even imply MSNBC is any better. But if you're reading the same results I am, you'd have to agree that the statement about the Daily Show is incorrect. People who get their news from Comedy Central outperformed both Fox News and MSNBC in both international and domestic categories. Which is kind of funny when you think about it. But not surprising if you've seen it.

  34. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Not surprising at all actually. I find all mainstream media to be pretty dismal in it's informational content. How do I know Fox news doesn't cover international affairs? Well that's not hard to figure out. Any amount of minimal research and knowing a few conservative crazies can tell you that much. You don't have to watch it to research it or know someone else who does. National news is and has pretty much always been Fox's thing. International news? Not so much. It's more a national news station and a politics programming station. That's about it though. No responsible American, conservative or liberal, gets their information from solely one news source. Therefore, this poll is really only publishing the results of the very few people who DO only drink one form of koolaid or another. Such people are already such a small percentage of the population that it's not really fair to say that if you watch Fox news, in combination with other sources of news, you're going to be less informed. Again, no responsible informed American goes to only ONE news source for their information.

  35. Val Erickson

    So, in other words, you have nothing but anecdotes and assumptions. This does not surprise me, given your distaste for scientific evidence.

  36. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    No, but you sure do have a taste for being hostile. There's no "dislike of scientific evidence"…there is however a dislike of misconstrued scientific evidence that supports a liberal bias against a conservative news source. Context is everything.

  37. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Fox covers national news and CNN covers international and world affairs. It makes sense that the people you know consult Fox for national news information (which, the study only says you are worse off watching Fox if you are consulting it for INTERNATIONAL news. It scores right up there with the other stations for Domestic news) and CNN for their world news. Any responsible American is bound to consult more than one news source for information on national and international events. This study is isolating the fraction of a percent that only consult one source for their information.

  38. Val Erickson

    Hostile? The only reason I'm playing with you in the first place is your whole internet mean girl shtick. I figured you needed to be taken down a peg. Someone doesn't like the taste of their own medicine, eh? And yes dear, reality does have a liberal bias. It is entirely why people who rely on conservative news are so out of touch with it.

  39. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Well, nice talking to you. Truth holds no weight with you. Reality doesn't have a bias. So which one do you live in?

  40. Val Erickson

    It's been lovely talking to you as well. It's always interesting to see how people contort science to conform to their preconceptions. It's entirely rational that you want to find reasons to discredit a perfectly viable and reasonably reported study that makes conservatives look dumb. I would be upset too if science called me stupid.

  41. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Science doesn't need to call you stupid, you clearly already are from the amount of assumptions you just made about a stranger you've never met.

  42. Val Erickson

    The "I'm rubber you're glue defense". You are delightful, Sara. I am not the first person you've accused of making false assumptions about you in this very thread. Has it ever occurred to you that the way you present yourself might have anything to do with why people assume the worst about you? Haha. I'm kidding, of course. That would require self-awareness!

  43. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Assumptions are a poor basis for fact mostly because they aren't based in fact at all. Therefore attempting to judge someone via comments on a thread that skews a research poll to a certain political bias is a piss poor attempt at judging someone's real character. Though you've definitely presented yourself as a class A asshole, so congrats for that one.

  44. Emma Croft

    Haha I just spent the last ten minutes reading this argument. Thanks for the entertainment! Sara wins, by the way.

  45. Val Erickson

    @Emma Croft – Glad to entertain. I'll confess, you probably read more of Sara's argument than I did! Normally I would but those rambling walls of text made my eyes bleed. I was just feeding an internet bully her own medicine. Glad you had as much fun as I did! : )

  46. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    hahaha….internet bully…that's the pot calling the kettle black, don't you think?

  47. Val Erickson

    Did I not say I was feeding you your own medicine? Let me break it down for you. I called you a bully. So, your own medicine in this analogy is bullying. So to feed your own medicine (bullying), I would bully you. So yes, it is the pot calling the kettle black. That's what I just said! As quick as ever, dear friend. I've missed you Sara. How have you been? : )

  48. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Haha, in the end you're somehow a better person in your mind aren't you? Oh it's so sad to witness the internet hypocrite. "you're a bully…so I'll bully you and b/c I'll bully you for being a bully, I'll be a better person because of it." Seriously, how old are you? 5?

  49. Val Erickson

    Oh no, not at all. I made no claims of moral superiority. I know you think that life is all about proving that you're better than everyone around you, but I couldn't care less who is the morally superior person in some meaningless internet discussion between strangers. I was entirely clear about my intentions early on. I saw a mean girl who was using bullying language to mask an intellectually bankrupt position that I thought would be fun to play with. And you've consistently met my expectations throughout. Call me sad, a hypocrite, or a child all you want, dear. Call me any name you want and use your words to belittle me through ad hominem attacks. You prove me right again and again!

  50. Val Erickson

    But just to be entirely clear, I do absolutely think you're a shitty human being. I'm just not pretending that I haven't stooped to your level!

  51. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Haha, oh yes, what a genius you are. I'm so glad you feel intellectually superior. Your pride is extremely evident throughout your posts. I'm so glad you feel confident in your judgement of me. I can only tell you that you sir are a complete and utter moron who believes himself to somehow be clever and more intelligent than a stranger he's never met. The joke is on you. You've made yourself to look like an absolute fool and, from the responses and likes on this comment thread, more people seem to agree with me than they do you. Apparently you really are just an ignorant dumbass who need not reproduce for the good of humanity. Good day sir. You are not worth my time or attention and perhaps you should persue a more cognitively stimulating career than what was it? Author? Good luck with that pursuit. And please, please keep your pride in check. You'll find that it won't help you in the real world (the internet isn't the real world you see, even I can acknowledge that).

  52. Val Erickson

    I am proud. Thank you for noticing! You do realize, of course, that outside of Mormon and Christian fundamentalist circles, pride is considered a virtue, not a sin, right? (Hubris on the other hand…) Meek people are malleable people and that's handy for religious leaders and politicians, but not so much seen as a positive attribute in scientific circles.

    Thank you for your well wishes on my career! I'm proud of that as well! I hope you as well have much luck in your career as a… what was it? College drop-out?

    You are probably right, though. It is time for us to stop wasting time on each other. While I've enjoyed giving back what you've been dishing out, I don't use vulgar words like moron or dumbass to demean other human beings and I certainly would never tell someone that the good of humanity requires that they do not have a family. You've stooped lower than I'm willing to follow and though it has been cognitively stimulating to crawl into the mind of a bully, there's a point at which it just gets kind of gross and I want out!

    Best of luck though!

  53. Val Erickson

    Oh and do see the nation-wide study. When conducted nation-wide, Fox News viewers not only under-performed, but under-performed even worse! And consistently, conservatives under-performed against liberals, regardless of the news source. Gotta love science!

  54. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    I did see the nation-wide study. If you actually bothered to read my posts you'd have noticed that that's the one I was copying and pasting from, not the case study, as I clearly stated. And they underperformed ONLY on international news. They were no worse off on the domestic questions than anyone else was and performed right up there with national news scores of liberals. They ONLY underperformed on international questions, which, as I've already pointed out, Fox news doesn't cover. So yes, if you are going to Fox news for information about INTERNATIONAL events, you'll be worse off. If you are consulting them for NATIONAL news coverage, you are no worse off than a liberal watching MSNBC.

  55. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Also, no, not college drop out. I'm currently at a community college in a pre-nursing program. Straight A's all the way. Seriously though, good luck with the author business. I considered being a writer once. But times are hard and while I'm a fantastic editor and expounder on the ideas of others, I fall short on creativity. But honestly, best of luck with that pursuit.

  56. Val Erickson

    You keep saying that, but it's simply not true. This is from the nation-wide study from exactly the same university in the story above. Fox News viewers do WORSE on domestic questions than international ones (1.04 out of 5 correct vs. 1.08) and worse than all other news sources.

    I know there's no persuading you. I just want any third parties to be aware that you're lying. On Domestic questions, Fox News viewers answer 15% fewer questions correctly than those who watch no news at all and a full 45% fewer than NPR viewers on DOMESTIC questions. You're focusing on the difference between domestic and international, which yes, is more pronounced with international questions, but you simply cannot read that study and conclude that Fox News does not significantly under-perform against other news sources.

    Nor can you continue to state that Fox News focuses on domestic news. That statement has nothing to do with reality. Go to their video page. The lead story: Cairo protests and Al Qaeda. Flip through their recommended videos, all with footage from the network. Pakistan. China. France. Al Qaeda. Egypt. The Middle East. And that's all on the main page. Go to their front page. The lead story: Mexico. Second story: Unrest in the Middle East and Pakistan. Pollitics page: Lead story: Mexican gun trade. Third story: Al Qaeda.

    This is why I didn't read your wall-o-texts. I just KNEW they'd be full of nonsense.

  57. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Ah, but you're ignoring a second problem with this study. This study is focusing SOLELY on people who ONLY get their news from one source. I don't know about you, but of the people I know who get their news from one source and one source only, not a single one has gone to college and many more are high school drop outs. No responsible, intelligent American ONLY gets their news from one source. Therefore, what kind of application does this study really have? That oh, by the way, getting your news from one source and one source only is a bad idea and that if it's only Fox news, it's an even worse idea? Well getting your news from one source to begin with is a retarded idea and there's no actual application for the real world here as most people get their news from multiple sources. So this study is measuring nothing that's applicable to the real world.

  58. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    And yes, what they did was ask people if they'd gotten news from any of the following sources and then they did some fancy algorithms to try to isolate a percentage of the population that hardly exists that only gets information from Fox. I'm not sure what kind of algorithm they're using as, if you read the exact text of the questions, they clearly aren't asking "If you've ONLY had news from this source, please answer our questions." Instead they are asking if you've had information from any of these sources and then somehow they're deriving numbers of the accuracy of information using an algorithm and not actual people who ONLY watch Fox news. It's not based on real world examples of people who only watch Fox and their answers. It's based on an algorithm that assumes that people who watch Fox will answer this way.

  59. Val Erickson

    So you admit you were lying then about the results as well as the editorial direction at Fox News, so you're switching to methodology instead to distract? Fair enough, just want to make sure I'm keeping up!

    The "algorithm" is multinomial logistic regression. Which is standard operating procedure for statistics and not the voo doo math you imply. Why are you so confident about things you don't even understand? You know what they call it when you try to debate statistics with someone who has got undergraduate and graduate-level statistics and has edited doctorate-level public health research? I'd call it hubris, but I think the word you use is pride.

  60. Val Erickson

    So you admit you were lying then about the results as well as the editorial direction at Fox News, so you're switching to methodology instead to distract? Fair enough, just want to make sure I'm keeping up!

    The "algorithm" is multinomial logistic regression. Which is standard operating procedure for statistics and not the voo doo math you imply. Why are you so confident about things you don't even understand? You know what they call it when you try to debate statistics with someone who has had undergraduate and graduate-level statistics coursework and has edited doctorate-level public health research? I'd call it hubris, but I think the word you use is pride.

  61. Val Erickson

    And the point is not whether anyone watches one channel only. The study measures the relative effect of various news sources on the knowledge level of viewers and isolates those effects using proven and respected statistical techniques to do it. If there was a flaw in the methodology, I PROMISE you, Fox News would be screaming it from the roof-tops. Instead their rebuttal: an ad hominem. I reiterate: the study is sound, accurately presented, and fairly reported on.

  62. Val Erickson

    And the point is not whether anyone watches one channel only. The study measures the relative effect of various news sources on the knowledge level of viewers and isolates those effects using proven and respected statistical techniques to do it. If there was a flaw in the methodology, I PROMISE you, Fox News would be screaming it from the roof-tops. Instead their rebuttal: an ad hominem. I reiterate: the study is sound, accurately presented, and fairly reported.

  63. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Ah, see, I'm actually taking in the bigger point of the poll here which is that political ideology significantly impacts the amount of information a viewer takes in from a news source. I was referring to the accuracy on domestic questions for conservatives who watch Fox news. Conservatives who watch Fox news score 1.28 on Domestic questions which is higher than the non-ideology related results for MSNBC (which was 1.26), CNN (also 1.26), and no news (1.22). If you're just looking at what people learn without an ideology, you're missing a very important part of the study. Ideology is a HUGE contributor in what people do or don't learn while watching a news source. Conservatives who watch Fox score higher than no news and the chart that bunches everyone together regardless of ideology. As a Conservative, if I were to watch Fox news on a regular basis, I'd score higher than someone who watches no news on domestic questions. Just as, if you're a liberal watching Fox news, you'd score a pitiful 0.82 on domestic questions. And if I were a conservative watching MSNBC, I'd score even lower at 0.71 on domestic questions. One of the biggest points of this poll has to do with the effect of ideology on the accuracy of the answers given when watching a news source. Using the chart without ideologies doesn't really do the poll justice considering how significant the effects of ideologies where in the accuracy of the answers given. Liberals watching MSNBC score the highest at 1.89, followed by Conservatives who listen to talk radio at 1.43.

  64. Val Erickson

    I can't read that stuff, Sara. I love paragraphs too much. I get two sentences in and I want to shoot myself. I can tell it's another tangent anyway. People filter information information by ideology. This is a fact, but besides the point. All brains work that way. We hear something we agree, then we absorb it, and if we hear something we don't agree with, then we rationalize it away. People learn more when they agree with the speaker. It's called confirmation bias. Are we moving on to neuroscience now? Do you want to address one thing I say ever, or is your goal to just keep switching tangents until I get bored and wander off?

  65. Delanah Selm

    Of Course they would put this out, anything to their advantage. They Report the news Dumb Asses. Just like all the other news stations but the other ones only report the news bashing the party and making them look bad. Guy who ever done this study is in bed with OBAMA too. Hope your Ready for their to be no Media if he get re-elected.

  66. Delanah Selm

    oooooppppps… I meant I guess the guy who done this study is probably in bed with Obama too. Don't want anyone bashing me for spelling or grammar on here. Since they are perfect. Oh and I forgot the S in the word gets.

  67. Robert Daniel Birk


    Unalienable Rights are those rights that are absolutely essential for survival and making a living. They operate through you at your own personal expense, not the forced expense of another. Unalienable Rights are sourced in the interdependence of Man and Woman. Capitalism exclusively is the only system that generates social and financial balance through the principals of Unalienable Rights. There is no other financial system that assures the fair distribution of your Individual and privately earned wealth. There is no other system that makes America the first and only nation founded on prosperity and exceptionalism!

  68. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    No, the reason why I'm not acknowledging your stand point on the interpretation of this poll is because I have a different interpretation. I didn't take away that the most important finding was that Fox News viewers, without ideology figured in, score lower. The point I found most important of this poll, personally, was how much confirmation bias is involved in what people take from a media source. It makes sense that any source with a strong political lean will have lower scores in the non-ideology based chart because in order to absorb the information coming from such a source, one must share the same ideology as that source is bias towards. If anything, confirmation bias plays the largest role in explaining WHY those who ONLY watch Fox News, but don't necessarily share the same ideology, score the lowest. Meanwhile, those who watch Fox and DO share the same ideology score above average in their answers on domestic questions. This poll does indirectly address another thing – Fox news has a stronger lean than MSNBC does. This accounts for a large percentage of why, in the non-ideology results, MSNBC viewers scored higher than Fox news viewers. The bigger the political lean, the worse off viewers are if ideology isn't shared with the source.

  69. Val Erickson

    The reason you don't acknowledge my points is because they expose your lies and misdirections. For 20-or-so posts you denied that Fox News viewers scored lowest and all of the sudden you agree to that point and you're pontificating on bias. No one but you is interested in what journey of self-discovery you took when you looked at this "non-study". If you'd said upfront that biased journalism is ineffective, we could have all agreed and gone home. But no. You argued against the results, you argued against the methodology, you argued against science and math, you argued against the the editorial direction of Fox News, and when I deflated every single thing you said it's all the sudden about "the bigger picture". Well, welcome to the bigger picture, hon. It's where I've been the whole time.

  70. Sara Elisabeth Rayner

    Ah, see, and this is why it's not worth it to argue with someone like you. It doesn't matter what the big picture of the poll is. You have to be correct in your mind. Have a nice life, Val. It's clear nothing either of us says is going to make a difference in how we view the poll results or draw conclusions. You've drawn some pretty staggering conclusions about a stranger you've never met over the course of this argument as have I. To each their own with this one. If your view was really only that political bias news sources are bad for information, you could easily have said as much and moved on, but I have a feeling you were really just looking for an internet fight and found an opportunity. I was that opportunity and so you took it. You very easily could have stated that ANY political bias source skews information in ways that only those who share the political ideology can follow and absorb facts from. This is not what you stated. You stated that all Fox news viewers are more uninformed than any other group of news viewers. But when you look at the study, this is not always true is it? Therefore, the above article is selective in the context that it presents such information in. You agree with the above context because, well, you're likely a liberal and hate Fox news. Confirmation bias again comes into play. But seriously, best of luck to you. I'm sure you'll feel the need for a final word, as has been the pattern thus far. So here's mine – context is everything. All people who watch Fox are not less informed than people who watch no news at all. People who share the ideology of Fox news are not worse off than people who watch no news. The study confirms such claims. It's right there for you to view. The title of this article should read "Non-conservatives who watch Fox news are worse off than those who watch no news at all."

  71. Val Erickson

    You're right, I do want the last word. Which is to plead for you to PLEASE use paragraphs. It will make you a more effective communicator and it will make me not want to throw my monitor out the window every time you feel a rant coming on.

  72. Delanah Selm

    Robert Daniel Birk why are you replying with what i already agree with. like your trying to state against me. I believe the same as you.

  73. Katnea Blythe

    I can easily believe this report to be true! Today I watched President Obama live on TV and found out that Fox News didn't cover it while he (Obama) was speaking to the reporters! That's right! President Obama could be viewed speaking live on every major news station EXCEPT for Fox News! The people who watch Fox News are clearly brainwashed. Pathetic!

  74. John Peters

    I truly feel that this liberal bs just most media is. I challenge and of your polls as well as what your organization has written here.

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