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Trusting the FOX
January 26, 2010 8:10 PM   Subscribe

Fox News is the most trusted news network in the United States, according to a new poll [.pdf] of 1,151 Americans conducted by Public Policy Polling (a polling firm with a mostly Democratic and progressive list of clients), the most trusted news network among Americans is FOX News, which was trusted by 49% of respondents (beating out CNN, MS-NBC, CBS, NBC, and ABC (though PBS was not included in the survey)). The pollsters conclude: “A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But the media landscape has really changed and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”
posted by washburn (126 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sorry; I'd only meant to put that first link on the front page. Fixable, perhaps?
posted by washburn at 8:13 PM on January 26, 2010


Why people don't put their trust in CBN is beyond me, frankly.
posted by parmanparman at 8:14 PM on January 26, 2010


Well, this is heartening.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:17 PM on January 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


trust (verb)

If you take something on trust after having heard or read it, you believe it completely without checking it.


Sounds about right.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:20 PM on January 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Dear metapeeples: NO MORE BAD NEWS!

Luv 'n kissies,
Meat
posted by MeatLightning at 8:21 PM on January 26, 2010 [11 favorites]


The most trusted network is also the network whose target audience has the lowest level of critical thinking skills.

Makes sense.
posted by xthlc at 8:23 PM on January 26, 2010 [64 favorites]


the media landscape has really changed and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.

You know when you stop and think about what extra-terrestrial life might be like and how we might, if we (by faintest chance, I know) ever come in contact, compare our similarities and differences, our likes and dislikes, our dreams, our philosophies.

And then you realize that you're probably the stupidest kid in the neighbourhood, still sticking your tongue on the coldest object available and contact with anyone would be embarrassing for everyone involved.

.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:24 PM on January 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


HAHAHAHA!!!!!! Did you see those data tables? With ifs a flea could carry an elephant.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:25 PM on January 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


God bless the USA
posted by birdherder at 8:26 PM on January 26, 2010


“Fox is brilliant about getting ratings,” said Dean Debnam, the president of the North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling

Yes they are. Honestly, if I wasn't so terrified of the consequences of this news and its social/political implications, I'd be floored by Fox's ability to do what they do. It's incredible how they pull off such massive psychological ploys, leveraging anti-intellectualism and using consistent fear as a tool to get their message across. They've managed to construct a down-home gut-following real American ideal, and surrounded it with false enemies (the liberal left! child murdering abortionists! terrorists EVERYWHERE! etc).

And we progressives can't really do anything about it. We have no central rally point. We don't vote as a bloc (at least, our supposed representatives don't). We don't have a news outlet that so consistently panders to people's emotions the way Fox does to its base, and for these reasons, we can't fight it.
posted by spiderskull at 8:28 PM on January 26, 2010 [17 favorites]


I personally put all of my trust in EBN
posted by grandsham at 8:33 PM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


20% of Democrats trust Fox news.

20%

WTF
posted by idiopath at 8:34 PM on January 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oops, make that 30%. WTF WTF
posted by idiopath at 8:34 PM on January 26, 2010 [15 favorites]


Your country is doomed. No offence. Just sayin'.
posted by unSane at 8:37 PM on January 26, 2010 [46 favorites]


Well, to be fair, you can certainly trust them to pander cynically to people's fears and prejudices by twisting reality as they reflexively oppose any and all positive social change, all the time controlled by a mean old man who thinks he's going to live forever if he can just hold the flow of information in his claws.

On preview: He wants your country, too.
posted by longsleeves at 8:39 PM on January 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


We have no central rally point. We don't vote as a bloc (at least, our supposed representatives don't). We don't have a news outlet that so consistently panders to people's emotions the way Fox does to its base, and for these reasons, we can't fight it.

I'm struggling to imagine what an emotion-based left-wing radio station might sound like. Patriotic, definitely (despite what right-wingers might imagine). Bleak, but hopeful? Lots of facts? I'm at a loss.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:40 PM on January 26, 2010


iamkimiam: "HAHAHAHA!!!!!! Did you see those data tables? With ifs a flea could carry an elephant."

You're right, look at some of these background questions:
Q6. Who did you vote for President last year?

McCain: 46%
Obama: 47%
The actual margin was 7.2 points.
Q7. Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or an independent/other?

Democrat: 36%
Republican: 35%
Independent/Other: 29%
Pollster.com has the current partisan breakdown at 31.8% Democrat, 23.1% Republican, and 38% independent.

This reminds me of a recent National Journal poll finding that a majority of people would vote against Obama -- according to the crosstabs, 40% of the sample was from the South (and more than half of those were from the "Deep South"). By contrast, only 10% were from the Northeast.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:46 PM on January 26, 2010 [21 favorites]


Of course Fox would get the most votes. It has nothing to do with it being the "most" trustworthy, rather being the only Red choice available. The minority pile on a single choice, while the majority are diluted across multiple choices. This is classic playing into the wedge. Polls like this IMO are really damaging to America as a whole because it creates a false sense of alienation which just increases antagonism, and further rewards more wedge polling in the future.
posted by stbalbach at 8:48 PM on January 26, 2010 [47 favorites]


I had a button on my leather motorcycle jacket. It said: Trust No One!

I let a girl borrow the jacket.

I never got it back.

That means something. Doesn't it?
posted by Splunge at 8:55 PM on January 26, 2010 [20 favorites]


49%!!!!!!!!

49%!!!!!!!!

49!!!!!!!!!!

There is no hope.
posted by VikingSword at 8:56 PM on January 26, 2010


Can people outside of the USA get Fox News?

And if so... what do you think of it? How does it reflect on your opinion of the United States in 2010?
posted by Auden at 8:56 PM on January 26, 2010


They should've added Comedy Central to the survey, what with the Daily Show and all.
posted by Consonants Without Vowels at 8:57 PM on January 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


Maybe it's not that they're "trustworthy" so much as reliable; Fox News has a way of getting most everything exactly wrong, whereas, say, CNN is kind of hard to gauge politically.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:57 PM on January 26, 2010


what self respecting person gets their news from the television? Those who came of age before the internet can remember a time when it was considered embarrassing to admit you relied on the tv to get informed.
posted by any major dude at 8:59 PM on January 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


Fox News is the most trusted news network in the United States

Right. And January Jones won an emmy for best actress.
posted by special-k at 9:00 PM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


“A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news"

Why would anyone have expected that a generation ago? Is there some kind of yesteryear utopia where people didn't like news they agreed with? What a seemingly naive statement from someone who should know better.
posted by smoke at 9:04 PM on January 26, 2010


The minority pile on a single choice, while the majority are diluted across multiple choices. This is classic playing into the wedge.

That's a very good point, stbalbach. So much so that I will go well beyond my usual practice in political threads and actually say so, instead of just (in order of approval and/or enlightenment) nodding sagely in recognition; nodding forcefully in agreement; gesticulating wildly; actually vocalizing something to myself, and; marking the comment as a "favorite".
posted by yhbc at 9:04 PM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Of course FOX News's viewership trusts them. If you're a FOX News viewer, you will never see on the news anything that you didn't already know or suspect.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:05 PM on January 26, 2010


To be fair, what other news source are people going to trust? CNN? MSNBC?

I'll stick with Metafilter and Jon Stewart.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 9:06 PM on January 26, 2010 [8 favorites]


Hold on, let's look at the questions the poll asks:

Do you trust Fox News? If yes, press 1. If no,
press 2. If you’re not sure, press 3.

It goes on like that throughout all the news agencies. This is prickly for a number of a number of reasons. Fox News' motto that they blurp at you every 5 minutes is "The Most Trusted Name in News" ... it does not take a huge leap to put down, yes I do trust in Fox News. Fox marketing works, they've associated the word trust with their name. Not a huge feat in itself.

I have a feeling it would be different if the questions were worded without using keywords from marketing campaigns.

Furthermore, what the hell does trust even mean? There's people I'd trust will always get me to the airport if I give them a call, even if I have to spend the 30 minutes listening to how Obama is a complete socialist. I trust that Fox will give me exactly what I expect they'll give me.

So really, polling firm does poll that gets itself in the news.
posted by geoff. at 9:07 PM on January 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Who is more likely to go through with answering a 14 question phone poll?
posted by setanor at 9:07 PM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Do not attempt to adjust the picture, it will be cable HD. We are controlling transmission, and you will pay dearly for premium service. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We will control your congressperson and your senator. Your local news will consist of fires and crime. Be afraid. We can change the focus to a soft blur, sharpen it to crystal clarity or letterbox at will. Sit quietly and for the next hour we will control all that you see and hear. It will be something like Friends and you will love it. You are about to participate in a great adventure. Fear for your jobs, your livelihood. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits of corporate greed.

Polling of the subjugated masses about their information sources is irrelevant in our new corporatist state.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:08 PM on January 26, 2010 [14 favorites]


Well, at least I can stop worrying about bad things like all the mercury in fish and stuff, and start appreciating toxins for the early exit they'll provide me.

Frank Zappa famously said, "It's not getting any smarter out there." It appears he had a gift for understatement.
posted by altcountryman at 9:16 PM on January 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm struggling to imagine what an emotion-based left-wing radio station might sound like. Patriotic, definitely (despite what right-wingers might imagine). Bleak, but hopeful? Lots of facts? I'm at a loss.

Maybe it would be like the West Wing, with lots of soaring Aaron Sorkin style speechification.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:18 PM on January 26, 2010


Trust them to what, though?
posted by Evilspork at 9:25 PM on January 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


I guess I'll be the only one to take the other side in this debate.

Think about this question in the reverse: not, "what network do you trust the most?" but "what kind of news do you trust X network to deliver to you?"

Phrased this way, it becomes obvious why Fox won, despite, as iamkiam points out, the demography not exclusively Republican: people trust Fox to report on the mistakes of Obama, because they don't think the rest of the media will. I'm not suggesting this is what you want out of your journalists, but it does mean that people do not trust the other networks to report anything negative about Obama/Administration.

I don't take this poll to suggest the U.S. is populated by majority right wing zealots-- Obama did get elected by a big majority, right?-- I take it to indicate a) people on both sides are dissatisfied with Obama- the right for obvious reasons, and the left out of disappointment that he turned out to be Bush-Lite; b) no one, NO ONE, trusts the general media to report the news fairly.

No one thinks Fox is fair and balanced. They simply think it is the only one not blatantly pro-Obama. Right or wrong, this is a perception the majority of Americans now have. Calling them idiots will only reinforce their belief.

Arguing about which media is biased and which isn't is besides the point; the real point is that nearly all Americans feel they do not have adequate representation in government. This has nothing to do with Obama, and we as Americans would do very well to contemplate what that means.
posted by obamamustlose at 9:37 PM on January 26, 2010


Auden, you asked "Can people outside of the USA get Fox News?

And if so... what do you think of it? How does it reflect on your opinion of the United States in 2010?"


Not regularly I can't. I get a glimpse of it from time to time via the net. Whenever I do I'm horrified, sickened and cannot turn away, it is so mesmerisingly bad and evil. We don't get anything like that in Australia, nothing as busy, as frenetic, as overtly 'partisan'. It's really quite a shock to a media-immersed person from a very similar culture to see FOX (invented by an Aussie, hah! (you can keep him)).

While my opinion of the USA was formed a long time ago and continues to evolve, it's really not a good look, not a good ambassadorship. Most lefties 'hate' america (but hopefully not americans) precisely because of this sort of awful shit. Where you are told precisely what to think, and it begins and ends with the absolute perfection of the USA, based on it's wonderful constitution and christian founding fathers .
posted by wilful at 9:41 PM on January 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


geoff.: "Fox News' motto that they blurp at you every 5 minutes is "The Most Trusted Name in News""

I thought that was CNN. Isn't Fox's motto "The Most Powerful Name in News"?
posted by Rhaomi at 9:47 PM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


LOUIS
Why do you let someone know your
business you can't trust?

ORDELL
I don't hafta trust her, I know her.

LOUIS
What does that mean?

ORDELL
You can't trust Melanie. But you can
always trust Melanie to be Melanie.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:53 PM on January 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Fox News' motto that they blurp at you every 5 minutes is "The Most Trusted Name in News""

Trustworthy like a fox.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:55 PM on January 26, 2010


I trust FOX News.................to keep the Daily Show in business forever!
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:56 PM on January 26, 2010


I wish Hunter S. Thompson were still alive. I would pay a might sum to see him face off with Palin or Glenn Beck.
posted by mattbucher at 9:59 PM on January 26, 2010 [12 favorites]


The most trusted network is also the network whose target audience has the lowest level of critical thinking skills.

You want to provide your sources on that, xthlc?
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 10:13 PM on January 26, 2010


Can people outside of the USA get Fox News?
And if so... what do you think of it? How does it reflect on your opinion of the United States in 2010?


Fox is carried on cable here in Australia, along with CNN, BBC World etc. And Fox is awful, but it's the format that annoys me about all these channels almost as much as the insane content of Fox. It's all flashing graphics, scrolling widgets, loud, dumb people yelling at each other. I don't understand how anyone could stand to watch any of these channels, because I'm pretty sure you'd get just as much useful information from watching a traditional half-hour evening news bulletin as you would from watching six hours of cable news.

What wilful said. The vicious, judgmental, partisan nature of Fox news is really quite shocking. Australian news sources have biases, sure, but they generally at least try to be even handed, and don't yell people out of the conversation. But beyond that, the straight format and structure of all these channels, ignoring the nature of the content, is dreadful. I'm ashamed of the BBC for going down the same road.
posted by Jimbob at 10:17 PM on January 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


I know this looks bad for America, but it needs a lot of context.
posted by Artw at 10:24 PM on January 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


from post: “A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But the media landscape has really changed and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”

Somebody wasn't around a generation ago.

This is just the same old thing for most Americans. We haven't gotten worse - we are exactly the same as we've always been. That's not exactly a comforting thought.
posted by koeselitz at 10:24 PM on January 26, 2010


I watch Fox News occasionally and appreciate some good work from their journalists.. I try to keep a sense of humor about the other programs and the conservative talking heads. I'm a diehard liberal, but enjoy hearing people I don't agree with, and anyway most of MSNBC gives me a headache (Maddow's cool though).

One thing that seems pretty obvious is, they DELIGHT in being attacked and in others rolling their eyes at people who watch Fox. O'Reilly, Beck and Hannity spend plenty of airtime on these kinds of reports, and then turn right around and further cement the loyalty of their audience by saying, look at all these elite media and liberals who think you're stupid and can't think for yourself and are always attacking Fox News. Just look on it like theater, it is kind of ingenious.

IMHO one thing we progressives (for those of us who are) could do is.. by all means, fact check when you can, but recognize that they thrive on this sense of being persecuted, so the sort of catchall "Fox is horrible and their viewers are fools" kind of talk is basically playing right into Glenn Beck's hands.

yeah I wish Hunter S Thompson was still here too.
posted by citron at 10:35 PM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


The most trusted network is also the network whose target audience has the lowest level of critical thinking skills.

You want to provide your sources on that, xthlc?


It's not specifically measuring critical thinking skills, but this Pew Research study on public knowledge of current affairs shows that Fox News viewers have a lower average knowledge level than viewers of other sources.
posted by formless at 10:39 PM on January 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's no way a user named "obamamustlose", whose profile links to that site, is posting bullshit in order to gain link relevance in search engines.

Not a chance.

Hamburger, motherfuckers.
posted by Mikey-San at 10:40 PM on January 26, 2010 [13 favorites]


The most trusted network is also the network whose target audience has the lowest level of critical thinking skills. - xthlc

You want to provide your sources on that, xthlc?
- Seekerofslendor

Don't be obtuse. Take a look at some teabagger rally photos and tell me you see critical thinking skills at work in those mouth-breathing multitudes. Have a listen to what passes for discussion on Fox & Friends and tell me that's reasoned debate you're hearing. Examine any syllable that Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly or Shawn Hannity has ever spoken and try to tell me that these demagogues and gotcha artists are practicing anything even resembling journalism. The philosophy at FOX news is to find the bottom of the barrel, kick it out and wallow even deeper in the filth.

I don't trust anyone who trusts Fox News. It's that simple.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:05 PM on January 26, 2010 [16 favorites]


Shakes head in shock and dismay.
posted by Juglandaceae at 11:05 PM on January 26, 2010


The popularity of Fox news is a sad indictment of Americans.
posted by Daddy-O at 11:14 PM on January 26, 2010


The popularity of taking polls at face value without examining the data and discovering that it has a major margin of error is also a sad indictment of Americans.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:24 PM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


geoff.: "Furthermore, what the hell does trust even mean?"

Trust means reading summaries of polls published on the internet like this and concluding that the US is doomed because it confirms your beliefs that America is full of ignorant conservatives.
posted by pwnguin at 11:26 PM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Take a look at some teabagger rally photos and tell me you see critical thinking skills at work in those mouth-breathing multitudes.

Well, they organize and they vote, and now we have a new GOP senator from Massachusetts. Conservative populists are never going to hurt for money, support, and publicity as long as those of us who see things differently are calling names like this.
posted by citron at 11:40 PM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Auden, believe it or not, it is shown in the Middle East via one of the satellite providers. It was surreal to be there in late '08, read the local newspaper articles about military activity in Gaza... at (literally) the same time I heard the Fox perspective.
posted by ambient2 at 12:11 AM on January 27, 2010


That humming sound you're hearing beneath your feet?

That's the likes of Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow spinning in their graves.
posted by pjern at 12:12 AM on January 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Walter Cronkite did absolutely nothing for journalism. Murrow? Yeah, worth a bit, but there are plenty of people who are his equal reporting today.

This notion that there was a lauded golden age of news reporting in this country is ridiculous. Good reporters have always been in the vast minority, and always will be. Just because Walter Cronkite sat up there earnestly telling us stuff in a plodding and sincere tone everybody assumed that he was magnificently informative, but tone and good journalism are not the same thing; he was just a TV spokesman with good stage presence. Seriously, why do people even mention Walter Cronkite as a journalist?
posted by koeselitz at 12:24 AM on January 27, 2010


Public Policy Polling has a Blog, it's pretty interesting reading for political junkies, and they're generally pretty accurate.
posted by delmoi at 12:43 AM on January 27, 2010


It's not every day that you see such a well-researched, unbiased academic treatise garner such attention.
posted by benzenedream at 1:10 AM on January 27, 2010


I know this looks bad for America, but

*cuts mic*
posted by pompomtom at 2:14 AM on January 27, 2010


You know, the Democrats could totally shut down the entire right-wing agenda if only they had 41 votes in the Senate. As we all know, he who threatens filibuster owns the levers of government.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:52 AM on January 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Gotta agree with the principle of the right stacked on one news source, and the rest of us spread across many sources, accounting for this result. Same thing in Iceland: there's one truly right wing party, a center-right party, a center-left party, and two leftist parties. Guess who polls highest as an individual party, even if the ruling leftist coalition polls higher? Don't freak out, America.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:21 AM on January 27, 2010


Also:

Walter Cronkite did absolutely nothing for journalism. Murrow? Yeah, worth a bit, but there are plenty of people who are his equal reporting today.

Cronkite's been in newspapers and radio long before television. He was one of the first "embedded" war reporters, in WW2. He covered the Nuremberg Trials. Murrow, for his part, helped create broadcast journalism. I'm not really sure it's entirely fair to say Cronkite did "absolutely nothing" for journalism, and if there are journalists of Murrow's calibre, he deserves props at least for being a pioneer.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:34 AM on January 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


citron:
I watch Fox News occasionally and appreciate some good work from their journalists.. I try to keep a sense of humor about the other programs and the conservative talking heads. I'm a diehard liberal, but enjoy hearing people I don't agree with[...]


I don't watch FOX News because, if I'm going to listen/watch/read someone I don't agree with, I want them to be someone who will try to put together a reasoned argument and interact with opponents, instead of shout them down and cut their mic.

Even worse, their strategy of sidestepping inconvenient facts when presented against them with a strongly-worded but irrelevant has leaked out throughout the rest of the culture. I see it here in Metafilter all the time, and it should be called out more.

One thing that seems pretty obvious is, they DELIGHT in being attacked and in others rolling their eyes at people who watch Fox.

Then they're on the right track!

O'Reilly, Beck and Hannity spend plenty of airtime on these kinds of reports, and then turn right around and further cement the loyalty of their audience by saying, look at all these elite media and liberals who think you're stupid and can't think for yourself and are always attacking Fox News.

They should be attacked, frequently and often. They may seem to enjoy it, but that's nothing compared to letting their hypocrisy and lies slide without challenge. Fortunately, Jon Stewart does that all the time, and very effectively.

Just look on it like theater, it is kind of ingenious.

It doesn't take a smart person to say the same thing over and over again loudly. One of the reasons the Democrats have been so kow-towed by these fools (yes, fools) is the secret belief they're playing 4-dimensional chess.

IMHO one thing we progressives (for those of us who are) could do is.. by all means, fact check when you can, but recognize that they thrive on this sense of being persecuted, so the sort of catchall "Fox is horrible and their viewers are fools" kind of talk is basically playing right into Glenn Beck's hands.

So people should not call them what they are?

yeah I wish Hunter S Thompson was still here too.

Who's fault is that? The man killed himself, and suspiciously close to the news of Bush's re-election. The fact he didn't live to see Obama is, possibly, because he gave up hope.
posted by JHarris at 3:39 AM on January 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can people outside of the USA get Fox News?

We get it in Nigeria and lots of people love it. Pretty much for all the reasons that Jimbob stated above for hating it.
posted by pick_the_flowers at 4:02 AM on January 27, 2010


Yeah, I'd say I trust FOX more than the other networks too. At least with FOX I know which stories failed to go through any fact-checking or critical thinking (all of them) and can therefore be rejected out of hand.
posted by DU at 4:25 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


The online news site, newsmax.com, reported that Obama leads Brown by 46.5 percent to 44.6 percent among the 4,163 respondents in a poll with a plus or minus 1.5 percent margin of error. Independent voters, who helped propel Obama into office in 2008, favor Brown 48.6 percent to 36 percent.
Boston Herald article linked in the first link, re: Obama v. Brown in a presidential election.

There needs to be a word stronger than despair, 'cause that's what I'm feeling about this fpp, and the poll cited above.
posted by angrycat at 4:39 AM on January 27, 2010


Auden: Can people outside of the USA get Fox News?

We get it via Sky Digital in Ireland, I mostly watch it after a few beers for comedic value.
posted by nfg at 4:47 AM on January 27, 2010


These are the Jack Weinberg people. (Trust no one over 30) Fox News is only 14 years old and the other choices are, like, over 30, man.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:56 AM on January 27, 2010


If I want to watch Fox News, should I get the DVDs and start from season 1?
posted by Phssthpok at 5:03 AM on January 27, 2010 [12 favorites]


It was fun watching FOX on election night, that's for sure. As one state after another came up Obama, Britt Hume got angrier, more disgusted, and (one friend observed) drunker looking. Childish, nyah-nyah gloating on our part? Sure it was. I'm now too proud to admit it was fun, though.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:04 AM on January 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


"... not too proud ...", that is.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:13 AM on January 27, 2010


EatTheWeak: "Don't be obtuse."

I just spent five dollars to find out I'm rounded at the free end!
posted by Rat Spatula at 5:21 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


A 1938 Goebbels-Strasser Poll found that more Germans trusted the Volkischer Beobachter and over 90% said they preferred to read it over being kicked in the stomach again.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:25 AM on January 27, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'm outraged about this.
posted by fire&wings at 5:33 AM on January 27, 2010


Can people outside of the USA get Fox News?

We have our own nutcase right-wing broadcasting, thanks.

(Actually, there is apparently some talk of broadcasting Fox News in Poland.)
posted by pracowity at 5:47 AM on January 27, 2010


Jimbob : I'm pretty sure you'd get just as much useful information from watching a traditional half-hour evening news bulletin as you would from watching six hours of cable news.

Very true, and I think you can blame that specific point for the unbelievable farce we call "news" today. Not to view the past with rose-tinted glasses, but I remember growing up how my parents would watch the 6:00 news - For half an hour if nothing exciting had happened that day, or for the full hour when all hell broke loose.

Fox, however, has mastered (I would even say "defined") the art of "infotainment". Keep people just scared enough that they feel a desperate need for information, then give it to them at such a high volume but low SNR that a story about the local 3rd grade pumpkin carving contest takes four hours and leaves the viewer wary (if not weary) of third graders with dull plastic goo-scoopers.


Phssthpok : If I want to watch Fox News, should I get the DVDs and start from season 1?

Nah, it really dragged up until the 2001 Fall season, I'd say start there.


/Yeah, I went there.
posted by pla at 6:01 AM on January 27, 2010


“A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But the media landscape has really changed and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”

Americans have never had "neutral or unbiased conveyors of news." And that phrase is deliberately constructed to be deceptive. "Conveyors" implies that the networks simply deliver facts and raw footage to the viewer. This has never been the case. Networks broadcast "stories"--written, edited, and packaged videos about events that reflect the subjective interpretations of the networks who write them.

Network news has nothing at all to do with the truth. Nothing. Networks don't collect facts, don't test them against theories or ideologies, and don't report the results. More obviously, if networks delivered the truth, there wouldn't be the need for the attractive talking heads, the flashy production, or the packaging of news into shows like Anderson Cooper 360, Lou Dobbs, etc. It's not infotainment, it's plain old entertainment.

If you believe that public corporations have an obligation to return value to shareholders, you would have predicted the rise of Fox News, and if you understood that right-wing political sentiment was relegated to the ghetto of talk radio prior to Fox, you would not be surprised at all by the form it took when it did arrive. There was a vast untapped market that everyone knew about. A large segment of the population did not trust the news networks that had.

Fox News tells its viewers what its viewers want to hear. They do that to get ratings and make money.

CNN and MSNBC and the broadcast networks tell their viewers what they want their viewers to hear. They obviously aren't doing it for money because they aren't making any. So why are they doing it? Because they want to influence public opinion. More importantly, unlike Fox or News Corp, these networks are owned by companies that sell you all the other crap you buy in your life. ABC's daytime programming is produced by P&G. NBC used to be owned by GE and Microsoft. CBS was owned by Viacom, which sold you all you other entertainment programming. These companies have to know what you are thinking to be able to sell you crap. But frankly, it's just easier to tell you what to think, because the results are more predictable.

Everyone keeps comparing John Stewart to the news networks. Why, because he's on TV and so are they? John Stewart is the lefts answer to Rush Limbaugh, not Fox. He's certainly funnier than Rush (he is a professional comedian after all), but don't convince yourself that he operates at some higher layer of the discourse. John Stewart is preaching to the converted as much as Limbaugh is.

And I've said it a million times before, John Stewart is only able to do the show he does because CBS and Viacom don't have their own news channel. See, rather than try to "convey" news to you, that network has decided instead to convey the snarky one-liners of a guy who ridicules the news. They have no skin in the game, so what do they care about the truth?
posted by Pastabagel at 6:31 AM on January 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Jon Stewart, not John Stewart. At least get his name right before you trash his integrity.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:33 AM on January 27, 2010


In other news, there is a "Scott Brown sucks" facebook page
posted by angrycat at 6:39 AM on January 27, 2010


here's the link for the fb page referenced above
posted by angrycat at 6:41 AM on January 27, 2010


As a data point, Public Policy Polling are the same guys who put together a poll asking whether people thought Barack Obama was the antichrist, among other far out questions. They seem to trade in sensationalism, and what could me more sensationalistic than saying Fox News is the most trusted news network? It seems like their polling is less committed to accuracy than they are to drumming up publicity.

...


Just like Fox News.
posted by orville sash at 6:42 AM on January 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


The typical Fox News watcher has the same black and white viewpoint of the world that religious fundamentalists have, so the idea of trusting the messenger is not based on objectivity of the news, but on the whether or not the messenger sees the true good and evil in the world. It's basically a tabloid-style paranoid news, with an eye towards seeing political perversion, scandal and betrayal in the prompted subtext. It's conveniently framed as absolute right versus obviously wrong, thus giving many people a sense of information security in a universe that bewilders them. The biggest mistake any critic can make is to assume that these viewers can even understand an unfiltered news world if they were given the chance. Objectivity is being able to see human events as gray areas, and suspending judgment, and that's not how obedience-bred brains operate.
posted by Brian B. at 6:42 AM on January 27, 2010


If you seriously think there's no qualitative difference between Jon Stewart and Rush Limbaugh, you either haven't listened to / watched one of them and are doing the whole "Well Ann Coulter's no worse than Al Franken!" false equivalency nonsense that people who don't pay attention to political pundits do OR you are seriously handicapping Stewart for not, you know, being a monstrous asshole, giving Limbaugh a pass because his political ideology involves being a, well, monstrous asshole.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:46 AM on January 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


Everyone keeps comparing John Stewart to the news networks. Why, because he's on TV and so are they? John Stewart is the lefts answer to Rush Limbaugh, not Fox.

Eh, only a minority of fanboys. Jon Stewart himself exhorts fans to seek news from many sources. Besides, he's not at all the "left's answer to Rush Limbaugh" since he trashes Obama and the Dems quite often. Limbaugh, besides some issues like immigration reform where he gently disagreed, was a stalwart cheerleader of the Bush administration. Stewart is obviously left of the center (the US center, anyway), but not at all like you characterize.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:47 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Besides, he's not at all the "left's answer to Rush Limbaugh" since he trashes Obama and the Dems quite often.

Hmm... apparently you don't listen to Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh attacks the GOP the same way the Jon Stewart attacks the Democrats e.g. "You're supposed to be the good guys and you're acting like idiots."
posted by Jahaza at 6:53 AM on January 27, 2010


Hmm... apparently you don't listen to Rush Limbaugh.

That's true. I sometimes catch a bit of his program if I'm driving around mid-afternoon, and I can't listen to more than 20 seconds without my thumb involuntarily hitting the change button on the steering wheel. But anyway, using [Limbaugh vs X] a really silly dipole for anyone to cast arguments in.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:00 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


CNN and MSNBC and the broadcast networks tell their viewers what they want their viewers to hear. They obviously aren't doing it for money because they aren't making any. So why are they doing it? Because they want to influence public opinion.

I spend a lot of time pitching stories to the media and offering them my clients as expert sources.

One of the big differences between producers at Fox Newschannel and say CNN, is that typically when I speak to a producer at the former, he or she already knows the direction of the segment. This means they will ask for an expert who takes a particular side in an argument. So let's say the story is about a particular drug. The producer will say, "I need someone who's against it. That's the story." Not, "I already have an expert who's taking the Pro side." Because of this, a large number of the shorter news segments on Fox News tend to be single sourced, or if they have more than one source, the segments go something like this:

Source 1: "This is why I think X is awful!"
Anchor: "Whoa. That's really, really terrible! Okay, for the other side of this, let's talk to Source 2."
Source 2: "The situation isn't as bad as Source 1 would like you to believe, but it's not good, either. Here's why: ...."

There's nothing wrong with the above if a news story doesn't require a wider perspective. If the story is baby formula recalls, for example, there probably isn't anything good which can be said about it.

But if I speak to producers at CNN, MSNBC or most other networks about hard news stories, requests are usually for experts who have opposing opinions. And yeah, that matters. Ideally, the people reporting the news are not supposed to editorialize it.
posted by zarq at 7:03 AM on January 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


Can people outside of the USA get Fox News?

I seem to remember that it was carried in the Netherlands -- much to my surprise -- as part of a digital cable package here some years ago. I can't imagine there would be much of a market here for it though, and it was pulled surely enough. But I'm convinced it was on here for a period of time, I'm guessing some time during or before the invasion of Iraq (although I'm not suggesting that that is somehow related).

By comparison, we get the "major" international 24-hr news networks here: CNN International, BBC World News, Al Jazeera English, Euronews, maybe a couple more. So again, I don't really see who would watch Fox News here aside from American expats/tourists who would watch it at home and US-curious masochists like myself. But I get enough Two Minutes Hate from YouTube-linking blogs and Stewart/Colbert, so I'm kind of thankful to be isolated from further rubbernecking.

And if so... what do you think of it? How does it reflect on your opinion of the United States in 2010?

I sort of think I may not really be the right person to answer this as I am already very interested in US politics and media and am in some ways just as influenced as any given American blog-reading liberal, so whatever Fox News puts out isn't likely to affect my existing views on the country at large.

Having said that, I will add that Bill O'Reilly at least has a modest place in the Dutch collective consciousness, in part because of exposure to clips of his crazier moments on Dutch blogs and "look what else was on telly" TV show gag reels, in part because of domestic TV journalism surrounding the Iraq War and the Bush presidency as well as some internationally-known documentaries (Outfoxed, Fahrenheit 9/11 (?) etc.) being shown here, but perhaps most notably because of his more recent uninformed, psychotic diatribes against Amsterdam, prompting a couple of upstanding citizens to start a documentary project called The Truth About Amsterdam.

Glenn Beck will occasionally get on one of those "meanwhile on TV" clip reels mentioned above, but I'm guessing many if not most educated Dutch will still not have heard of him. I suppose what may also play a role is that if he's perceived as merely a crazier O'Reilly, well I'm sad to say that that's hardly news. The shtick gets old quite fast. I mean it's sort of interesting to see an American newsman proclaim that Obama (who we still sort of like over here, remember) eats babies or whatever, but the umpteenth time, maybe less so. Also, we have Sarah Palin now. We're not exactly aching for our fix of American Crazy.

If I were to speculate on how Fox News fare would reflect on a hypothetical average, educated Dutch(wo)man's view of the US, I would hope they understand that there are crazy people everywhere, that some crazy people have microphones, and that these crazy people with microphones happen to be very efficient and well-financed. On the whole, as far as I can tell, while it may be fascinating to occasionally watch Fox News better its own record in vehemently paranoid propaganda, I like to think that the network at its core doesn't really reveal anything about America that we didn't already know.

And when you think about it, that should be both relieving and deeply troubling.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:04 AM on January 27, 2010


Burhanistan I completely agree with you. Sometimes when I'm on lunch break I'll challenge myself to listen to 5 whole minutes of limbaugh to see how much rightest bull shit I can stand before I snap. So far I can only last about 1 minute before I start yelling at the radio.

But yeah back to the topic at hand... If this poll is anything like the Florida voting issue then well we all know how they came to this conclusion. Also a lot of people down south breathe through their mouths... just sayin. Cause we all know God loves and endorses republicans... (me/rolls eyes).
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:09 AM on January 27, 2010


Pastabagel: And I've said it a million times before, John Stewart is only able to do the show he does because CBS and Viacom don't have their own news channel.

I'd agree, though I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. Stewart feels total freedom to openly mock not only figures in the news but (increasingly) the medium of 24 hour news as a whole (if you've watched lately, you've seen that Stewart gives more and more time now to taking apart MSNBC, particularly Keith Olbermann). Does he gain that freedom because his corporate overlords will never find themselves mocked? Sure - but this is a medium that needs a good mocking, no matter what it takes to get done.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:15 AM on January 27, 2010


The Netherlands: US-curious but not exactly aching for our fix of American Crazy.
posted by i_cola at 7:18 AM on January 27, 2010


Fox News is proof that everyhing the rest of the world suspects about the USA is true.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:27 AM on January 27, 2010


At least they have a consistent, predictable bias. If you adjust what they report by the standard bias curve, they actually have the most accurate reporting!
posted by mikeh at 7:31 AM on January 27, 2010


If you adjust what they report by the standard bias curve, they actually have the most accurate reporting!

Grade inflation really is ruining America.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:32 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why wasn't PBS or NPR included in the survey? I can only assume the pollsters had an agenda here.

Who is more likely to go through with answering a 14 question phone poll?

Seriously. I think for most people, the thrill of some stranger calling to ask your opinion ends around 13-14.

Now I tell pollsters that I don't give my time for free, but I'd be willing to answer some questions for a reasonable fee.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:40 AM on January 27, 2010


I was really hoping I'd click through to this page and it would turn out to have been an Onion article.
posted by theredpen at 7:46 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought that was CNN. Isn't Fox's motto "The Most Powerful Name in News"?

Ha! I was wrong, I was so sure it was Fox I didn't look up (plus this poll has totally fucked up Google results for Fox and trust).
posted by geoff. at 7:50 AM on January 27, 2010


My own informal poll tells me 90% of people don't trust polls, so there's that, too.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:52 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Awards and honors
In 1968, the faculty of the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University voted to award Cronkite the Carr Van Anda Award "for enduring contributions to journalism."[72] In 1970, Cronkite received a "Freedom of the Press" George Polk Award.[1][9]
In 1981, the year he retired, Jimmy Carter awarded Cronkite the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[1][9] In 1985, Cronkite was honoured with the induction into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.[9] On March 1, 2006, Cronkite became the first non-astronaut to receive NASA's Ambassador of Exploration Award.[13][73] Among Cronkite's numerous awards were four Peabody awards for excellence in broadcasting.[9]
posted by stenseng at 9:09 AM on January 27, 2010


Can people outside of the USA get Fox News?

We can get it here in Canada but in my area, you have to pay extra. Those who enjoy watching a live feed from an insane asylum pay for it as well as those documenting utter bullshit in the modern world.
posted by juiceCake at 9:13 AM on January 27, 2010


Cnn: dumped Dobbs so they can be objective
MSNBC: out to catch lefty viewers...muzzled Olberman this week and told him to cool it a bit.
Fox: out to capture right of center, conservatives, with beck, Hannity, and O"reilly.

Cnn: get hold of a topic and don't let it go: Blacks in America, Haiti, etc--spend inordinant amount of time on topics. You're in the Situation Room.
Fox: hottest lady announcers
Fox: best for this took place, and then this took place etc--faster paced delivery in keeping with our speeded up way of seeing things...
all suffer from endless ads that are disruptive and annoying.
posted by Postroad at 9:17 AM on January 27, 2010


I trust them to be reactionary propagandists. Does that count?
posted by Flunkie at 9:32 AM on January 27, 2010


The most trusted network is also the network whose target audience has the lowest level of critical thinking skills.

You want to provide your sources on that, xthlc?


Now that's funny. Have you never interacted with any foxies?
posted by notreally at 9:33 AM on January 27, 2010


If I want to watch Fox News, should I get the DVDs and start from season 1?
posted by Phssthpok at 8:03 AM on January 27 [12 favorites -] Favorite added! [!]


nah. you can just go to Autotune the News and get the catchup episode
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:34 AM on January 27, 2010


'PBS was not included in the survey'

this is significant
posted by xjudson at 9:48 AM on January 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


longsleeves : Well, to be fair, you can certainly trust them to pander cynically to people's fears and prejudices by twisting reality as they reflexively oppose any and all positive social change...

This gave me an idea for an interesting thought experiment. I'd love to see what would happen if you took any given broadcast from Fox and automatically took the complete opposite stance on anything they said, the more vehemently they were against something the more enthusiastically you'd be for it and vice versa, particularly with regard to American politics. If it would hold up as a non-insane world view.

Because if you could, that would be an unbelievably damning indictment of their claims to being "fair and balanced". Or sane.

I'd try it, but that would mean spending time actually watching more Fox, and at this point, I'd rather bleed out in an alley than willing subject myself to Beck and Friends.
posted by quin at 9:50 AM on January 27, 2010


quin: "if you took any given broadcast from Fox and automatically took the complete opposite stance on anything they said"

Opposite is a tricky concept. Would you be pro-crime? Would you advocate for raising taxes in order to spend more on illegal immigrants? Would you be in favor of legalizing bestiality and marriage between humans and animals? Would you be in favor of confiscating guns and summarily executing white Christian men in order to institute a totalitarian one world government lead by Evil Sociaist Europe?

The problem with Fox is not just that they have the wrong answer, mainly the problem is that they keep asking the wrong questions.
posted by idiopath at 10:22 AM on January 27, 2010


I would trust Jim Lehrer if he didn't bore me to sleep (literally). Jon Stewart it is!

I think that the comparison of Jon Stewart as the "left's" answer to anything is an inaccurate one as he's no one's monkey. His piece on the recent election in Massachusetts is proof enough that he is in no way giving the Democratic Party a pass in favor of spewing bile at Republicans. His audience certainly leans left, and he - of course - needs to make a show that they will watch, but his show is not simply about skewering Republicans. (Of course, I believe that Jon Stewart himself is probably to the left of center, but he does a fair job of maintaining a respectable amount of neutrality during interviews.)

Jon Stewart is a comedian devoted to taking the "news" to the mat because traditional journalists are no longer seen as holding themselves accountable to anything other than their ratings. Misleading people? Oh, whatever, as long as it brings in money. If you're in media and you're "hurting America" - whether you're Tucker Carlson or Keith Olbermann - Jon Stewart's going to have a few words for you. And he can do this solely because he isn't one of them. If he were on a traditional news network, he would be eaten alive within days. As is, he can be "brushed off" - I would hate to see the kinds of counter-attacks from all sides that would occur if he were doing a straight-up "real" news show.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:51 AM on January 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can people outside of the USA get Fox News?

It's part of my cable package here in Canada & sometimes I'll accidentally pause on it while channel surfing - it's horrible, it's vile, it's... I don't understand how it got license into Canada, I'm sure it violates a bunch of CRTC standards. Just a few minutes of it makes me feel hopeless, and that you guys are utterly doomed, and it really worries me that it's infecting us. We've got a lot of morons here too, that don't need to be whipped up into a frenzy of willful ignorance.
posted by zarah at 10:54 AM on January 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Fox is a part of the PR machine of big business, nothing more, nothing less. It should be viewed in exactly the same way one views info-mercials (if you can stand them). Fox is selling a childishly simplistic worldview that encourages its viewers to abdicate their own personal moral responsibility (and allures them with the promise of removing their burden to have to inform themselves and think critically about a complex world) in ways that just coincidentally always benefit the more cut-throat and mercantile business interests in the world.

It's the official propaganda outlet of the class of people who believe Christ reappeared in a vision to the founder of The Family in the guise of the President of US Steel and personally told him to spread the new Gospel. It's the talking points bulletin for people who believe in that gospel, that unions and organized labor movements are a creation of the devil, spawned to thwart the natural, divinely-ordained social rule of the Captains of US Industry.

But the Supreme Court just ruled that engaging in politics out of pure financial self-interest (as corporations, by charter, are required to) is a legitimate form of political engagement, so who gives a flying fuck? Apparently, it's okay to act purely in one's own financial self-interest when engaged in politics, as a form of "protected political expression."

So if I were to form and run on a new party ticket tomorrow on the explicit platform that my party promises to always legislate on behalf of the highest bidder as a matter of political principle (in other words, a political party whose explicit ideological core is the belief that government in service to the highest bidder is preferable to government in service to the people), then presumably my party's corporate benefactors would be free to spend as much money as they wanted in service to my party and, according to the Supreme Court's recent interpretation of the constitution, they would be engaging in protected political speech in doing so. I, too, would only be engaging in protected political expression to accept their money and legislate on their direct behalf. Corporations now have the explicit right--the political right--to seek to manipulate legislative processes to maximize their own profits. This principle has been upheld indirectly but undeniably by the Court's recent campaign finance ruling.

Fox is the least of our problems. The floodgates are opening, and soon there'll be no escaping the barrage of wedge issue political advertising. CBS has already announced plans to run a Focus on the Family sponsored anti-abortion ad during the Super Bowl this year. The game plan is, as always, divide, divide, divide...

Just watch. If you thought things have been getting ugly, you haven't seen anything yet. I doubt very seriously there won't be major social unrest and political upheavals to come. And not the kind that make things better, either. Gentlemen, keep your passports at the ready. Krypton is doomed.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:17 AM on January 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Gentlemen, keep your passports at the ready. Krypton is doomed.

If you really think the US is set to implode, no passport is going to save you. Remember, we're the country that assassinates and overthrows in the best of times times. What do you think a Teabagger Idio-theocracy would be capable of unleashing?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:28 AM on January 27, 2010


This thread is unreadable. But I did search on "Palin" and there were only two instances. This is my one anecdota-data point that the world is improving.
posted by bukvich at 12:05 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


saulgoodman: “Gentlemen, keep your passports at the ready. Krypton is doomed.”

Pollomacho: “If you really think the US is set to implode, no passport is going to save you. Remember, we're the country that assassinates and overthrows in the best of times times. What do you think a Teabagger Idio-theocracy would be capable of unleashing?”

Oh, come on now, guys – this one is easy. The point isn't that we should keep our passports at the ready. If Krypton is doomed, we should be putting our babies into rockets aimed at planets with magical suns that make them wondrous superbeings. Although to be honest I always wondered why Kal-El didn't have his own rocket for himself and his wife. I mean, why not prepare their own personal rockets, too?

Anyway, yeah, that's what we should be doing – getting into our own personal rocket ships.
posted by koeselitz at 12:26 PM on January 27, 2010


planets with magical suns that make them wondrous superbeings.

Belgium?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:33 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


It was fun watching FOX on election night, that's for sure. As one state after another came up Obama, Britt Hume got angrier, more disgusted, and (one friend observed) drunker looking.

I would disagree entirely -- election nights are just about the only times I've found Fox worth watching. I've spent the last 3 elections channel-surfing, and have consistently found Fox to have shockingly unbiased coverage (MSNBC this year, on the other hand, was an Obama love-fest, with a bunch of interviews with people you've never heard of who were unrelated to the election, and featured a panel of folks constantly talking over each other - yawn).

Hume didn't appear angry at all, although he certainly wasn't pleased. He dead-panned the whole nights' coverage. Overall, Fox's coverage was the most professional of the evening (we won't bring up CNN's ridiculous attempt at high-tech graphics, and all the problems they caused).

The one Fox guy to embarrass himself was Krauthammer, and he didn't get much airtime.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:49 PM on January 27, 2010


I despair of my country.
posted by theora55 at 1:10 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't watch FOX News because, if I'm going to listen/watch/read someone I don't agree with, I want them to be someone who will try to put together a reasoned argument and interact with opponents, instead of shout them down and cut their mic.

Well, sometimes this happens on Fox, sometimes it does not. There's just not a lot of smart reasoned arguments on cable, in general, it's full of PR and communications people with talking points who talk over each other and don't answer questions. On Fox.. well, it depends on the show. O'Reilly is known for this, obvs (he has mellowed out a little bit lately). Beck doesn't seem to put anyone who disagrees with him on the air and makes up a bunch of conspiracy stuff all the time. For the news side, Bret Baier has a panel to discuss politics but they don't shout (though they are mostly conservatives, I'm not sure how that's fair and balanced). Shep Smith doesn't have guests on to yell at each other, on rare occasion he raises his voice at them, but they usually deserve it.

They should be attacked, frequently and often. They may seem to enjoy it, but that's nothing compared to letting their hypocrisy and lies slide without challenge. Fortunately, Jon Stewart does that all the time, and very effectively.

But fact-checking wrong information and lies is not the same as attacking. Jon Stewart is awesome but man, if people attacking this, that and the other person on the interwebs over politics were as funny as Jon Stewart, I'd read a lot more comments on the interwebs. In general I think there is plenty to complain about on Fox, but it's not just rightwing propaganda shouted all day long & watched by no one but idiots and mouth-breathers and teabaggers or whatever other insult. I guess I'm looking at it from a strategic POV as well, if you assume the worst of a person and then berate and insult him/her for it, you're not going to change any minds. If Obama (who I support) wants the WH communications people to attack Fox News, imho a big problem is that Fox has a very, very loyal audience, some of whom are likely persuadable on some of Obama's policies, and the attacks are just going to make them defensive and retrenched in their opposition. But I also look at it through the lens of having read liberal blogs for almost 10 years, and seeing how in general people self-select their sources of information and the facts they want to hear. While I do think those consuming a steady diet of only Drudge, Fox, Breitbart, Rush, etc. have been fed a lot more wrong information, they aren't inherently any more or less stupid, they're just in a different bubble.
posted by citron at 1:29 PM on January 27, 2010


While I do think those consuming a steady diet of only Drudge, Fox, Breitbart, Rush, etc. have been fed a lot more wrong information, they aren't inherently any more or less stupid, they're just in a different bubble.

An acquaintance of mine boasted about her love of Fox News on her Facebook recently, explaining that she likes Fox News best because they don't just report the news, they tell her what the new means. She un-ironically identified this as a good thing.

It's not that Fox viewers are stupid. They're just lazy assholes.

Like my biological father, a self-professed hardcore right-winger with a rebel flag flying high over his trailer in Alabama. The man has been on various forms of dole his entire life: He once sued his own parents (the grandparents who raised him and me) over an on-the-job injury they would have gladly paid his medical costs for, then used most of the settlement and disability money (which he also had paid out in a lump sum) to buy a trailer out in the middle of nowhere that he filled with rental furniture and appliances. Within not even a year, all his money somehow spent, he sued the trailer dealership, claiming they'd installed a cheap, non-factory standard carpet in the trailer. Miraculously, he won another settlement. And believe me, that's only a small, small sampling of the kinds of crap he's pulled over the years to avoid, you know, actually being one of the productive members of American society he claims are being put out by all the "liberals."

I have no idea how he's currently gaming the system to fund his dead-end existence because we no longer speak, but while my dad may not be representative of the vast majority of enthusiastic Fox viewers, I suspect he represents the core: entitled white underachievers who seem compelled to blame their own personal failings on anyone else who seems to be doing better than they are, and who find it impossible not to project their own moral and intellectual shortcomings onto "liberals."
posted by saulgoodman at 1:54 PM on January 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


Although to be honest I always wondered why Kal-El didn't have his own rocket for himself and his wife. I mean, why not prepare their own personal rockets, too?

Jor-El. Jor-EL. JOR-EL.

Come one people, get your fictional super-beings right! They're our last best hope for mankind!
posted by blue_beetle at 2:02 PM on January 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I mean, why not prepare their own personal rockets, too?

What? Just when Universal Health Care finally seemed on the brink of becoming a reality for Krypton? No, men of the people, like Jor-El, have to go down with the ship.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:18 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't make a habit of linking Daily Kos stuff on the blue, but this Daily Kos post offers a pretty damning rebuke of the spin the media is serving up on these poll results:
...There's only one small problem. A cursory look inside the numbers reveals that, for a strong majority of Americans, the exact opposite is true. Indeed, the poll tells us quite a different story: for more than three-fifths of Americans, Fox News is the least trusted media outlet of them all.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:29 PM on January 27, 2010


Remember, we're the country that assassinates and overthrows in the best of times times. What do you think a Teabagger Idio-theocracy would be capable of unleashing?

An invasion of a country completely unrelated to where you are? Finding the rest of the world on a map is not exactly one of their strong points.
posted by Artw at 3:28 PM on January 27, 2010


Q6. Who did you vote for President last year?

McCain: 46%
Obama: 47%

The actual margin was 7.2 points.

Q7. Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or an independent/other?

Democrat: 36%
Republican: 35%
Independent/Other: 29%

Pollster.com has the current partisan breakdown at 31.8% Democrat, 23.1% Republican, and 38% independent.


I really don't think there's much else to say about this poll without hearing Debnam's response to the above.
posted by mediareport at 7:14 PM on January 27, 2010


An invasion of a country completely unrelated to where you are? Finding the rest of the world on a map is not exactly one of their strong points.

Spoken like a true, dirty, liberal Austrian. That's it, load up the ships, we're headed to the South Pacific to teach those liberal socialist Koala-hugging Austrians a thing or two!
posted by Pollomacho at 4:15 AM on January 28, 2010


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