Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fringe News Network

Following up on my earlier blurb about Chuck Todd lamenting the amount of people believing lies about health care reform that have been propogated by right wingers, of course the devil is in the details:

FOX vs. CNN/MSNBC: Here’s another way to look at the misinformation: In our poll, 72% of self-identified FOX News viewers believe the health-care plan will give coverage to illegal immigrants, 79% of them say it will lead to a government takeover, 69% think that it will use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, and 75% believe that it will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing care for the elderly. But it would be incorrect to suggest that this is ONLY coming from conservative viewers who tune in to FOX. In fact, 41% of CNN/MSNBC viewers believe the misinformation about illegal immigrants, 39% believe the government takeover stuff, 40% believe the abortion misperception, and 30% believe the stuff about pulling the plug on grandma. What’s more, a good chunk of folks who get their news from broadcast TV (NBC, ABC, CBS) believe these things, too. This is about credible messengers using the media to get some of this misinformation out there, not as much about the filter itself. These numbers should worry Democratic operatives, as well as the news media that have been covering this story.

Its great to see the acknowledgement at the end of the role the media has played in allowing this kind of misinformation to get out there. But the bigger point is that while just about every news outlet has done a shitty job of covering health care reform and pushing back against the lies, its also obvious that FoxNews has to be not only not pushing back but PROMOTING these lies meant to scare people over health care reform. You would be hard pressed to find the kind of consensus that their viewers have believing lies compared with people believing the Earth revolves around the Sun. I am beginning to believe that they are brainwashing people or something because at this point I can't believe anybody can call them fair and balanced with a straight face. And its disgusting that they are doing this over one of the major issues of our times just so the GOP can get some kind of political advantage.

Then again, they are who we thought they were...

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