Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fox News: Dumbing Down the Bias

We all know the allegations - Fox News is biased towards the right, and dumbs down the news. Are these allegations correct? Certainly the democratic candidates for president thought so when they snubbed Fox News for their first debate. And we all know that Dick Cheney appears almost exclusively on Fox (except when he's rolling Tim Russert, but I digress).

Let's take a look a what researchers and others have found. First, World Public Opinion completed a year-long analysis of news sources. Their key finding:
[T]he frequency of [Iraq War] misperceptions varies significantly according to individuals’ primary source of news. Those who primarily watch Fox News are significantly more likely to have misperceptions [about the Iraq War], while those who primarily listen to NPR or watch PBS are significantly less likely.
This comes on the heels of a recent Pew Center poll showing that Fox News viewers are among the least informed on current events.

In addition, researchers Ethan Kaplan and Stefano DellaVigna analyzed the question of Fox News bias by looking at the impact of Fox News on voting patterns. From the National Bureau of Economic Research:

[Kaplan and Della Vigna] found that the introduction of Fox News had a small but statistically significant effect on the vote share in Presidential elections between 1996 and 2000. Republicans gained an estimate of between 0.4 and 0.7 percentage points in the towns that broadcast Fox News. They also find that Fox News had a significant effect on Senate vote share and on voter turnout. Their estimates imply that Fox News convinced 3 to 8 percent of its viewers to vote Republican according to a first audience measure, and 11 to 28 percent according to a second, more restrictive audience measure.

Here's some other info on the Fox New Bias:


TomCat said...

Good post, Ron. I would argue however with calling Faux a news channel. They deal in infotainment or propatainment.

Larry said...

If one could find the figures I would think that the majority of Fox viewers are over 57 years old.

This sets the mindset of older viewers who have voted more often that younger viewers.

If this is true, then younger viewers will continue to find news elsewhere and Fox will continue a ratings slide.

PointyHead said...

This is a great pic from David Dees on Fox News...

I will occasionally watch it for a laugh or blog fodder. It's scary how many people believe and follow the lies it spews.

Unknown said...

Well...reality has a well known liberal bias.

A Big Fat Slob said...

Am I reading the links correct -- the World Public Opinion survey came out in 2003?

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