I'm sure you know by now that Jon Stewart was on Fox News Sunday yesterday and had this angry exchange with host Chris Wallace:
Stewart: The embarrassment is that I'm given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does, not because I have an ideological agenda --
Wallace: I don't think our viewers are the least bit disappointed with us. I think our viewers think finally they're getting someone who tells the other side of the story. Now, now, one more example --
Stewart: And in polls, who is the most consistently misinformed media viewers? The most consistently misinformed? Fox. Fox viewers. Consistently. Every poll.
Steve Benen provided Stewart's supporting evidence:
Eight years ago, just six months into the war in Iraq, the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland found that those who relied on the Republican network were "three times more likely than the next nearest network to hold all three misperceptions -- about WMD in Iraq, Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11, and foreign support for the U.S. position on the war in Iraq."
As Ben Armbruster noted a while back, "An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out [in 2009] found that Fox News viewers were overwhelmingly misinformed about health care reform proposals. A 2008 Pew study ranked Fox News last in the number of 'high knowledge' viewers and a 2007 Pew poll ranked Fox viewers as the least knowledgeable about national and international affairs."
The problem is actually getting worse.
In December, PIPA published a report, this time on "Misinformation and the 2010 Election" (pdf). The point was to measure Americans' understanding of a variety of key developments that news consumers would likely be familiar with. As was the case eight years ago, Fox News viewers were "significantly more likely" to be confused about reality.
Researchers found that Americans who paid more attention to the news were more likely to know about current events. But Americans who relied on Fox News were "significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe"...
So we've got this from PIPA/World Public Opinion, from NBC/Wall Street Journal, and from Pew. So how does Fox Nation respond to what Stewart said?
By ignoring two of the polling organizations that have reached these conclusions and concentrating on one:
In the above interview, Stewart refers to polls that found that Fox News viewers are the most "misinformed" of news viewers. Below is an article written about the validity of such polls.
Soros Funded University Poll Says Fox News Viewers Most 'Misinformed' Politically
A poll conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org, a "project" run out of the University of Maryland, was the toast of the left-wingers last week for its finding that Fox News viewers were the most "misinformed" during the 2010 election cycle. Sadly, few of the news pieces on this poll mentioned that WorldPublicOpinion.org is funded in part by such far left-wing organizations as the Ben and Jerry's Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, the United States Institute of Peace, and the George Soros-backed Tides Foundation.
Read the rest of the story at bigjournalism.com
Of course -- what did you expect? Faced with multiple similar results from multiple polling outfits, Fox ignores all but the one with ties to
An article, by the way, which ignores the fact that other funders of PIPA/World Public Opinion include the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and the German Marshall Fund. Are these "far-left organizations" now? The board of trustees of the German Marshall Fund, for instance, includes Robert Bennett, a former Republican senator from Utah, who got an 84% rating from the American Conservative Union. (Ah, but he was purged by the Utah Republican Party in 2010 for being insufficiently pure, wasn't he?) The fund's board also includes John Harris, the editor in chief of Politico -- is he "far-left"? (Well, yes, according to Fox Nation -- in fact, at FN, Politico is always referred to in headlines as "Left-Wing Politico.")
So there you go -- misinformed about being misinformed.