Monday, December 20, 2010

Fox ignoramus effect

What went wrong in 2010?

The good news is that Americans realize that the media is bathing them in bullshit bubble-bath.

The bad news is that most of us apparently have no freaking idea how to distinguish shit from shinola.

The New York Times buries its lead (lede to the kool kidz). It wants to shout out - as it should - that Fox News makes its viewers more ignorant, not less. But it has to dither first, nicking MSNBC for the mote in its eye before proceeding to the log in Fox's.

The simple fact is Fox News infects its viewers with lies. Here's the proof Fox is a vector for bullshit:
There's an unmistakable Fox News ignoramus effect. The percentage of misinformed viewers goes up as their viewing peaks. Watching Fox daily disinforms viewers on 10 of 11 topics and disinforms them badly on 8 of the 11!

Note that Fox can get the facts right when those facts support Fox's political bias. The single topic on which Fox viewers became steadily better informed the more they watched: whether Democrats had proven the Chamber of Commerce used foreign money to finance its ad campaign against them.

Even after getting to their justified smackdown on Fox, the Times misses a much more dire story. No matter what medium an American prefers for news, there's a whole shit-load of ignorance out there. Fox is worst, CNN is pretty bad, but MSNBC is only good by exceedingly low standards. Newspapers in general are worse than MSNBC.

All of which is why we suffered in November a triumph at the polls of the refuted economic doctrines of the right wing:

Put it this way: A policy under which government employment actually fell, under which government spending on goods and services grew more slowly than during the Bush years, hardly constitutes a test of Keynesian economics.
Now, maybe it wasn’t possible for President Obama to get more in the face of Congressional skepticism about government. But even if that’s true, it only demonstrates the continuing hold of a failed doctrine over our politics.
Zombie lies, kept alive by Fox and other right-wing propagandists, including the entire Republican establishment. Until we as a people become more discerning of the truth, we'll only get more politics of dogma, in which conservatives feel entitled to their own facts, no matter how contradicted by reality.

Update (12/21):  Fox misleads again - successfully! - though only the second sense of lie, not the stronger first sense.


Anonymous said...

Horeshit. Hummmm...where is the mention or study of the news media that pimps for you communist democrats. You know, like ABC, NBC, and CBS.

squidward pro quo said...

"What do you think, Dr. CBS?"

"Looks serious, Dr. NBC"

"Obviously, he means horseshit, not whores sit or even whore shit."

"I concur, Dr. ABC. What's the prognosis, Kenneth?"

"Grave. This looks like a case of the deadly (screeching strings) Fox ignoramus effect."

"The only cure is (screeching strings) socialized medicine."

"Incurable then..."