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Things Fox News viewers “know” that just ain’t so

I thought you might like to see this set of survey responses from a survey done on December 9th, cross-referenced against what TV station the viewers happened to watch. The most interesting set of responses were from Fox News viewers. All of these beliefs are totally and completely demonstrably false. They are as follows:

* 91% believe that the stimulus legislation lost jobs.
* 72% believe that the health reform law will increase the deficit.
* 72% believe that the economy is getting worse.
* 60% believe that climate change is not occurring.
* 49% believe that income taxes have gone up.
* 63% believe that the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts.
* 56% believe that Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout.
* 38% believe that most Republicans opposed TARP.
* 63% believe that Obama was not born in the US (or that it is unclear).

These are not a matter of politics. They are a matter of facts and reality. Fox News viewers got these by and large wrong. All these numbers were higher than the corresponding views of people who generally did not watch the network. Fox News is in the habit of misinforming its viewing public, and every one of the pieces of misinformation benefits a specific party — dun dun dunnn, the Republicans. That the Repubs have to have their image burnished by outright lies is pretty damning, wouldn’t you say?

But what’s even more damning is the number of MSNBC/CNN folks that are completely unaware that they believe outright lies about important issues, such as the health care reform bill that recently passed. From a different poll:

On Health Care Reform, Those Who Believe That It Will… MSNBC/CNN Viewers Fox News Viewers
Give Coverage To Illegal Immigrants: 41% 72%
Lead To A Government Takeover: 39% 79%
Pay For Abortions: 40% 69%
Stop Care To The Elderly: 30% 75%

This is beyond sad. None of these things are true. They are empirically false. They are lies. Falsehoods. Wrong. Not just wrong, fractally wrong. So wrong that when you zoom in on any one aspect of the falsehood, it’s exactly as wrong as the whole thing. These falsehoods depend on swallowing lies compounded with lies.

I reiterate — they aren’t matters of perspective or opinion. They are matters of fact, and the facts do not correspond with any of these assertions. Each of these lies have an eroding effect on the freedoms you value most. When the major determining factor for who wins elections is how many people believe outright lies, you don’t have a democracy any more. Democracy depends on an informed electorate. You are evidently lacking in that dependency, given the number of people watching the “liberal channels” and still believing the total fabrications spouted by the vested interests in the right wing.

I weep for democracy.

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