Dear Commons Community,
Fox News is hurting the Republican Party, according to a study conducted by Bruce Barlett, who worked in senior-level positions for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. The study found that Fox viewers tended to be less informed about current affairs than people who watch mainstream news — and even people who don’t watch the news at all.
“Republican voters get so much of their news from Fox, which cheerleads whatever their candidates are doing or saying, that they suffer from wishful thinking and fail to see that they may not be doing as well as they imagine, or that their ideas are not connecting outside the narrow party base,” Bartlett said.
Citing a host of other studies, Bartlett found that Fox News viewers tended to have misguided beliefs about the Iraq War, the Affordable Care Act and other major issues. He also noted that Fox’s audience tended to hold a bias against Muslims.
“It appears that right-wing bias, including inaccurate reporting, became commonplace on Fox,” Bartlett said. This is especially problematic, he said, because “many conservatives now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.”
The Daily Show recently put together a compilation of some of the network’s most egregious inaccuracies. Among them: NASA scientists fabricated data to prove climate change exists, Obama sent more forces to fight Ebola than ISIS, and the Affordable Care Act will eventually lead to single-payer health care. “
Barlett is trying to do the Republican Party a favor but it is doubtful that Fox News will listen. There is too much money to be made by catering to the biases of uninformed viewers.