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More of the same about misinformation and the Faux News Channel.

On health care reform – via Think Progress and the Great Orange Satan:

First thoughts: Obama’s good, bad news

Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 9:16 AM by Domenico Montanaro

….Here’s another way to look at the misinformation: In our poll, 72% of self-identified FOX News viewers believe the health-care plan will give coverage to illegal immigrants, 79% of them say it will lead to a government takeover, 69% think that it will use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, and 75% believe that it will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing care for the elderly. But it would be incorrect to suggest that this is ONLY coming from conservative viewers who tune in to FOX. In fact, 41% of CNN/MSNBC viewers believe the misinformation about illegal immigrants, 39% believe the government takeover stuff, 40% believe the abortion misperception, and 30% believe the stuff about pulling the plug on grandma. What’s more, a good chunk of folks who get their news from broadcast TV (NBC, ABC, CBS) believe these things, too. This is about credible messengers using the media to get some of this misinformation out there, not as much about the filter itself….

“…not as much about the filter itself…”

Au contraire, mes amis. Watching television news does make you stupid. It’s just that some networks make you more stupid than others.

That is now, this was then (September 13, 2007): Repeat it enough and some people will believe it’s true

…Program on International Policy Attitudes, October 2, 2003 [pdf]

….An analysis of those who were asked all of the key three perception questions does reveal a remarkable level of variation in the presence of misperceptions according to news source. Standing out in the analysis are Fox and NPR/PBS–but for opposite reasons. Fox was the news source whose viewers had the most misperceptions. NPR/PBS are notable because their viewers and listeners consistently held fewer misperceptions than respondents who obtained their information from other news sources.

The table below shows this clearly. Listed are the breakouts of the sample according to the frequency of the three key misperceptions (i.e. the beliefs that evidence of links between Iraq and al-Qaeda have been found, that WMD have been found in Iraq and that world public opinion approved of the US going to war with Iraq) and their primary news source. Fox News watchers were most likely to hold misperceptions-and were more than twice as likely than the next nearest network to hold all three misperceptions. In the audience for NPR/PBS, however, there was an overwhelming majority who did not have any of the three misperceptions, and hardly any had all three.

The sad part? Viewers of CBS had almost the same tendencies towards misperception as viewers of the Faux News Channel.

There you have it, watching certain cable television networks will make you really stupid.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.