Ok, so here we have a Catholic priest telling us that there is something wrong with those that have imaginary friends…Father Morris, Webster’s is calling to ask if they can use your picture under the definition of irony.
Discussions of death panels, government takeover of our local elections, Obama’s birthplace, etc. shows that last month’s election was mostly driven by misinformation. Attend just about any tea party rally and one would likely scratch their head wondering where they got their information. After seeing the results from a new World Public Opinion poll we might have a better idea on where the misinformation came from.
First the numbers. The poll found that a large number of voters were misinformed on many different issues that were on the forefront during last month’s election including stimulus job creation numbers, climate change, and heath care reform. Some other numbers:
• 40% of voters believed incorrectly that the TARP legislation was initiated under Barack Obama, rather than George Bush
• 31% believed it was proven true that the US Chamber of Commerce spent large amounts of money it had raised from foreign sources to support Republican candidates
• 54% believed that there were no tax cuts in the stimulus legislation
• 86% assumed their taxes had gone up (38%) or stayed the same (48%), while only 10% were aware that their taxes had gone down since 2009
• 53% thought that the bailout of GM and Chrysler occurred only under Obama, though it was initiated under Bush
Also telling (but hardly surprising) was the discovery that a large number of those misinformed about the issues also claimed to be daily watchers of one network while those doing better on the questions had different viewing habits.
In most cases those who had greater levels of exposure to news sources had lower levels of misinformation. There were, however, a number of cases where greater exposure to a particular news source increased misinformation on some issues.
Those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe that most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely), most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points), the economy is getting worse (26 points), most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points), the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points), their own income taxes have gone up (14 points), the auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points), when TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points) and that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points). The effect was also not simply a function of partisan bias, as people who voted Democratic and watched Fox News were also more likely to have such misinformation than those who did not watch it–though by a lesser margin than those who voted Republican.
I’d say Fox “News” accomplished their mission…
I know, nothing really new in another story on Fox News framing an argument to fit the GOP agenda. The latest example has Fox editors telling reporters to always preface any story on global warming by “pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question“.
What struck a chord with me this time though was the headline ars technica used for the story, Fox News on climate: skip the science, report the “controversy“.
I think in that one headline they summed up my feelings on the state of the “media” today.
Fox and MSNBC are the most well known “news” companies riling up the troops often using questionable sources and news reporting but with the proliferation of blogs and other online sites preaching such questionable ideas, it is getting harder and harder to pick out the wheat from the chaff. No where is that more evident than when reading the posts and comment sections of most blogs where it’s pretty easy to figure which channel the authors tune in to most often strictly by the talking points they cite.
Unfortunately for most of them, that channel is rarely the “Science Channel“…
By now you’ve probably heard that the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis collapsed this morning, here’s the video from inside when it happened.
It is becoming obvious that the GOP has found their next poster child in our very own Congresswoman elect Kristi Noem. Just roll up your pant legs before watching as she can dish the political doublepseak with the best of them (pretty good since she hasn’t even been sworn it yet!) as demonstrated by her performance on today’s “Weekly Republican Address“.
So what gives? During the first 2 years of the Obama administration the Democrats who controlled Congress and rarely could get enough of their members together to pass gas let alone formulate and pass legislation have now somehow grown some balls.
Unhappy with the compromise Obama made with the GOP on Bush tax cuts, the lame duck Democrats somehow gathered enough moxy to actually reject the Obama proposal today, albeit through a non binding vote.
House Democrats have rejected a tax cut deal struck by President Barack Obama with the Republican opposition.
The non-binding vote was led by liberals angry about the extension of tax cuts for the rich.
The White House had spent the week lobbying Democrats to back the bill and had appeared to be winning support.
Unless the Congress acts, all American taxpayers face a big hike in their tax bill beginning in January and millions will see unemployment payments end.
“We will continue discussions with the president and our Democratic and Republican colleagues in the days ahead to improve the proposal before it comes to the House floor for a vote,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
No doubt voting with your ideology is a lot easier after you’ve already had your butt handed to you in an election and you don’t have to worry about the next one. Too bad…
More fairness and balance from the only network that matters…
At the height of the health care reform debate last fall, Bill Sammon, Fox News’ controversial Washington managing editor, sent a memo directing his network’s journalists not to use the phrase “public option.”
Instead, Sammon wrote, Fox’s reporters should use “government option” and similar phrases — wording that a top Republican pollster had recommended in order to turn public opinion against the Democrats’ reform efforts.