Fox News, and its viewers, have taken a lot of jabs over the years. Their “Fair and Balanced” slogan is an oft-used pop culture punchline and they have, at times, been accused of a certain — oh, how do you say — mishandling of the facts. Just this summer, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart got into a touch of hot water when, as a guest on Fox News Sunday, he stated rather emphatically that Fox News viewers were consistently the least-informed of media consumers. “In every poll,” he said.
Of course, wasn’t entirely true and soon after, Stewart owned up to his misstatement and made amends — of sorts — on his show. It’s not every poll that Fox News viewers score the lowest on. But there is a recent one by Fairleigh Dickinson University that suggests Fox News viewers are less informed about current events than people who consume absolutely no news at all.
For the poll, residents of New Jersey were asked where they find information on current events and were then quizzed on ripped-from-the-headlines topics like the recent uprisings in Syria and Egypt. NPR listeners scored the highest while Fox News viewers scored the lowest. “The results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all,” said professor Dan Cassino.
Not difficult to imagine Stewart, for one, will have a field day with this poll. After his foot-in-mouth experience, Stewart aired a segment in which he listed notable examples of false information perpetuated by Fox News, including the 2009 and 2010 PolitFact Lies of the Year. “Fox News is like a lying dynasty,” Steward said. “They’re like the New England Patriots… of lying.”
So, according to the Fairleigh Dickinson poll, Fox News viewers would be better off staring at a blank screen. In other news, a recent Little Orphan Annie study has concluded that the sun will come up tomorrow.
That last one is made up. We’d hate for you to be misinformed.