The Fox News "Effect": A Few References

It is no secret that many in the climate science world are critical of Fox News. The prevailing view seems to be that the conservative network, although claiming to be “fair and balanced,” is in fact quite biased in its treatment of this and other issues.

The opinion isn’t without foundation. It’s not just Fox’s coverage itself (see image at left, courtesy of Media Matters): Last year, Media Matters exposed an internal email from Washington bureau chief Bill Sammon, commenting on the network’s coverage of global warming and seeming to demand a misleading treatment of the issue. The email told reporters they should

…refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.

Given that warming is indeed a fact, it’s little wonder that when it was released, this email drew a lot of attention.

Clearly, there’s much concern about Fox coverage. But many critics of the network seem unaware of what may be their best argument: the existence of several public opinion studies showing a correlation between watching Fox and being misinformed about one or more public policy issues.

These studies tend to take the same basic form. First, they survey Americans to determine their views about some matter of controversy. Inevitably, some significant percentage of citizens are found to be misinformed about the core facts of the issue–but not just that. The surveys also find that those who watch Fox, or watch it frequently, are more likely to be misinformed.

Here are five such studies—and note that this list may be incomplete. This is just what I’ve come across so far:

1. Iraq War. In 2003, a survey by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland found widespread public misperceptions about the Iraq war. For instance, many Americans believed that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had been involved in 9/11, or that it possessed weapons of mass destruction prior to the U.S. invasion. But not everyone was equally misinformed: “The extent of Americans’ misperceptions vary significantly depending on their source of news,” PIPA reported. “Those who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions.” For instance, 80 % of Fox viewers held at least one of three Iraq-related misperceptions, more than a variety of other types of news consumers, and especially NPR and PBS users.

2. Global Warming. In a late 2010 survey, Stanford University’s Jon Krosnick found that “more exposure to Fox News was associated with more rejection of many mainstream scientists’ claims about global warming, with less trust in scientists, and with more belief that ameliorating global warming would hurt the U.S. economy.” Notably, there was a 25 percentage point gap between the most frequent Fox News watchers (60 %) and those who watch no Fox news (85 %) in whether they think global warming is “caused mostly by things people do or about equally by things people do and natural causes.”

3. Health Care. Earlier this year, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a survey on U.S. misperceptions about health care reform. The survey asked 10 questions, and compared the “high scorers”–those that answered 7 or more correct–based on their media habits. The result was that “higher shares of those who report CNN (35 percent) or MSNBC (39 percent) as their primary news source [got] 7 or more right, compared to those who report mainly watching Fox News (25 percent).”

4. Ground Zero Mosque. In late 2010, two scholars at the Ohio State University studied public misperceptions about the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque”—and in particular, the prevalence of a series of rumors depicting those seeking to build the mosque as terrorist sympathizers, anti-American, and so on. The result? “People who use Fox News believe more of the rumors we asked about and they believe them more strongly than those who do not.” Respondents reporting a “low reliance” on Fox News believed .9 rumors on average (out of 4), but for those reporting a “high reliance” on Fox News, the number increased to 1.5 out of 4. 

5. 2010 Election. Late last year, the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) once again singled out Fox in a survey about misinformation during the 2010 election. Out of 11 false claims studied in the survey, PIPA found that “almost daily” Fox News viewers were “significantly more likely than those who never watched it” to believe 9 of them, including the misperception that “most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring.”

It’s important to note that these studies do not prove causation. In other words, they do not prove that watching Fox makes people believe incorrect things. After all, it could be that those who are more likely to believe the incorrect things listed above are also more likely to watch Fox, to seek out Fox, etc. The causation could go in the opposite direction.

Still, the evidence above is striking.


Read the US constitution for definitions of government responsibilities.

You only appear able to spout current orthodoxy. Read some history and get some perspective so you can have a mind of your own.

And there you go again calling me a ‘libiterian’. You just gotta pigion hole me to cope.

Your comments give away that you are continuously looking for reassurance in the systems that surround you. You need to get out and live a little.

Your too locked up to understand aren’t you?

The US constitution has nothing to say about how you aren’t a libertarian.

Whenever you have nothing to say, you squeal like a stuck pig “Go read some history and get some perspective”.

Do you really have nothing to say?

PS the “You need to get out and live a little” is very Alistair Crowley of you. And his orthodoxy very much the libertarian golden rule: Do as thou wilt is the whole of the law.

“And there you go again calling me a ‘libiterian’. You just gotta pigion hole me to cope.”

Seems you don’t mind pigeon holing us as warmists or alarmists….when we are actually just people that back the worlds scientific institutions expertise on climate change.

Can give it, but can’t take it?

Whom are you referring to when you reference ‘us’?

In my mind you are ‘Phil M’. You are an individual with views and I respect you as that. If I have labeled you I apologize unreservedly.

“What? I didn’t do it. I wasn’t even there. And I was looking the other way….”

You love handing out hate but squeal like a little girl when someone doesn’t believe your bullshit.

“I don’t happen to disagree that Fox has a conservative bias. But CNN, MSNBC, and NPR have a conspicuous liberal bias. ”

Like Ann Coulter? Who first worked for MSNBC before CNN then finally FOX.

Before Fox news, Glenn Beck worked for CNN between 2006-2008.

From most of my reading I understand MSNBC has a Liberal bias & many of their hosts are the fox news equivalent of attack dogs. But as i pointed out, where is the extreme left views equivalent of Hannity, O’Reilly & Beck? Most of the lefties at MSNBC appear to be moderates at probably the same level as Mike Huckabee is over at Fox.

Just how far to the right do you have to lean to think CNN has a Liberal bias? And NPR? In a sea of commercial talk back stations that are 99.99% conservative, NPR is an exception.

There is no “liberal media.” It’s a myth, a strawman, a red herring, put out by extremist conservatives to sandbag against other conservatives whose views are not extremist enough.

MSNBC is co-owned by NBC (in turn owned by General Electric, a big defence contractor) and Microsoft (one of the largest corporations in the world). Both gave millions to GW Bush’s campaign. MSNBC is business friendly - meaning conservative, not liberal. Whatever token middle of the road liberal-sounding hosts they might have on certain insignificant shows, they are carefully selected in the hiring process to adhere to network policy. The real bias is in the actual daily news reporting itself anyway, not specific programs. And the MSNBC daily news is the same right wing drivel as all other networks, as any casual glance at the top 5 stories from all networks and the way the stories are framed will reveal.

Check out who was cozying up to corporations in the last presidential election.



Hint: The fat-cats support the Democrats.

“Hint: The fat-cats support the Democrats.”

Nice distraction Applegate, but who do the FF companies predominantly donate to? Considering that at least has context to the blog we are on. I like open secrets, pity you couldn’t find this on the site.

Excerpt: “Individuals and political action committees affiliated with oil and gas companies have donated $238.7 million to candidates and parties since the 1990 election cycle, 75 percent of which has gone to Republicans.”

And this:

Excerpt: Although the amount of political money attributable to the oil and gas industry fluctuates, the recipients of the funds have remained relatively consistent over the years, with Republicans accumulating a majority of the industry’s campaign contributions.

And this:

And this:

And yet, despite receiving less political contributions from corporations in general and the oil & gas sector in particular, Obama has forged ahead with policies taken straight from Republican campaign planks. There has been ZERO change in overall direction since Bush. It’s as if McCain actually won the last election.

Ummm. Check again. I think Obama got twice the industry sector donations that McCain did. Less from oil, but financial institutions, unions and lobbying law firms more than made up for it.

“Ummm. Check again. I think Obama got twice the industry sector donations that McCain did.”

Errr strange the absence of FF donations to Obama eh? And 75% of all donations from the FF sector go the republicans and FF companies have everything to do with this blog we are on & the donors to Obama have little to do with this blog eh? Context.

Oil/gas contributions to Obama were $900K; not enough to make his top 20 list.

Not sure what point you’re trying to make.

“Not sure what point you’re trying to make.”

The point I am trying to make is donations from oil & gas sector for McCain & Obama.

McCain: Energy & Natural Resources



Energy & Natural Resources


Sure they donated to Obama, but not as much as they were hedging their bets or hoping that McCain would win. Also their continuing donations & lobbying money goes 75 percent to the republicans.

75 percent. Wonder what they hope all that fundinig will achieve for them?

Industries donated more to Obama than McCain - by something like 2 to 1. So does that put Obama in the pocket of industry interests?

So taxes are about 50,000% where you come from? After all, if they have money to spend that is more than the corporations have to spend on “climate change propaganda” EVEN AFTER paying for the Armed Forces, Social Security, Schools, Hospitals, police, fire departments, intelligence agencies, etc… and, for the tiny realm of Climate Change STILL have more left over than the corporations have to spend by a large enough margin to make what they do spend “a very minor player”, then taxes where you are must be 500x what you get in salary!

So where do you live?

Lala Land?

They’re massive contributors to rightwing thinktanks. And, unlike government money which has to be accounted for (unless you’re in Military Intelligence, to a small extent), you can refuse to say where your money is coming from.

For just one person, ONE, Pat Michaels, $16million was paid by Fossil Fuel interests.

The fossil fuel industry has billions each year to spend on denial with nobody able to trace it, since they get TRILLIONS of dollars each year and always claim “Commercial in Confidence”.

Whereas there is NO FUNDING for propaganda or fake front groups to promote the climate science: the people working at the IPCC ARE NOT PAID.

Nixon, Eisenhower, Reagan - all these would be considered not far enough to the right in todays politics. Eisenhower speaking up for working people would meet with harsh outrage by todays right. So would his warnings about the dangers of an out of control military industrial complex. The EPA was created under Nixon. It has been very successful and its policies have helped the economy, not hurt it. But many GOP congressmen now want to eliminate the EPA. They want to roll back half a century of environmental progress. Something like 80 GOP congressmen have taken the Koch brothers pledge to vote against climate change legislation.

I remember clearly a GOP presidential candidate debate, where Huckabee had the temerity to speak up for working people and poor people. Not one of the other candidates would touch that one. Romney dismissed it out of hand. Not one of them wanted to be seen representing the interests of everyday Americans.

Good points, sailrick. Nixon was a far right-wing nut and vilified by the left in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s for his foreign policies, domestic spying and violence against students and anti-war activists. Economically, he belonged to the Milton Friedman school (at least up until 1972, when he tried more Keynesian methods to save his own presidency). Nixon would be considered a communist by today’s Republicans and libertarians.

I am not sure if this has been mentioned but I’ll mention it anyway. The Pew Center for People and the Press periodically polls a sampling of the public with a news quiz. In 2007 they broke down the results by the respondents’ regular viewing and listening preferences. Fox News viewers were equal to the national average. The best informed respondents were people who do one or more of the following: watched the Daily Show, The Colbert Report, read major newspapers on-line, watch PBS News Hour, listen to NPR, watch the O’Reilly Factor, or listen to Rush Limbaugh.

In that survey, Republicans and Democrats scored similarly, although there were more Democrats in the most misinformed category. In subsequent news quiz surveys, Repubs have done somewhat better than Demos in being well informed, but I have not found a subsequent breakdown by preferred media outlet.

In November 2010, the results showed that Republicans were better informed than Democrats on most issues except Defense spending:

In the Pew’s 2009 survey about science, the results were not broken down by media outlet, but Republicans scored better than Democrats on their general science knowledge quiz.

These latter two points are not about Fox specifically, of course. I offer these three surveys as evidence of a complicated landscape. GregM

Please provide evidence for you early assertions about “AGW” especially the first.

“And AGW is supported by nearly 2 centuries of explicit testing, quality controls and regulatory processes”


“It has over 50 years of successful prediction and is now an everyday accepted science”

Thank you

Done so many times. Each one ignored. So here we go again:

Two centuries of testing. Read the sections

Greenhouse Speculations: Arrhenius and Chamberlin
Skepticism (1900-1940s)
Callendar’s Advocacy
The Theory Restored (1950-1958)

50 years of successful prediction:

Predition: bourne out.

Prediction: bourne out.

And you say it’s in the same class of semiconductor theory.

I hope they find a cure for you.

If that’s your evidence then step aside because it does not warrent any sort of reply except pity.

It is the same science. Quantum Mechanics describes how semiconductors and LEDs work.

It’s just that you want the bluray player but don’t want the science.

Typical fundie western xian.

All you can do is assert God-like “This is not the evidence I am looking for”.

200 years of science investigation, with the oversight rigour and GENUINE skeptical testing. And it emerges as the winning contender.

Titas in return goes “I’m not going to answer that”.

Because there is no answer to the truth except lies and Titas and friends have been caught out too often there already.

“200 years of science investigation, with the oversight rigour and GENUINE skeptical testing. And it emerges as the winning contender”.

I’ll be as positive as I can in reply: This is the thinnest and un-motivating read I can honestly say I have ever read in support of AGW.

You have got to have something better. I’m gob smacked if not. I’m a professional progam/product manger with many successful products under my belt. This must be an embarrassment to intelligent discussion.

I really do not know how otherwise to respond.

Here’s a report of something I can attest to:

Having lived through this era living in the UK I can confirm it’s content.

Much nearer my generation’s actual memories of events. Take note when you are communicating your cause.

Watching your backs as always:)

That’s what you remember because you’re a fundie xian.

Nearer your generation’s actual memories? “All available evidence indicates that man-made global warming is a physical impossibility”

Hmmm. That doesn’t seem to be any HISTORY there.

So this is going to be a G&T where it’s proven that clothes don’t keep you warm and you’re just as well going about your business in the arctic with a summer shirt and trousers on.

“Widespread imagined risk is to be expected as the end of the twentieth century”

Still no HISTORY. Just a faith-based comment based purely on their own projections.

“Global warming proponents call for reduced CO2 emissions”

Still no HISTORY. And there’s nobody who is a proponent of global warming any more than someone saying “The titanic is unsafe” is a proponent of sinking ships.

But it’s good rhetoric for the sheep, isn’t it? They already BELIEVE, so there’s no need to work on that, just keep the fires hot!

“The past prophets of doom have all been wrong”

Really? So when economists and ordinary people said “the money market is unstable” they were wrong and that global recession 2-3 years ago didn’t happen?

Wow. Must have been some weird shit in the water supply to make everyone hallucinate the banking crisis.

And, oddly enough, still no history.

“Also, some global warming proponents are accepting a good financial income”

Nope, not history either. Not even fact. Just a conspiracy nutcase going loopy.

“The success of the global warming propaganda has induced some observers to argue that a conspiracy”

Again, no history. Just current events. And I wonder if you two would agree that the success of the Christian propoganda would induce some observers to argue that the Christian God and Jesus were invented to gain money and influence and there is, in fact, no God, no Jesus and all the christians are just scammers out to take money from the public purse.

“The hypothesis of man-made global warming has existed since the 1880s.”

Oh look, at last we get something that isn’t current events. Pity it’s wrong.

“It was an obscure scientific hypothesis that burning fossil fuels would increase CO2 in the air”

Really? The combustion of hydrocarbons in an oxygen-rich atmosphere (the entire reason someone thought “How about we burn this black rock?”) is an “obscure scientific hypothesis”???

“to enhance the greenhouse effect and thus cause global warming.”

So you and he disagree that there is any such thing as a greenhouse effect? It doesn’t exist AT ALL?

“Before the 1980s this hypothesis was usually regarded as a curiosity”

Nope. It’s quite easy to disprove.
Plass, G.N. (1956b). “The Influence of the 15 Band on the Atmospheric Infra-Red Cooling Rate.” Quarterly J. Royal Meteorological Society 82: 310-29.
Plass, G.N. (1956c). “Infrared Radiation in the Atmosphere.” American J. Physics 24: 303-21.

“because the nineteenth century calculations indicated that mean global temperature should have risen more than 1°C by 1940, and it had not.”

Odd. Can’t find ANYWHERE that says that other than this one nutcase here. This would in any case require that the 19th century scientists would have had to have known how much fossil fuel would have been produced by the industrial revolution.

Nostradamus would be going “WTF?” at that.

But this is the history YOU remember, titas. So maybe you can show the calculation that was done in the 19th century that said that it would warm 1C by 1940.

I am all ears.

Well, eyes.

“Sir Crispin Tickell, UK Ambassador to the UN, suggested a solution to the problem. He pointed out that almost all international statesmen are scientifically illiterate”

Really? This was minuted and released, was it? Or maybe Richard Courtney was the secretary. Or maybe God told him they said that. And, since that was YOUR remembrance of history too, YOU must have been there too! Maybe you can explain where this was said and how you know it was said.

“Overseas politicians began to take notice of Mrs Thatcher’s campaign if only to try to stop her disrupting summit meetings.”

Again, this was minuted and you have the minutes? Or are you just making shit up again?

“Much peer pressure deters scientists from damaging potential sources of research funds.”

More opinion.

A lot of it going about in this Holy Scripture.

“The global warming issue is political.”

False. What to do about it is political. The science doesn’t vote in elections. However, denialists have no evidence to counter the science so have to cast it in something they can just deny: you can deny the labour party are any good, you can’t deny that gravity makes an apple fall from the tree rather than buzz spacecraft.

“The press are interested in selling papers”

Yup, so what? You believe the media when they tell you it’s a hoax. But not when they tell you it isn’t.

That isn’t skepticism.

That entire piece seems to start with Thatcher in 1979 as the earliest bit of history with any fact AT ALL in it.

And all of that is littered with opinion.

Yet, for some reason, you don’t seem skeptical of the claims made therein.

So it all boils down to who is presenting the least flimsy document. Pathetic.

In my searches I see that of course you know who advised Maggie Thatcher. Yes it was your hero Lord Monkton. He’s a mole for the warmers you know.

You guys have got to work out in your minds how this world works otherwise you jus p… in the wind.

I’m off back to the home land for a couple of weeks. Have fun and this has been a great experiences. More a sport!!

We ought to get folks to lay bets. Submission, Knockout, Foul etc. We could start a business:)

You, for example, don’t know what’s causing the climate to change. Yet you KNOW it isn’t CO2.

So the only option is to show that your argument of what it could be is flimsy, since you deny any and all evidence of it being CO2.

And, for example, your “memory” of history has some rather huge problems with it. Unless you’re omnipresent or omniscient.

That document has no history, just plain old propaganda.

And when that’s pointed out, you go “pathetic. I’m gonna run away now”.

When you’re asked how you “know” that that “history” is correct, you run away, throwing negatives to distract.

You have nothing more than faith-based propaganda.

From the link:

“burning fossil fuels would increase CO2 in the air to enhance the greenhouse effect and thus cause global warming.”

So you and he disagree that there is any such thing as a greenhouse effect? It doesn’t exist AT ALL?

So when you say “oversight, rigour etc” it’s a solid basis for believing in engineering.

When I say “oversight, rigour etc” it’s the weakest basis for believing in climate science.

Have I got that right?

(And we only have your word you even have a job)

Only Media Matters and other di oar grous could come up with this. Talk about sheeple, I can’t believe you guys just read it and believe it! This is a hit piece plain and simple. The truth is that you can’t stand anyone having competing ideas with the leftist media, and the FAR left groups like Meia Matters. You’re all unbelievable.

You all probably wonder why our country is in such horribl shape… And you probably blame Bush. But here is a FACT for you…

When Bush signed the first stimulus, there was a provision that it was a loan and the money had to be paid back to the government. Your hero Nobama then signed his stimulus, but guess what he id? He took the provision out, thus Giving that $480 Billion plus to all the companies we hate, and they no long had o pay it back, thus IMMEDITELY Increasing our debt by the same amount.

BTW, not Foxnews. You should try a little research, people.

Your God is not a man that lives in the White House… Why do you treat him that way?

Also BTW, you don’t realize how the bad unemployment numbers are always “unexpected”? Why? The economy and housing market is terrible, no thanks to the Drmocrats policies of th 90s that Bush warned us about in over 30 separate press conferences the last 2 years of his administration before it all went belly up. Again, another FACT. Finally, why is it when Democrats took over Congress in 2006 and made their legislative mark (Bush said he would work with them since they were the will of the people) that’s when the economy started to tank. You can ONLY blame Bush for signing DEMOCRAT POLICIES into law. FInal BTW, 5 or 6 Republicans DOES NOT Bi-partisan make.

You are so ideological and brainwashed it hurts. I bet your personal values don’t match your political ones… Eh, then again, you are liberals and wanna be European Socialists! (oh yeah, which failed miserably and they are now changing to more conservative policies). See, they KNOW socialized medicine doesn’t work. They are REMEMBERING that the Government DOES NOT tell the people what to do, the PEOPLE tell the government what to do.

I was a Democrat. I voted for Al Gre against Bush… Thank OUR ALMIGHTY, ONE TRUE GOD that Gore lost. Than I saw the democrat national convention the next election on CNN. I enjoyed it. I then watched the Republican national convention of CNN. Sell Miler gave the keynote. After the speech, Wolf Blitzer and Judy Woodruff ACTUALLY scoffed and made noises of disgust against Miller. I scratched my head, turned onFoxNews for the first time in my life, since inured to be a brainwashed idiot like you guys, and you know what I saw AS A DEMOCRAT? I saw Democrats and Republicans having a GROWN UP discussion about the speech. NOT like CNN, they gave both angles and opinions from both sides, which I and any other responsible voter would want. Keep in mind, this was not Hannity. I didn’t even know who he was at that point.

But the difference between the 2 was stark to say the least. I’m Jo Fox junkie, I’m a TRUTH junkie. A philosopher searches for the truth. And while I am no Plato, philosophy is the search for truth…

This article holds no truth, just scandal… Much like Hollywood Access or TMZ or that loser Perez Hilton.

Good luck, everyone! That is, if you don’t wake up and get this Obama and Drmocrats out of Washington, you’ll need it! Oh, and have fun with Obamacare… HAHAHAHA!!!! So moronic it’s incredible…