Study: Fox News, CNN, MSNBC are "least informative" news sources

1,185 respondents nationwide were asked about what news sources they consumed in the past week and then were asked a variety of questions about current political and economic events in the U.S. and abroad. On average, people were able to answer correctly 1.8 of 4 questions about international news, and 1.6 of 5 questions about domestic affairs. 

…the study concludes that media sources have a significant impact on the number of questions that people were able to answer correctly. The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly — a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. On the other hand, if they listened only to NPR, they would be expected to answer 1.51 questions correctly; viewers of Sunday morning talk shows fare similarly well.  And people watching only The Daily Show with Jon Stewart could answer about 1.42 questions correctly. 

“These differences may be small, but even small differences are important when we’re talking about millions of people,” said Cassino. “We expect that watching the news should help people learn, but the most popular of the national media sources – Fox, CNN, MSNBC – seem to be the least informative.”  


Is Fox News Moving to the Left?

Lately, Fox has increasingly promoted its straight-news talent in the press and conducted some of the toughest interviews and debates of the Republican primary season. Just last week, it hired the openly gay liberal activist Sally Kohn as a contributor.

A casual Fox viewer might barely notice the changes since the network remains critical of the Obama administration and reliably conservative opinion voices, like Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, still anchor key spots in the Fox firmament. But the changes are there.

After the Tucson shooting last year, when criticism rained down on Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck for their violent rhetoric, Ailes moved to lower the temperature, telling Russell Simmons, “I told all of our guys, ‘Shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually.’” A few months later, Beck and Fox announced they were parting ways. As early as last May, New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman was writing about Fox’s “move to the middle.” And in an interview with Howard Kurtz in September, Ailes confirmed it.


Herman Cain admires his dad because he “didn’t complain” about being a segregated janitor

About 5 minutes into this startling interview, Herman Cain essentially argues that segregation wasn’t that big a deal and that his father was “grateful” for the opportunity to work as a janitor and chauffeur in the segregated South. Sean Hannity seems to find all of this quite charming, as if Cain’s modesty is somehow endearing, rather than servile and insulting. It’s hard to interpret this as anything but a slap in the face to the civil rights movement. 

As demonstrated here, Herman Cain is yet another Republican candidate who uses catchy phrases and vague terminology to mask the fact that he’s raising taxes on working families and lowering taxes on the rich. 

As demonstrated here, Herman Cain is yet another Republican candidate who uses catchy phrases and vague terminology to mask the fact that he’s raising taxes on working families and lowering taxes on the rich. 


Atheist Gets 8,000 Death Threats on Fox News Facebook Page

Fox News’ Facebook Page Overrun by Death Threats

As an agnostic/atheist (I’m tired of arguing over semantics and I don’t really care which one I am anyway), I have to admit that these death threats really piss me off. I do not support the suit against the 9/11 Museum’s inclusion of a steel cross found in the World Trade Center wreckage. I think it’s frivolous and insensitive and I think the cross could be included due to its historical and cultural significance. I also support (some might argue hypocritically) prayer in schools and the inclusion of theology courses in school curriculum (assuming it was a world religions or comparative religion course).

I usually find myself irritated by some atheists’ bad habit of isolating agnostics or “spiritual but not religious” types. Ultimately, our minor theological differences, like our philosophical or political differences, should not stand in the way of cooperation and humanism. But clearly, one cannot tolerate intolerance, especially in the form of death threats. So, to the Fox News fans who want me dead, I have two things to say.

One: there are only two groups of people I’m aware of that have publicly wished for my demise: you and Islamic terrorists. This fact should cause you to stop and rethink your life.

Two: you can all just go fuck yourselves.


Michele Bachmann Can’t Pronounce “Chutzpah” 

In the scheme of things, this is rather insignificant, but still it’s fun to ruthlessly point out a politician’s stupid little mistakes. Boy, do I have some choot-spa.  


John McCain Criticizes Isolationist Republicans & Obama’s Timid Approach to Libya

McCain uneasy over Republican isolationism

"There’s always been an isolation strain in the Republican party, that Pat Buchanan (a former Republican presidential contender) wing of our party. But now it seems to have moved more center stage, so to speak," he said.

"If we had not intervened, Kadhafi was at the gates of Benghazi. He said he was going to go house to house to kill everybody. That’s a city of 700,000 people. What would be saying now if we had allowed for that to happen?"


Jesse Ventura Says the Government is Controlling Your Mind with Tap Water

Yet another delightful, conspiratorial sound bite from the good people at the Fox Business channel: 

Jesse Ventura: Why do they [the government] stick fluoride in our water when fluoride is the main ingredient of Prozac? 

Dr. Keith Ablow: Well, I’m not sure fluoride is the main ingredient of Prozac.

Jesse Ventura: Oh, yes it is…it was the Nazis that first put Prozac in the water, or I should say fluoride. Fluoride is 90% of Prozac. 

No wonder I support health care reform…it’s all that fucking water! Damn you, Obama!