Open Letter to My Fox-Viewing Friends

I’ve got a couple of friends who watch a lot of Fox News. One person in particular, a good friend who lives across the street from me. When I go into his house more often than not he’s got good old Fair and Balanced oozing from his vegbox. Remarkably, this is a person of considerable intelligence and whose judgement and opinions I otherwise generally respect. This one goes out to youse all:

My Dear Friends,

Why do you watch that shit? Haven’t I told you time and again it’s full of lies, distortions and propaganda? Well here’s some more evidence for that proposition, quoted from
You can read the study itself here.

Based on several nationwide surveys it conducted with California-based Knowledge Networks since June, as well as the results of other polls, [University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA)] found that 48 percent of the public believe US troops found evidence of close pre-war links between Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist group; 22 percent thought troops found weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq; and 25 percent believed that world public opinion favored Washington’s going to war with Iraq. All three are misperceptions[…]

[N]ews sources also accounted for major differences in misperceptions, according to PIPA, which asked more than 3,300 respondents since May where they “tended to get most of [their] news.” Eighty percent identified broadcast media, while 19 percent cited print media.

Among those who said broadcast media, 30 percent said two or more networks; 18 percent, Fox News; 16 percent, CNN; 24 percent, the three big networks — NBC (14 percent), ABC (11 percent), CBS (9 percent); and three percent, the two public networks, National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

For each of the three misperceptions, the study found enormous differences between the viewers of Fox, who held the most misperceptions, and NPR/PBS, who held the fewest by far. Eighty percent of Fox viewers were found to hold at least one misperception, compared to 23 percent of NPR/PBS consumers. All the other media fell in between.

Yeah I added the yellow highlighting and the italics. Fox viewers, don’t worry, you can wipe it off your monitor with a soft, clean, damp cloth.