The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Fox News makes you stupid

Faux News Watch

We all know that Fox news is the propaganda arm for the Republican Party, or at least that part of the Republican party which is now in control. The "dishonorable" Republicans. I still hold high hopes that most of the Americans who consider themselves Republicans are good people and good citizens, and if they just knew a bit more about what was going on in the name of their party, they would be horrified by what they learned. But ignorance is bliss, and with good little propagandists like Fox pumping disinformation into their face all the while, how can they be shaken out of their ignorance?

Here are the results of a recent study, which show that people whose primary news source is Fox are seriously delusional about the actual facts upon which our Iraq "policy" is based. Here's what I like about the study: They state outright that 1. There are no ties between Al Qaeda and Hussein 2. There have been no WMDs found. 3. Other countries did not support our invasion. They take these positions to be fact, which they are, but it is refreshing to see someone not being mealy mouthed about it. Those statements ARE all true, and the surveyors and researchers don't take them as a matter of opinion, which I love. The other good part of the design of the experiment is that they took into account the ideology of the respondants, which could definitely have been a big confounding variable.

The results show that of the three misconceptions studied (believing any one of the three true statements above to be false), people who got their news primarily from Fox were most likely to think any of them were false and were mostly to be misled on multiple issues. NPR and PBS patrons were least likely to be misinformed. The article includes a link to the study itself, if you are interested in more of the details. Here is an excerpt, which implies a link (not too hard to infer) between the misinformation people hold, and their support for the war (ie the consequences of being misinformed):

Among those with one of the three misconceptions, 53 percent supported the war. Among those with two, 78 percent supported it. Among those with three, 86 percent backed it. By contrast, less than a quarter of those polled who had none of the misconceptions backed the war.

So, if you know the truth, you are unlikely to back the war. The implications for the people who back the war are clear: You probably are misinformed.

Thanks to Marti for this link, which draws some (what would be funny if they weren't so scary) conclusions about the survey and the results. In "Fact-Free News", Harold Meyerson proffers the expectation that Fox is not likely to be chagrined by these results. Rather, they would consider their mission accomplished. Here is Meyerson:

Take a wild flight of fancy with me and assume for just a moment that one major goal over at Fox is to ensure Bush's reelection. Surely, anyone who believes that Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda were in cahoots, that we've found the WMD and that Bush is revered among the peoples of the world -- all of these known facts to nearly half the Fox viewers -- is a good bet to be a Bush voter in next year's contest. By this standard -- moving votes into Bush's column and keeping them there -- Fox has to be judged a stunning success. It's not so hot on conveying information as such, but mere empiricism must seem so terribly vulgar to such creatures of refinement as Murdoch and Ailes.

Scary stuff, and no doubt true. How nice it must be for the ruling class to have a 24-hour "news" service filling the airwaves with lies for its benefit.

The Scapegoating Begins Watch

As you know, the situation in Iraq is such a horrible clusterf*ck that members of the administration are beginning to fall all over themselves in their blame for each other. Rumsfeld and DOD just were taken down from the head position in post-war Iraq administration, to be replaced by the incompetent Condi Rice. In response, Rumsfeld leaks his own internal emails about how poorly managed the whole thing has been (we'll have more on this next week). Here is the State Department, letting the world know that they saw the horror of this situation coming well in advance, and submitted a report to that effect (which was of course, ignored) months before the invasion began. Fingers are being pointed!!


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