Wednesday, August 19, 2009

FOX Reports, You Drool Down Your Shirt

It is fair to ask why it is that among recently-polled Americans,

45 percent believe the false claim that legislation includes “death panels” while 55 percent believe the false claim that coverage will be extended to illegal immigrants.
This fair question has a straightforward answer, even if a partial one:
72% of self-identified FOX News viewers believe the health-care plan will give coverage to illegal immigrants ... 69% think [falsely] that it will use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, and 75% believe that it will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing care for the elderly.
FOXNews is lying to its viewers, brazenly and frequently, and the lies are sinking in.

FOXNews is not the only source of these falsehoods, but given its high ratings compared with news organizations less inclined to spread the same lies, it is an important one.

Sadly, those who gather their information from the internets fare little better. The political moment is especially rife with lies, which is not surprising given the monetary stakes of health care reform.

Watching FOXNews will demonstrably increase your ignorance, but there are alternatives. Factcheck.org and snopes.com are two well-established sources for assessing the more heated and contentious claims that float around the culture. They are also searchable.

No comments: