I’m Sorry, But Misinformation Is The Only Information We Have

Caught some news that frankly was not a surprise.  The manner in which I heard of it was not a surprise either.  The story, that I initially got from Media Matters, was about a study from the University of Maryland, and was about misinformation and the 2010 election.  It showed widespread misinformation in the electorate.  The media matters story framed it as Fox being a bunch of lying assholes.  While that is probably true, let’s not point the finger just at them. There was also misinformation on the left as well.  The study does show that the least misinformed (not exactly the same thing as the most informed) on a host of particular subjects were those who either got their news from PBS, NPR or MSNBC.

People who watched any of these news sources were less misinformed about the effects of Stimulus legislation,  stimulus tax cuts, the positive effects of the Health care bill on the deficit, the state of the economy, climate change, the Birthplace of the President, and who is responsible for Tarp legislation. 

Fox News watchers were less misinformed about division of Democrats on Tarp legislation and foreign money financing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s funding of Republicans.


Propaganda does not aim to elevate man, but to make him serve.

Through the myth it creates, propaganda imposes a complete range of intuitive knowledge, susceptible of only one interpretation, unique and one-sided, and precluding any divergence. This myth becomes so powerful that it invades every arena of consciousness, leaving no faculty or motivation intact. It stimulates in the individual a feeling of exclusiveness, and produces a biased attitude.

Jacques Ellul, Propaganda


Viddy of the day:  A first for me,  a foreign language viddy.  This one is apparently from a movie/documentary titled “The Betrayal of Technology”  with philosopher/ sociologist Jacques Ellul. In French, with English subtitles.  Part I of VI.  Really good stuff.


The study then went one step further and made a rather pointed statement.  Fox viewers were 12% more likely to incorrectly believe that the Stimulus caused job loss than those that did not.  Fox viewers were 14% more likely to incorrectly think that the stimulus bill did not contain tax cuts.  Fox viewers were 31% more likely to incorrectly believe that economists think that the health care law will worsen the deficit.  Fox viewers were 31% more likely to be unclear about the Presidents place of birth.

BTW, just FYI, he was born on the big island Hawaii. 

What caught my eye, and what really didn’t get a mention in ANY of the news stories that I read about this is the general level of misinformation in the electorate. 

Apparently, “We the People” are on a successful I.Q. reduction program. 

Even on subjects where those NPR/PBS/MSNBC viewers are supposed to do much better than FOX viewers, the numbers are not always pretty. The viewers of Public Broadcasting and MSNBC were more often correct than their FOX counterparts, but they also got it wrong a fair amount of the time. 

32% of everyday MSNBC viewers thought the AUTO bailout happened ONLY under President Obama, compared to 56% of Fox viewers.  This despite the fact that the bailout hearings began and were held in the 110th congress, and it’s first incarnation, $17,900,000,000 worth of bailout, was passed while Bush was in office. I remember MSNBC covering this daily.  Hell, I covered this daily.  How people who watch the network do not remember is just… stupid.

Hell, 22% of regular watchers of Public broadcasting aren’t sure if the President was born in the United States!  I can see the fox viewers being misinformed, they have Glenn Beck, that pathological liar on the payroll for criminy sakes, but PBS viewers?  Seriously?

The people apparently have heads like a sieve, which explains Fox’ Ratings, if nothing else. 

Good lord. We are DOOMED.


That’s it for me, America.  Go to sleep, I’ll write to you tomorrow.

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