When Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey, told the world six months ago that it had scientific evidence proving that viewers of the Fox News Channel are less informed than those who watch no news at all, FNC ignored them, even as the report went viral over the Internet.
Not this time.
This month, FDU released another of its PublicMind polls touting that this nationwide survey confirms initial findings of ill-informed FNC viewers, and an FNC spokesperson blasted the findings and turned the tables on the university, pointing out that its own students dont exactly measure up academically. (FDU was No. 585 on a Forbes ranking of 650 U.S. colleges.)
Considering FDUs undergraduate school is ranked as one of the worst in the country, said the FNC spokesperson, we suggest the school invest in improving its weak academic program instead of spending money on frivolous polling their student body does not deserve to be so ill-informed.
The new poll from FDU asked 1,185 people to answer five questions about international news events and four about national news. The average person getting their news from FNC answered 1.08 international questions correctly and 1.04 domestic questions correctly, both of which were lower than viewers of no news.
Viewers of MSNBC scored next to last in international questions (also below no news) and third to last (ahead of no news) on the domestic questions.
The study, though, didnt actually identify people who got their news only from one source, so they used multinomial logistic regression to create representations of such people who were then compared to a hypothetical construct of someone who had no recent news exposure.
Dan Cassino, one of the professors of political science at FDU who authored the two studies, acknowledged a hailstorm of criticism (he wrote about it for The Huffington Post) after the first study was released, and he told The Hollywood Reporter it was regrettable so many bloggers focused on the low results of FNC but ignored almost equally low results for MSNBC.
It was sensationalized and thats the dominant bias in the media, sensationalism," he said. "MSNBC was second worst, but it wasnt talked about."
The first study also came under fire for asking questions where the correct answers may have been ambiguous, and Cassino acknowledged that that may have been the case for one question, though not others.
For the follow-up study, the nine questions were (answers are below):
Answers at the time of the survey were:
(hollywoodreporter, 5.23.2012, email@example.com) www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/fox-news-slams-professors-ill-informed-viewers-fairleigh-dickinson-328771
[Ed. note: Fox propaganda rarely mentions the news. It is all propaganda and spin. I am shocked that any Fox junky could answer even one question correctly. This editor got 6, 7, 8 wrong. The primaries seem like ancient history.]
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