David Frum

05.21.12

This is Your Brain On Fox

Last year, researchers at Fairleigh Dickinson University produced a survey contending that Fox News viewers were the most systematically misinformed people in America—so much so, that when quizzed on current affairs, people who watched only Fox scored worse than people who watched no news at all.

That survey drew wide criticism, as it won't surprise you to hear.

So this year, the authors repeated the experiment, using a wider base of respondents. And guess what?

1185 people nationwide were asked about their viewing habits and then asked 4 questions about international affairs and 5 about domestic news.

On average, respondents got correct 1.8 of the international questions and 1.6 of the domestic questions. (I know, I know.)

People who mainly listened to NPR did somewhat better: an average of 1.92 correct on the domestic section.

People who watched no news at all averaged 1.22 domestic questions right.

And people who watched only Fox? 1.04.

Looks like a trend.