In this case, it’s the pot quite literally calling the kettle black.
GOP Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), thinks President Obama won because the people who voted for him are dumb. AP via HuffPo:
Johnson attributed Obama’s win on the heels of those Republican gains in Wisconsin to an uninformed electorate who voted in this election but not in the [Scott] Walker recall.
“If you aren’t properly informed, if you don’t understand the problems facing this nation, you are that much more prone to falling prey to demagoguing solutions. And the problem with demagoguing solutions is they don’t work,” Johnson said. “I am concerned about people who don’t fully understand the very ugly math we are facing in this country.”
Right. Democrats don’t undersand the problems facing this nation, and we don’t understand math. That’s why Republicans make every election about gays, guns and abortion, because they’re concerned about the problems facing this nation. And that’s why they want to break the budget again with more tax cuts, because they understand math.
And that’s why Mitt Romney ran a campaign more devoted to lying to the voters than any in recent memory, because he was interested in people fully understanding what we are facing as a country.
I never saw this Jon Stewart interview on Fox, talking about how uninformed their viewers are. Damn he called them to the mat.
Stewart is correct. A study found last year that Fox News viewers were the least informed of all news viewers. And what do you know, when they did a follow-up study, Fox News viewers – aka Republicans – were the least informed again.
NPR does the best job of informing respondents about the debt crisis: Listening to NPR
is associated with a 26-point increase in the likelihood of correctly naming Germany as
the bailer, and a 12-point decrease in thinking that the US is behind the Euro-bailout.
Sunday morning talk shows, talk radio and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart have
similar positive impacts. On the other hand, people who report watching Fox News are
five-points more likely than those who watch no news at all, to incorrectly say it’s the US
that is bailing out European countries.
“Since we’re controlling for partisanship and education, it seems like there really is
something about watching Fox that makes people less informed on this issue than they
would be otherwise,” said Cassino. “Given that Fox’s ratings are well above their
competitors, the findings are very troubling.”
Oh and those weren’t the only two studies. From the Washington Monthly:
Fox News’ minions “aren’t the least bit disappointed” with what the Republican news network provides, but they’re not actually learning anything about current events or the world around them.
The quantifiable evidence is overwhelming. Eight years ago, just six months into the war in Iraq, the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland found that those who relied on the Republican network were “three times more likely than the next nearest network to hold all three misperceptions — about WMD in Iraq, Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11, and foreign support for the U.S. position on the war in Iraq.”
There were however a number of cases where greater exposure to a news source increased
misinformation on a specific issue.
Those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never
watched it to believe that:
- most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (8 points more likely)
- most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points)
- the economy is getting worse (26 points)
- most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points)
- the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points)
- their own income taxes have gone up (14 points)
- the auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points)
- when TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points)
- and that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points)
As Mark Howard at AlterNet notes, this data coincides with results of previous surveys finding that Fox News viewers are more misinformed about public policy issues. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out last year found that Fox News viewers were overwhelmingly misinformed about health care reform proposals. A 2008 Pew study ranked Fox News last in the number of “high knowledge” viewers and a 2007 Pew poll ranked Fox viewers as the least knowledgable about national and international affairs. And a 2003 study from the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland found that Fox News viewers were most likely to believe that Saddam Hussien had links to Al-Qaeda, that coalition troops found WMD in Iraq, and that world public opinion supported President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.
The good news is that so long as people like Senator Johnson remain in the Republican party, the party will continue to think that the only reason liberals won Tuesday in a landslide is because voters are stupid.
Now who’s stupid.