The Faux News Meme

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The last refuge of a leftist flailing away in an argument, be it in person, on the radio, or the internet, is to accuse his conservative opponent of getting all their information from Fox News.  Actually, they don’t say Fox News, they say Faux News because they have all the creativity of a discombobulated yak.  Be that as it may, this line of argument amuses me on several levels.  First of all, the left’s ire about Fox News is completely hysterical considering the left-leaning tilt of just about every other major news organization.  In fact it is a sign of the overall leftist tilt of the mainstream media that left-wingers are so obsessed with Fox News.  You see there are so many left-wing news stations and major news publications that skew left that conservatives can’t really focus their ire on any single one.  Meanwhile, the major right-leaning news organizations are pretty much Fox and perhaps the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal.

What’s more, from the sound of the complaints you would think that every conservative in America was tuned into Fox at all hours of the day, receiving our marching orders before heading out into pitched battle with the forces of the left.  Sure, Fox News does better ratings than all the other cable news stations combined.  But if you take a closer look at the numbers, Fox’s dominance has as much to do with the fact that nobody watches cable news.  Fox attracts a bit more than a million viewers a day on average for its programming.    That’s impressive . . . until you consider that the Daily Show with Jon Stewart (the show that is pretty much single-mindedly obsessed with attacking Fox News for its news coverage) gets more viewers than any show on Fox except Bill O’Reilly.  So the same people who mock conservatives for being Fox News drones are basically getting most of their news from a satirical show on Comedy Central.  Yeah.

Fox News is a killer whale in a local swimming pond.  So the idea that legions of conservatives are largely just aping Fox News is simply laughable.

Personally, the only time I watch Fox News is when I occasionally watch Special Report with Brett Baier (the guy who got Mr. Cool, Mitt Romney, completely off his game the other night), and then only to watch the final 20 minutes for the All-Star Panel.  So I basically watch Fox News once a week or so if that, and then only to watch pundits talk about the issues.  I also tend to watch Fox over the other networks on election nights, but that’s because I think it has better coverage – after all, they’re the network that has Michael Barone.  Based on conversations I’ve had with most of my conservative friends, I think my viewership is par for the course.

So, I’m curious, do any of you actually watch Fox with any regularity?

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  1. I watch Fox News once in a while. I NEVER watch “news” (that is to say, faux news because that’s all they provide) from:


    And I haven’t watched news from those networks in quite sometime.

    OK, I’ll admit to watching CNN when Robin Meade is on – but the volume is turned all the way down. 😉

  2. I don’t have cable. I watch reruns of Red Eye on Hulu. I can’t unconditionally recommend that show on a Catholic website, though. It’s a humor show rather than a news show, and the humor can be very offensive.

    The few other times I’ve watched Fox News, I’ve noticed two distinct styles. There are the news format shows, and they seem solid. Then there are the opinion panel shows, and, well, they do typically have a spokesman from the left onboard, but the other people are spokesmen from the right. I wish they’d stuck with a really fair-and-balanced approach to news and left out the infotaining personalities.

  3. No cable, and our house was designed in a way that we can’t even pick up the local FOX affiliate.

    Listen to radio news– at the top of the hour– but only caught the Fox one once or twice.

    I do remember the last time I watched the Fox news channel a lot– back when I was in the Navy on shore duty, and they were covering the RNC. Mostly because their news coverage was the only one that didn’t have me wanting to bang my head against the wall due to the massive amounts of proud ignorance.

    I have left-wingers accuse me of watching it far more often than I watch ANY TV!

  4. It’s not about Fox News.

    It’s about liberals. All they have are fantasies, lies and unicorn farts: not much help for the cretinous agenda.

    Facts and truth are . . . facts and truth. The truth is not susceptible to wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  5. “I have left-wingers accuse me of watching it far more often than I watch ANY TV!”

    Foxfier – I think if you get your news from anywhere outside that Washington Post / NBC / Huffington Post zone, liberals will recognize it as different, and since Fox News is the only news source outside the zone that they’ve heard of, they make the assumption that that’s where you got it. I’ve found that a lot of financial news media have very good international coverage, and certainly there are religious sites that I go to and get non-partisan news. I get some things from talk radio or right-wing blogs, but I double-check them depending on the source. So if only 20% of my news consumption comes from sources that liberals would go to, they assume that the rest must be from FNC.

    And to be honest, a lot of the things I get off National Review Online, for example, probably are identically-spun to what’s happening on FNC.

  6. I can’t remember the last time I watched a news or pundit program. I get most of my news from the radio (KYW and NPR), on line, and in print. On line, I go to FoxNews, Drudge, and the BBC – in that order. In print, I go to the Economist and, about once a week, the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    I think Drudge is a bit of a game changer in that it acts as a clearinghouse rather than a news outlet.

  7. I am new to your site- and as a Catholic, very happy to find you!
    My husband and I watch Fox regularly, especially Brett Baier, and O’Reilly. New favorite since Glenn Beck went away is The Five…
    But we do switch over to CNN and MSNBC for comparative study, and are ALWAYS amazed at the skew, the skewering, and the frequent vile behavior we catch there.
    Additionally, we try to catch – every once in a while – the local news on ABC and CBS. I won’t watch NBC anymore. It is absolutely amazing how little is reported on any of the channels. I don’t know what they find to fill the news half hours, since they never mention what is happening in the world, the nation and especially our government!!!!
    I bless the internet for Drudge, The Blaze, and my all time fav blogs for keeping me informed. I look up almost everything I read about, to verify. Have been doing that since Glenn demanded we not take HIS word for ANYthing. I sincerely doubt that any of the anchors from the “other” Cable outlets would recommend THAT!

  8. I feel so honored to have sparked a post. Or rather that my caricature sparked a post. Back when I used to watch TV news I watched Fox News daily and BBC occasionally.

    However, I also watch the Daily Show and read countless online sources. BTW, if you want to read what’s getting the most hits Blogrunner is a great resource (

    For someone who gets information from a variety of sources, this post is so easily demolished.

    “In fact it is a sign of the overall leftist tilt of the mainstream media that left-wingers are so obsessed with Fox News. You see there are so many left-wing news stations and major news publications that skew left that conservatives can’t really focus their ire on any single one. Meanwhile, the major right-leaning news organizations are pretty much Fox and perhaps the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal.”

    Like how the right-wingers are so obsessed with NPR and the NY Times? You see, there are so many right-wing outlets: Fox News, WSJ, NY Post, talk radio, book publishing, and lots of websites. Complaints about the left-wing media sound exactly like the left’s whining about Fox News.

    And there is a false equivalence here. Yes, the mainstream media leans left. But not usually by conscious design (MSNBC excluded). It’s because most people in the business are liberal. On the other hand, the right-wing media is right-wing by conscious design. They are intentionally bias. This is where the left-wing criticism goes wrong. Fox News isn’t the BBC. Limbaugh isn’t 1010 WINS. Coulter doesn’t write almanacs. They are self-described conservative pundits. Complaining about their bias is like a right-winger complaining that Michael Moore has a liberal bias. That’s what they’re paid for!

    Now how about a post on how anyone critical of the not-Romney Republican candidate of the month is constantly branded a liberal even if the criticism has absolutely nothing to do with the candidate’s conservatism?

  9. Pinky, I always thought that the best way to debrainwash a liberal would be to sit them down to watch Red Eye for a week. What, conservatives don’t foam at the month? They actually act like me and my friends?

  10. I feel so honored to have sparked a post. Or rather that my caricature sparked a post.

    Probably not you, unless you were posting as “Torch” over on the #OWS and Polish Politician post.

    It’s because most people in the business are liberal. On the other hand, the right-wing media is right-wing by conscious design. They are intentionally bias.

    Any attempt to correct for a known bias creates a bias– that is no reason to not attempt to correct for a known bias, especially when it makes good business sense to do so. “Bias” does not mean “incorrect” or “bad”– incidentally, I seem to remember that Fox’s staff are only slightly more to the right than any other media outlet’s folks when you look at their giving.
    If you remove the straight out opinion shows from accounting–since those are just the crafty, crafty sales technique of appealing to 50% of the national population– their actual reporting is middle-of-the-road. They error on the left and right for those issues where I have personal knowledge, as opposed to other outlets where an error to the right is incredibly surprising. It looks like it’s to the right because everything else is knee-jerk left. (I have some local friends who think that MSNBC is the only barely decent news source, other than the daily show, because the rest are just far too conservative. They also argue that Obama is too conservative– the most moderate says he’s dead center of the political spectrum, while his friends say Obama is too right-wing. Yay, Seattle.)

  11. , unless you were posting as “Torch” over on the #OWS and Polish Politician post.

    Even that comment didn’t really spark this post as much as something that Lanny Davis said on the radio the other day. Honestly, it’s something that’s been peculating in my mind for a while – that just helped jog my desire to write about it.

  12. The main reason why I began watching Fox News was because of the presence of Brit Hume, one of the best newsmen in the business. With his retirement my watching of Fox News has declined quite a bit. Of course most of my news I get from a wide range of sources on the internet, something probably true for almost all TAC contributors and commenters I would say.

  13. I have many muses Foxfier. 🙂

    It’s funny, but sometimes my posts are a gut reaction to some news story or other blog post, but just as often it’s something that’s been stewing for a few days or even weeks. As evidenced by my most recent post, sometimes it’s a combination of everything.

  14. I may be a little slow on the uptake, but I stopped watching mainstream news channels and websites after the lack of coverage of World Youth Day this past summer. If the young people would have been rioting or protesting, that would have been a big news story to be sure. A million or more people gathered for something wonderful was virtually ignored and that really opened my eyes. Not to mention the embarrassing trash in the comments on the mainstream media websites. There are much better sources of news and truth online, it just took a bit to find them. I will occasionally still check out a mainstream story if it is linked on the pages I follow or if there is a major, rapidly breaking news story, but not looking at them every day anymore, they seem to be getting exponentially worse at a rapid rate. Fox may not be as liberal, but they have the Catholics on ignore only slightly less than the rest.

  15. Okay. The problem with the Obama-worshiping, enabling propaganda organs is not that they alibi and lie for the 0. It’s that the average journalist is ignorant of anything but is a glib ideologue.

  16. It’s the little things about the liberal media that bug me. I listen to CBS radio news a lot, and invariably when either party moves to the center in a standoff, Democrats “offer compromise” while Republicans “change course”. It’s a little thing, but Democrats come off as selfless and moderate while Republicans look haphazard and erratic. When neither party moves to the center, Democrats are “fulfilling a campaign promise” while Republicans “take a hard line.” etc.

    I am not fan of Fox News, but I do check in because they cover stories that other networks won’t touch, and that is their most important contribution as far I am concerned. I check in with Al Jazeera English and other news sources big and small for the same reason. So liberals who ignore Fox are missing out — not just opinions, but facts and events — on things they should probably know about.

  17. RR –

    “What, conservatives don’t foam at the month? They actually act like me and my friends?”

    On the one hand I agree with you. On the other, if someone can’t intuit that his opponents are human beings, he’s very immature, no matter what side he’s on of what issue.

  18. I watch Fox News about one hour a day. I like O’Reilly, and enjoy the All Star Panel. Basically I read the Wall Street Journal. It is the only secular paper left that doesn’t tilt totally left. I watch local news for weather and traffic in the morning. I will admit that I am an EWTN addict. Just don’t take my books and DVDs away from me.

  19. WOW where to begin? Just surfin and bumped into this site. Is this the American Catholic or The Republican Catholic?……………..Univ. of Maryland study finds Fox News viewers to be misinformed on key issues.

    MSNBC and NPR audiences were found to be least misinformed on the basic questions of fact. The study points to Fox News as the chief misinformer among the three major cable news outlets.

  20. Ah yes, the famed University of Maryland study that was shouted from the rooftops by liberal bloggers a year ago. From a look at the study at Patterico’s Pontifications:

    “It’s really kind of a tedious thing. Every week or so, liberals come up with another allegedly scientific study declaring that conservatives are stupid, misinformed, psychologically abnormal or something. Today, it comes from an organization I never heard of before, called World Public Opinion. This study is being touted by the spectacularly misinformed TPM as proof that Fox News leaves viewers misinformed.

    But the hilarious part is that the authors of the study themselves are misinformed. For instance, their first question is this “is it your impression that most economists who have studied it estimate that the stimulus legislation: A) created or saved several million jobs, B) saved or created a few jobs, or C) caused job losses.” The first option is marked as correct.

    Now first, that is an ambiguous question. Do they mean net or gross? In other words, do they mean the number of jobs “saved or created” numbered in the millions with or without it being offset by the number of jobs lost? Because it is self-evidently true we have lost more jobs than we have gained.

    But here’s the funny part. Scroll down to the part where they allegedly prove what is the correct answer and read closely. They offer two pieces of proof of their claim that the first answer is correct. First they say:

    “[The] CBO concluded that for the third quarter of 2010, ARRA had “increased the number of full time-equivalent jobs by 2.0 to 5.2 million compared to what those amounts would have been otherwise.”

    But there are two problems with that. First, um, we are going to trust the government to estimate the success of the government on this? Really?

    Second, that utterly fails to relate to the question, which is whether a majority of economists who studied the question believe this to be the case.

    They do a little better with their second piece of evidence:

    “Since 2003, the Wall Street Journal has maintained a panel of 55-60 economists which it questions regularly, in an effort to move beyond anecdotal reporting of expert opinion… In March 2010 the panel was asked more broadly about the effect of the ARRA on growth. Seventy-five percent said it was a net positive.”

    Which is better, but again doesn’t prove the assertion. First, once again, there is no evidence that this represents the majority of economists. Second, there is no evidence they studied the issue—they could just be shooting their mouths off, or maybe even just trusting the CBO. Third, growth is not the same as creating (or, barf, saving) jobs. And fourth even then all they said was it was a “net positive” which lines up with answer B, not answer A, which they marked as correct.

    They don’t fare any better with the next question: “Is it your impression that among economists who have estimated the effect of the health care reform law on the federal budget deficit over the next ten years: a) more think it will not increase the deficit, b) views are evenly divided, and c) more think it will increase the deficit.” Allegedly A is the correct answer.

    And once again, they go to the CBO, which everyone knows was manipulated by being required to make assumptions, like that Congress would not pass laws (like the Doc Fix) it ultimately did pass, stating that:

    In March 2010 CBO released an estimate of how the then-pending health care legislation would affect the deficit if passed. CBO calculated that the net effect through 2019 would be to reduce the deficit by $124 billion (this figure excludes the education provisions that were also part of the legislation). Beyond 2019, the CBO estimated that the Affordable Care Act would reduce the deficit by roughly 0.5% of GDP.

    But not only does that suffer from the same problem of having nothing to do with the opinion of economists who study it, but it’s also contradicted by later reports. For instance in August of this year, the Washington Times wrote:

    The [CBO’s] latest projections suggest that the net increase in the deficit attributable to the federal health care law will exceed a quarter-trillion dollars over the next decade.

    And meanwhile they don’t even bother to quote the WSJ (why not?), but instead quote from Medicare Trustees:

    Regarding Medicare’s contribution to the overall budget deficit, the 2010 annual report of the Boards of Trustees of the Medicare trust funds stated that “The financial status of the HI (Hospital Insurance) trust fund is substantially improved by the lower expenditures and additional tax revenues instituted by the Affordable Care Act. These changes are estimated to postpone the exhaustion of HI trust fund assets from 2017 under the prior law to 2029 under current law and to 2028 under the alternative scenario” (a model that made harsher assumptions). The trustees assessed that overall, “The Affordable Care Act improves the financial outlook for Medicare substantially,” although “the effects of some of the new law’s provisions on Medicare are not known at this time.”

    Which not only doesn’t support their assertion in any way, shape or form, but if anything tends to undercut their claims. If Medicare is in better financial shape does that suggest a reduction in spending? It seems to me that the more well-funded a federal program is, the less likely we are to see deficit reduction. Indeed an increase in spending necessarily results in an increase in the deficit unless it is offset by cuts somewhere else.

    What this study is, is really a political paper pretending to be a scientific paper. Which shouldn’t be surprising given the list of supporters they have. Its funny how the same people keep turning up.”

    The organization behind the study is World Public Opinion.Org, and here are the usual suspects funding them:

    Rockefeller Foundation
    Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    Tides Foundation
    Ford Foundation
    German Marshall Fund of the United States
    Compton Foundation
    Carnegie Corporation
    Benton Foundation
    Ben and Jerry’s Foundation
    University of Maryland Foundation
    Circle Foundation
    JEHT Foundation
    Stanley Foundation
    Ploughshares Fund
    Calvert Foundation
    Secure World Foundation
    Oak Foundation
    United States Institute of Peace

    Go to the link below and see some of their other polls, which appear from their titles to be agenda driven.

  21. Are we sure David Green isn’t making a joke? I mean, reading a post that points out that very few of us here actually watch Fox News, and responding by acting like we called it the One True Source, then offering a debunked study as evidence….

    (Of course, the study is kind of amusing, too– it showed that those who watch Fox news were the least likely to share the glorified assumptions of those running the study.)

  22. Liberalism would be a hilarious joke if it were not killing millions and not reducing the American people to a lowly state of collective impoverishment.