Fiscally nuts. Socially insane.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Zogby on the News

Let's analyze a Zogby poll, shall we? Read it first, then come back.

"A majority of those polled trust FOX News over any other televised news source."

Well, that's obviously because FOX is fair and balanced, duh! But really, Fox? I'm impressed. My positive feelings are obviously quickly relieved as I read on to see that the New York Times is the most trusted written news source. Continuing on, though...

94.2% of Republicans surveyed and 55.6% of Democrats surveyed believe media coverage influenced the Presidential election.

I guess no real surprise there, I mean who likes to proudly delegate their candidate's victory to bias news? Okay, well obviously 55.6% of Democrats, but I suppose Republicans are more standard examples of human psychological behavior anyway. They, it seems, chalk up their loss to bias media, just like a 3rd grade little leaguer claiming the umpire struck him out. That is a prime example of human nature right there!

Now it gets interesting...

Of those surveyed, 37.6% said they consider the Internet the most reliable source of news, 20.3% consider national television news most reliableand 16% say radio is the most reliable source.

By the very nature of what I am doing right now, I would obviously fall into that category. Basil over at IMAO makes the quantum leap to indicate that blogs are, indeed, the most trust news source around, but I don't exactly follow that logic. It is interesting to see, however, that the delivery of said news is so important to the trustworthiness of its content. It what way is news delivered on CNN less reliable than that posted on CNN.com, as Basil so eloquently pointed out?

One last tidbit, for the road...

...survey respondents named Rush Limbaugh(12.5%), Bill O’Reilly(10.1%) and Tom Brokaw (8.5%) the most trusted names in news...

That doesn't even deserve the dignity of a response. 

1 comment:

ed said...

The poll is highly disturbing, but not surprising.

Here's a newsflash: Fox actually isn't a source of news! Don't take my word for it, page 26 of the Annual Report of News Corporation. (If you want to see the criteria for how an organization judges itself, see what they tell their investors.) News Corp, (which owns Fox) says, "As a leader in cable news programming, we take seriously our mission to provide viewers with unfettered discussions of news and financial information from around the world. " Report at: http://www.newscorp.com/AR2008Flash/NC08.html

Notice there was no mention of reporting, no mention of investigations - it's really all about opinion and 'discussion'. And 95% of the time, their discussions are awful!

I find it very odd that so many viewers think Fox News is a news source and Fox itself does not. What a disconnect!!!

While they talk about their news channels in terms of content and profit, they do refer (in the vaguest of terms) to news in their ownership of the Wall Street Journal - but it is interesting that they don't classify Fox in the same way, eh? Check out the annual reports of the New York Times or the Washington Post. Their reports have a much different feel, but not as different as they once were, due to the ongoing destruction of the business model for real news. If you want to see what language is used by a real source of news on television, go visit this page for the News Hour on PBS: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/aboutus/history.html Leaving aside issues of political bias, the news hour is actually trying to do journalism, and the cable networks are not. Isn't that a little more important than the rare (and minor) occurrence of liberal bias on the News Hour?

Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are entertainment networks that use a very small amount of popular news (that they *don't* gather) as the background for their opinion-based shows. Their business model is assaulting you with opinions that are emotionally arresting enough that you watch the ads between them.

To use food as an analogy, cable news is all calories and no nutrition. So, I personally like fox the way I like eating at McDonald's. Usually, it tastes great, but sometimes it makes me feel a little sick. But I would never confuse what I eat there with a healthy meal, and I eat there rarely.

I know lots of republicans who have an information diet entirely of fox, talk radio, and for-profit conservative blogs. They are mentally fat and lazy. These entertainment operations and their loyal audiences are not going to get us out of the political wilderness. They were part of what got us in. (I don't mean the liberals are better off - they're not.)

Fellow conservatives, it's time for a better diet. Cable news should not be on the menu.