Fox News Attacks University That Issued Study Claiming Fox Viewers Are Uninformed

May 24, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Fox News is firing back at Fairleigh Dickinson University, which released a study that claimed viewers of Fox News are less informed than those who watch no news at all, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The study was initially released six months ago, and this month the university said another survey had confirmed its earlier findings about ill-informed Fox News viewers, the story says.

Fox News has criticized the university, which was ranked No. 585 on a Forbes ranking of 650 colleges.

"Considering FDU’s undergraduate school is ranked as one of the worst in the country, 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," said a Fox News representative.

The most recent poll from the university asked 1,185 people to answer five questions about international news and four questions about national news. The average person relying on Fox News answered 1.08 international questions correctly, and 1.04 domestic questions correctly, lower than people who don’t watch the news, the story says.


  1. Attacking FD is a bad strategy. It is probably true that Foxnews attracts a larger proportion of ill-informed people, but their ignorance is likely a pre-existing condition. That they choose one echo chamber over another, say, CNN, is not really the point. CNN is failing, plain and simple, in attracting an audience big enough to support its self-importance, regardless how much smarter its viewers may be. Advertisers crave consumers, not necessarily smart ones.

  2. To be a valid objective poll, FD should have polled viewers that got their news from different sources and then they could have had a valid comparison of which news source is doing the best job of informing their readers. Some people may get their news from CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, etc. A poll comparing multiple sources would have validity. As done, this poll does not. One thing I really question is how can someone say they watch no news at all? That person would have to live in cave with no access to the rest of the world to really “watch no news at all”. If they watch no news at all, how can they answer any questions about international or national news? Fairleigh Dickinson’s poll is a good example of how a objective, valid poll should not be conducted.

  3. Fox has never let any facts get in the way of a mindless, politally charged rant. Anyone who has held or tried to hold a conversation with a loyal Fox viewer knew this a very long time ago.

  4. skeptical observer is correct – as described, this poll is meaningless and shows ingnorance on the part of the school.

  5. Doug and Tim, I pity your narrow minded approach. First, your bias doesn’t allow either of you to understand the excellent point made by “skeptical observer” and second, as an avid consumer of news both local and network, I question where the two of you actually “get” your news analysis. Is it MSNBC where there is never a guest with an opposing view? Or is it Bill Mahr? Come on boys, open up your minds.

  6. Doug and Tim, I pity your narrow minded approach. First, your bias doesn’t allow either of you to understand the excellent point made by “skeptical observer” and second, as an avid consumer of news both local and network, I question where the two of you actually “get” your news analysis. Is it MSNBC where there is never a guest with an opposing view? Or is it Bill Mahr? Come on boys, open up your minds.

  7. Mr. Klein,
    I have been involved in real journalism for 40 years. A truely objective news story is one where BOTH sides of a story are told WITHOUT the anchor injecting his/her or the companies “analysis”. In the past, such themes were labelled as “opinion” or “editorial” and equal time on all public affairs was absolutely mandatory. What we had back then was an informed public that knew both sides and was allowed to form their own opinion. I do not watch MSNBC or CNN for the same reasons. They, as well as Fox, are slanted customized opinion news to talk to people they agree with.
    By the way, Bill Mahr is a comedian who feeds off of news and he does have his own slant, just like Dennis Miller. This type of thing has been going on for many centuries. Surely you have heard of Mark Twain?
    The problem today is that the news has become info-tainment. Important news has been pushed out almost completely because it is too complicated for the largest audiences to understand. Therefore a smaller audience is bad for the bottom line. You and the 3+ million viewers of Fox, MSNCB & CNN are the ones that need to open your minds. Just demand to hear both sides of a story without the BS opinion from either side. Then our society might last another 200 years.
    Stop watching any of these and the advertisers will go away and then they will change or die. As they used to say in Vietnam; “Kill ’em all and let God sort it out.”

  8. idiots learn to spell. It’s bill maher not mahr, company’s not companies, it’s truly not truely …u guys must have went to community college or worse, FD.

  9. Bill, comparing Fox News to Bill Mahr supports the criticsism of Fox News. Bill is a comedian, and doesn’t deny that. The Fox News personalities are also comedians, but they pretend to be serious newscasters who never hesitate to make up facts. I believe the story behind the RD study is that the loyal viewers of Fox News (I take it you are in that category) actually believe the nonsense that comes out of the people who are on Fox News. Just because many people watch this stuff in no way makes it truthful. The funniest thing about Fox News is their tagline, “We report you decide” Fox should be sued for that!
    Bill, sorry if this hurts, but the truth often does.

  10. It’s pretty simple actually – report bad, made up news, people will believe bad, made up news.
    The problem with these cable news networks is that they are tailored to what people want to hear. If you’re a right wing nut job, you’ll watch Hannity all day say how Obama has raised more debt than any other president in history and you’ll believe it, regardless of it’s veracity.
    I satirized this on my humor blog:

  11. This discussion is focused mostly on Prime Time programming. Both CNN and FOX News do a decent job during the day of delivering the news stories objectively. It is unfortunate that the Prime Time is totally editorial, but apparently that is what draws viewers.

  12. Fox is a single right-of-center news outlet in a sea of left wing media from AP,NYT,CNN, Gannett sources, BBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and countless others. MOST news pushes a left narrative. Fox has 3 million viewers, really nothing compared to the collective liberal leviathan. I love how these other media outlets and universities breathlessly go after them (for obvious reasons)
    I think it is difficult presenting ‘both’ sides of an issue today when many of the left sources require you to buy their premiss to even get the discussion going. It’s hard to defend a position when the likes of a Brian Williams or Matt Lauer start a story by saying:
    “When you look at some of the things the Tea Party and others on the far right are asking for — no funding for Planned Parenthood, no funding for climate control, public broadcasting — does it seem to you, Senator, that this is less about a fiscal debate or an economic policy debate and they are making an ideological stand here?”
    Democratic Senator Charles Schumer: “That’s exactly right, Matt. You’ve hit the nail on the head.”
    This assumes that taxpayer funding for planned parenthood, increased spending for the EPA, more of our dollars for PBS are generally accepted by everyone as good things….well they’re not. So this is a very biased approach to presenting this story by discounting the other side’s views. This happens every hour of every day and reaches far more millions than Fox. Fox is balance is some respects just by offering a different look at an issue

  13. Skeptic and Abby, twelve news sources were tested. Go to the original press release at http://publicmind.fdu.edu/2012/confirmed/
    Further questions about methods are answered here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-j-woolley/fox-news-does-not-make-yo_b_1519284.html?ref=@pollster

  14. OK Rob, I’ll bite. Not sure what debt you are measuring but under Obama the debt has increased by 5.3 tril in 3.5 years. Next closest is Bush where it went up 4.92 tril in 8 years. Lemme check my math.. yep. 5.3 is more than 4.92. Were you maybe referring to some other country’s debt?

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