This ought to infuriate all the right(wing) people: A study has found that people who watch no news at all can answer questions about current events better than people who solely watch Fox News.
Before you shoot the messenger, just hear us out. You see, a survey by Farleigh Dickinson University asked 1,185 random people about their news consumption and also random questions about domestic and current events like whether Bashar al-Assad was still in power, the American unemployment rate, and which party holds the most seats in the House of Representatives right now. And this is what they found:
The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly — a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. On the other hand, if they listened only to NPR, they would be expected to answer 1.51 questions correctly; viewers of Sunday morning talk shows fare similarly well. And people watching only The Daily Show with Jon Stewart could answer about 1.42 questions correctly.
Granted, some of those questions aren't exactly the easiest to answer when you're called at home (via landline--people still have these?). But, for what it's worth a similar study conducted by the same team found similar results last year. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.