More reasons not to trust Fox News

March 1, 2013

There are of course many controversies surrounding Rupert Murdoch’s obnoxious Fox News, but it is no secret that Fox is very much a mouth-piece of American conservatism. According to a recent poll done by Public Policy Polling, Fox News currently enjoys the confidence of about 41% of American voters, which is basically the percentage of Americans who support the Republicans. In fact, Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling, points out that:

“We continue to find that Democrats trust most TV news sources other than Fox, while Republicans don’t trust anything except Fox. News preferences are very polarizing along party lines.”

Given the important role that Fox plays in informing American conservatives, it is worthwhile to look at the quality of the journalism it practices. Here are a few recent examples. 

1. Fox news vs. scientific fact has put together this article, showcasing an example of blatant misrepresentation of scientific fact by Fox News. In this incident, Fox disregarded solar energy as a viable power source for the United States based on the argument that it sees much less sunlight exposure than, for example, Germany, the current world leader in solar power production. But as the following map, supplied by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory proves quite visibly, the U.S. actually has far greater solar potential than Germany. In fact, the only regions that are anywhere comparable with the average solar exposure of Germany would be the far north-eastern parts of the United States, such as Washington State or Alaska.

2. Bad statistics, a blog dedicated to exposing the misleading use of statistics, examines a number of graphs that were presented by Fox news and debunks them mercilessly. A good example is the following:

graph2Here, Fox News supposedly displays the “job loss by quarter” but is really just cherry-picking dates that fit their premises. The chosen time frames are not actually quarter-to-quarter and the apparently linear increase bears no relation to an accurate graphic representation of the quantitative change. A full explanation for this particular graph can be found at The David Pakman show also put out a video that picks up on the article and explains the graphs discussed there in plain English.

 3. Outright absurdity

tumblr_mhxas95FHj1qaqasro1_1280This example is so comical and full of irony that one cannot help but wonder whether Fox News isn’t simply a gigantic work of satire.

In a recent Fox News editorial entitled “To be happy, we must admit women and men aren’t ‘equal,’” Suzanne Venker attributes America’s declining marriage rates to the failure to recognize and practice traditional gender roles. To quote her take on the gender equality issue: “Those of us with children know better. We know little girls love their dolls and boys just want to kick that ball.” But the best part about this report was not the story itself, but the picture featured (which has since been removed) to demonstrate the advised, happy hetero relationship, which turned out to be a picture of Lela McArthur and Stephanie Figarelle, a lesbian couple getting married.

Some good news:

Public Policy Polling has recently published these results showing a steady decline in Fox News public credibility. Quote:

Just like its actual ratings, Fox News has hit a record low in the four years that we’ve been doing this poll. 41% of voters trust it to 46% who do not. To put those numbers into some perspective the first time we did this poll, in 2010, 49% of voters trusted it to 37% who did not.

[…] Even more Americans identify Fox News as the outlet they trust the least- 39% give that designation to 14% for MSNBC, 13% for CNN, 12% for Comedy Central, 5% for ABC and CBS, 3% for NBC, and 1% for PBS.

Furthermore, there are a number of useful websites and blogs dedicated to revealing and debunking the “news” coming from Fox:

  • “a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”
  • “We’d love examples, from you, gentle readers, of Foxes and Foxettes being naughty so that we can, metaphorically speaking, spank those in need of discipline at Fox News – because lord knows, they’re not producing wisdom!”
  • “So you’ve been told that Fox news doesn’t lie? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Fox News Lies dispels that myth.”



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