Despite the fact that I conclusively refuted Politifact last week over the Fox News-Jon Stewart affair, the site does not seem intent on reversing itself and affirming reality. Facts, in this case, don’t seem to matter–not even to the fact checkers.
My latest DeSmog item is just to provide a summary of this state of affairs–because this is not the last we are going to hear of this matter, I’m quite confident. But there won’t really be anything more to say until there is more evidence, either in support of me or otherwise–or until there is another controversy about Fox and the misinformation believed by its viewers.
The item begins like this:
My two posts about Fox News and misinformation are probably the most popular items I’ve contributed here. They’ve been widely linked, Tweeted and Facebooked hundreds of times, and viewed well over ten thousand times. That’s because they perform a simple task that, at least as far as I had seen when I wrote the first one, hadn’t been done elsewhere: They list studies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) showing that Fox News viewers are the most misinformed about an array of factual—but politicized—issues.
In these posts, I’ve tried to be as dispassionate as one can be on such a matter. I’ve repeatedly said that the studies don’t prove that Fox causes people to be misinformed; they just show a correlation, but the causal arrow could run in either direction (or both). I’ve also said that there may well be other studies out there than the 6 that I’ve found; and there may even be studies out there showing some cases where Fox News viewers are not the most misinformed. Indeed, I could design such a study myself–though it would have to be politically skewed by only asking about topics where liberals and Democrats are likely to be misinformed….
You can read on here.
Let’s remember why this matters–there are facts about the world, and ways of determining what they are, and these facts have significance and consequences. That’s why we have to hold the misinformers to account–and also, sadly, do the same for the fact-checkers.