May 25th, 2012
04:46 PM ET

Facts and Fiction: how one survey was reported in the media

How many times has a headline caught your eye, only to read the article and find out it isn’t quite what that catchy phrase described?

It’s no surprise that liberal commentators might jump on a survey that portrayed Fox News viewers as ignorant. Headlines proclaimed “Watching Fox News makes you dumber” and loyal Fox viewers slammed the survey saying it was biased and unscientific.

But is that really what the survey found? A survey from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll looked at popular news sources and how informed their audiences are. Dan Cassino, professor of political science at the university and director of experimental research, says the findings have been distorted and manipulated by the media. Ironically, he says, this kind of proves the point of the survey.

The survey found, says Cassino, that hard news is not being explained properly or given enough context. Cassino believes the findings confirm that reporters and anchors are quick to jump to “sexy” headlines and opinions, rather than delve into the intricacies of hard news.

“People gloaming onto the sexiest way they can show it,” Cassino says of much media coverage. “Hard news, stuff that’s hard to explain, we’re just not explaining.”

He says is that there is no evidence that watching Fox News makes you dumber. But what the study did find, in statistically significant numbers, is that watching Fox News means you are less informed about current events than if you watched no news. But the findings are complicated.

The survey found that all ideologically slanted opinion TV shows have a “negative impact on people’s current events knowledge,” not just Fox News. Whereas Sunday morning political talk shows, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and NPR have the most informed audiences.

Cassino acknowledges that knowledge of current events is not just determined by what news you watch, but by personal ideology, education, age and gender. Thus the results of the survey can be self-selecting. Cassino argues that prime time shows on cable networks like “The O’Reilly Factor” are opinion reporting and often provide the least amount of informational context. But, Cassino says, that’s what these viewers want.

Cassino says he’s been disappointed by reporters calling him up to talk about the survey but ultimately not really understanding the intricacies of the findings.

“The results that get publicized have little to do with the results of the survey,” says Cassino. “There is a bias towards sensationalism. They are trying to find the biggest sexiest story that will make a flash, even if that means distorting the news.”

Posted by
Filed under: Bias • Blog • Fox News • Media • Media Criticism • MSNBC • Reliable Sources
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. Lbsocoers

    cialis paypal bezahlen http://ucialisdas.com/ cialis available in walgreens over counter??

    May 6, 2021 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  2. Where To Buy Beer Kegs

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 6, 2021 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  3. Forklift Service Orange County


    May 6, 2021 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  4. FmrfPleah

    buy cialis south africa http://cialisee.com/ cialis reviews patients

    May 6, 2021 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  5. dashboard repair shop near me

    It’s difficult to find educated people for this subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 6, 2021 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  6. jewelers near me

    This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Appreciate it!


    May 6, 2021 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  7. hardee's near me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the site is also really good.


    May 6, 2021 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  8. Lbsocoers

    cialis online overnight http://ucialisdas.com/ – what is better viagra or cialis purchase cialis in canada

    May 6, 2021 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  9. mind training

    After going over a few of the blog posts on your web page, I honestly like your technique of writing a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my web site too and let me know what you think.


    May 6, 2021 at 10:04 am | Reply
  10. health online training

    I was able to find good information from your blog posts.


    May 6, 2021 at 9:16 am | Reply
  11. aralen uk

    chloroquine tablets amazon https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquinolone malaria

    May 6, 2021 at 4:56 am | Reply
  12. jobs hiring near me

    When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Kudos!


    May 5, 2021 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  13. RV Maintenance Orange County


    May 5, 2021 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  14. JebgPleah

    canada pharmacy coupon cialis professional Voltaren

    May 5, 2021 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  15. Rebfcoers

    cialis black 800mg reviews https://rcialisgl.com/ cialis cheap

    May 5, 2021 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  16. RV Steps Riverside

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day. It will always be exciting to read articles from other writers and use a little something from other web sites.


    May 5, 2021 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  17. personal group


    May 5, 2021 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  18. box truck maintenance near me

    I was very pleased to discover this web site. I need to to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and i also have you book marked to check out new information in your website.


    May 5, 2021 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  19. Best Prescription Sunglasses

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    May 5, 2021 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  20. RV Fiberglass Los Angeles


    May 5, 2021 at 5:35 am | Reply
  21. Kids Eye Doctor Near Me

    Right here is the perfect blog for everyone who would like to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that has been discussed for decades. Great stuff, just great!


    May 5, 2021 at 5:08 am | Reply
  22. truck and trailer repair shops

    Hi, I do think this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back yet again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    May 5, 2021 at 2:36 am | Reply
  23. BbshTows

    can you snort viagra https://loxviagra.com/ how much viagra should i take

    May 4, 2021 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  24. RV Remodel Riverside

    Having read this I believed it was extremely informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 4, 2021 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  25. dapoxetine

    dapoxetine pills for sale priligy usa

    May 4, 2021 at 10:00 am | Reply
  26. GtnbThivy

    low cost viagra https://jokviagra.com/ generic viagra online for sale

    May 4, 2021 at 9:25 am | Reply
  27. daftar situs judi slot online terpercaya deposit pulsa tanpa potongan

    My relatives every time say that I am killing my time
    here at web, but I know I am getting experience every day by reading such
    pleasant content.

    May 3, 2021 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  28. Rfvbcoers

    where can i buy cialis in canada http://cileve.com/ can you buy cialis without a prescription

    May 3, 2021 at 12:57 am | Reply
  29. Lhdvcoers

    purchase generic cialis http://asciled.com/ – cialis shelf life order cialis online cheap generic

    May 2, 2021 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  30. chloroquine price in india

    where to get chloroquine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquine tablet

    May 2, 2021 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  31. JbsdPleah

    canada viagra https://onlinecanda21.com/ canadian drugstore reviews

    May 2, 2021 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  32. cvs ed meds

    does erectile dysfunction end https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile booster method book

    May 2, 2021 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  33. Lhdvcoers

    levitra cialis http://asciled.com/ cialis side effects women

    May 2, 2021 at 11:16 am | Reply
  34. DarrenPsype

    "Everything is very open with a very clear description of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Thanks for sharing!"
    נערות ליווי בפתח תקווה

    May 2, 2021 at 7:14 am | Reply
  35. buying canadian cialis

    cialis at canadian pharmacy https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian pharmacy cialis no prescription

    May 2, 2021 at 6:49 am | Reply
  36. pfizer viagra canada pharmistry

    help me please find a place to buy viagra in canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ order generic viagra online canada

    May 2, 2021 at 1:09 am | Reply
  37. canadian generic cialis safe

    buy generic cialis, canadian https://canadacialisstore.com/ cialis canadian pharmacy

    May 1, 2021 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  38. Rfvbcoers

    canadian pharmacy cialis no prescription https://cileve.com/ – cialis 25mg canada voucher cialis index

    May 1, 2021 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  39. avanafil

    buy avana avanafil 50mg

    May 1, 2021 at 5:53 am | Reply
  40. GvdbThivy

    tadalafil and dapoxetine http://boxtadafil.com/ tadalafil canada online

    April 30, 2021 at 8:33 am | Reply
  41. erectile dysfunction treatment

    best erectile dysfunction medicine https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ topical erectile dysfunction

    April 30, 2021 at 3:43 am | Reply
  42. LrbsPleah

    cost of levitra vs viagra cheapest generic levitra levitra active ingredients

    April 28, 2021 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  43. LrbsPleah

    levitra and alchol sildenafil viagra vardenafil levitra and tadalafil cialis levitra cooper

    April 28, 2021 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  44. avanafil

    avana drug buy avanafil canada

    April 28, 2021 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  45. canadian customs pills vitamins

    canadian weight loss pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian?

    April 28, 2021 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  46. AbdgPleah

    Dilantin https://canadianeve21.com/ – Fincar canadian pharcharmy online fda approved

    April 28, 2021 at 8:18 am | Reply
  47. JbsdPleah

    Geodon http://onlinecanda21.com/ Tadalis SX

    April 28, 2021 at 7:50 am | Reply
  48. real estate for sale wallace idaho

    I blog quite often and I really appreciate your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    April 27, 2021 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  49. sildenafil discount price

    sildenafil generic prescription https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil from mexico

    April 27, 2021 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  50. BbdfTows

    when do you take viagra https://gensitecil.com/ – does the government fund viagra viagra duration

    April 27, 2021 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  51. buy sildenafil paypal

    sildenafil 80 mg https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ where to buy sildenafil

    April 27, 2021 at 7:51 am | Reply
  52. AbdgPleah

    us pharmacy no prior prescription http://canadianeve21.com/ – Avodart pharmacy northwest canada

    April 27, 2021 at 2:39 am | Reply
  53. FbsfPleah

    modafinil online pharmacy https://uspharmus.com/ Female Cialis Soft

    April 26, 2021 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  54. buying viagra in canada

    is it legal to bring viagra back to canada from mexico https://canadaviagrastore.com/ generic viagra cost walmart canada

    April 26, 2021 at 12:57 am | Reply
  55. Rfvbcoers

    buy cialis online in new zealand http://cileve.com/ cialis with no prescription

    April 25, 2021 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  56. Lhdvcoers

    cialis oline https://asciled.com/ cialis online

    April 25, 2021 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  57. Lhdvcoers

    ebay cialis https://asciled.com/ trial pack cialis viagra levitro

    April 25, 2021 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  58. FbsfPleah

    Clozaril https://uspharmus.com/ – canadian drugstore reviews Eulexin

    April 25, 2021 at 4:41 am | Reply
  59. JbsdPleah

    Doxycycline canadian pharcharmy meds online

    April 25, 2021 at 2:47 am | Reply
  60. how does vardenafil work

    staxyn (vardenafil) https://vegavardenafil.com/ buy vardenafil online without presciption

    April 25, 2021 at 2:21 am | Reply
  61. RV Bay Doors Near Me


    April 24, 2021 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  62. rv mechanics near me

    Everyone loves it whenever people come together and share ideas. Great website, continue the good work!


    April 24, 2021 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  63. Rfvbcoers

    cialis indien bezahlung mit paypal https://cileve.com/ where can i buy cialis online in australia

    April 24, 2021 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  64. BbdfTows

    buy viagra cheapest http://gensitecil.com/ – will 10 year old viagra work natural viagra alternative

    April 24, 2021 at 8:47 am | Reply
1 2 3

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.