Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly was boasting on his show about a Suffolk University Poll that cited Fox News as the “most trusted political news source”. Just on its face the idea that FOX News is the most trusted source for political news is absurd given their line-up of pro Republican opinion shows, conservative and pro republican anchors, and contributors. This includes but not limited to Fox and Friends, Glenn Beck, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristal, Britt Humes, Sean Hannity, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Anne Coulter, Michelle Maulkin, Dick Morris, Rich Lowry, Andrea Trantaros, Bernie Goldberg, and of course the mighty Bill O’Reilly.
Before we breakdown the actual numbers of the Suffolk University Poll, a few words about Fox News. Fox is absolutely in a class by itself compared to any other news channel. In its ongoing disregard for basic journalistic standards of fairness and its blatant right-wing ideological promotions, it is literally dumbing down the country. That’s not just this writer’s view: a study by the University of Maryland (“UMD”) found that Fox viewers were more likely to be misinformed than those who got their news elsewhere. What the study shows is a news organization putting their ideology over factual accuracy. It’s definitely not “news” and it absolutely not healthy for a functioning democracy when their viewership doesn’t question anything they report but instead swallows it whole.
In any event, let’s analyze the results from the Suffok University Poll that according to O’Reilly has Fox News “by far” taking the gold as the most trusted political news outlet. Let’s break it down – shall we:
According to the Suffolk University Poll, below is the list of networks used in the poll and their respective percentages for most trusted political news source:
FOX News – 28%
CNN – 18%
NBC – 10%
MSNBC — 7%
ABC — 6%
CBS — 6%
C-SPAN — 3%
SO there is 1 Conservative leaning news channels used in the poll: Fox News
BUT there are 5 Liberal leaning news channels: CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS
There is no question that a majority of the conservatives watch and trust Fox News- they have a monopoly on conservative viewership. In contrast, the liberal viewership above is spread over 5 different channels used in the poll. For the purposes of fair play, let’s assume that the liberal leaning viewers polled above had only ONE liberal channel to choose from:
FOX News: 28%
Liberal leaning cable news channel: 47%
(and if we split the “undecided” and “other” categories and exclude C-Span (3%): Fox 39% versus Liberal Leaning 58%)
Well, what do you know. It appears the liberal leaning channel trounces Fox News as most trusted. Bill O’Reilly’s ad nauseum claims of Fox as the “most trusted political news source” is not only absurd on it’s face it’s misleading taking into consideration the larger spread of liberal news channels to pick from. For the record O’Reilly, this writer doesn’t use or acknowledge “FOX News math”.