Voice of the People: Misinformation Matters

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by James J. Devine

If you watch FOX news and feel informed then you might like to know that in several tests performed as part of survey research, FOX viewers are more likely to have their facts wrong.   For example, Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 but FOX viewers think it did.

Certain scientific facts (often called theories) are addressed as if they are in dispute when in truth, they are undisputed and confirmed as facts. Evolution and human contributions to climate change are among those.

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A television channel that advocates a clearly partisan political agenda and routinely misinforms viewers is not a news network.

Bill O’Reilly is as guilty in the murder of Dr George Tiller as the madman who pulled the trigger, because he virtually begged for someone to execute “Tiller the baby Killer” on the air 29 times.

The late U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan is often quoted for saying, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

FOX would have us alter the facts to fit their world view, but the nagging problem is that they are wrong. Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly and others are morally bankrupt pitchmen for an anti-American political agenda based largely on imagination and motivated by greed.

What makes America special is the value we place on equality — the freedom to be treated the same no matter how different we are — but fear, hate and division are the results of FOX indoctrination.

The ability to reason and make sound judgment elevates us above the animals, but FOX preys on our lower instincts to drive us away from our real values.

Islamophobia, anti-immigration policies, the war on Christmas, the threat of gay marriage and the incalculable harm done to affluent white men as a result of reverse racism are just a few of the emotional wedge issues used by FOX and their Republicans soulmates.

Ignorance and irrational zealotry are greater threats to freedom, democracy and prosperity than any of the trumped up ills denounced on FOX.

If you watch FOX and still feel well-informed then you are probably part of the problem confronting America and you should do some serious thinking (although you may be rusty at it) about tuning in to some alternative news sources.


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