Tuesday, November 27, 2012

CONFIRMATION BIAS (and why Fox News is a joke)

Another indicator that Fox News viewers are inclined to watch Fox News so that they can hear what they want to hear is what happened on election night three weeks ago. Check out what happened to Fox News' viewership from 10 pm (EST) to midnight, right after President Obamas reelection was announced ...

As you can see, viewership remained steady on the other cable networks right after President Obama was declared the winner. But viewership dropped like a rock for Fox News.

Because Fox News viewers were fed a steady dose of "Mitt's going to win because the polls are skewed" nonsense it should come as no surprise that they might be disappointed after the election was called for President Obama.

The reasoning is simple. Fox News viewers are so used to getting what they want from Fox News' brand of junk journalism that many of them really have no interest in dealing with reality. They were lied to, but it didn't matter. They wanted to believe Mitt Romney was going to be elected president.

So, like the spouse that is lied to on a regular basis, they bought the lies Fox peddled because it kept the illusion that is their world alive.

To be sure, a rumor making the rounds is that Fox News actually believed that Mitt Romney was going to win because Karl Roves had prepared to fix the election (but was stopped by "anonymous"). So Fox News was not really misleading their viewers (at least about what Fox News expected to happen).

Whatever the case, none of this should be news to anyone outside of the Fox bubble. Fox News viewers are regularly ridiculed for being the least informed viewers in America, on a number of topics.

It's no secret that, compared to other cable networks, a higher number of Fox viewers believe many things that simply are not true ... President Obama is not a citizen ... President Obama is a Muslim ... weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq ... most scientists can't agree on climate change ... "death panels" will make Obamacare life or death decisions ... President Obama is to blame for the budget mess ... etc.

The tendency to embrace only what you want to see or hear is called confirmation bias. Fox News understands this and does their level best to feed their audience what they want to hear. In the process it makes them money, and supports Roger Ailes' political agenda.

At the end of the day, one thing is clear: Fox News is a joke.

- Mark 

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