Earlier this morning, Fox broadcast the results of a USA Today/Gallup poll on whether Americans believe their states should take away collective bargaining rights for public sector unions.
As you can see from the chart on the right, the poll showed that the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose union-busting, with 61% against taking away collective bargaining rights and only 33% in favor.
But that's not what Fox told their audience. In fact, Fox claimed the poll showed Americans supported union-busting. To accomplish this, they simply reversed the numbers. As you can see in the screenshot at the top of the post, they claimed 61% supported taking away collective bargaining rights and just 33% supported it. That, of course, is a mirror image of the truth.
This wasn't just some simple Chyron slip, an example of fat-fingering on a live broadcast. Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade also used the fake numbers as evidence to take the side of union-busters, claiming most Americans sided with Walker's position, not against him.
KILMEADE: I think Gallup, a relatively mainstream poll, has a differing view. And here is the question that was posed, should you take away--will you favor or are you in disfavor of taking away collective bargaining when it comes to salaries for government workers? 61% In favor of taking it away. 33% oppose.
Except the numbers were exactly the opposite. Who knows if Fox deliberately distorted the numbers or they simply could not imagine a scenario in which their side was getting trounced so badly in public opinion and thought they were "correcting" a mistake in the poll. Either way, as far as connection to reality is concerned, it shows they have about as much interest in what's actually going on in Wisconsin as if they had put up a scoreboard showing the Steelers had won the Superbowl and then praised them for winning their third Lombardi trophy since 2005.
Now, I'm sure Fox and Kilmeade will claim they did nothing wrong. After all, at the very end of the Fox & Friends broadcast, he took a few seconds to offer a brief correction. And if it were a one-time mistake, it would be reasonable to accept that it wasn't anything more than an honest slip.
But this wasn't a one-time mistake. Things like this happen all the time at Fox. Even though they sometimes issue brief corrections at the tail end of broadcasts, the network as a whole has become a reality distortion field unparalleled by anything else in the broadcast media universe. Everybody screws up every now and then, but as far as ideological propaganda goes, Fox simply has no equal. It can be entertaining, but as far as substance goes, it's a total joke.