Not my title - it's the title of a study by Fairleigh Dickinson University.
In the most recent study, the poll asked New Jerseyans about current events at home and abroad, and from what sources – if any – they get their information. The conclusion:
Sunday morning news shows do the most to help people learn about current events, while some outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who they don’t watch any news at all.
I am reminded of the maxim that just because a result is obvious doesn't mean it is not worth studying. After all, quantification of the magnitude of an effect is worth doing.
But the real finding is that the results depend on what media sources people turn to for their news. For example, people who watch Fox News, the most popular of the 24-hour cable news networks, are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all (after controlling for other news sources, partisanship, education and other demographic factors). Fox News watchers are also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news.
"Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News ...
More below the Orange Squiggle of Power.
New Jerseyans are not necessarily more likely to be knowledgeable about domestic politics than international events. Just 47% are able to identify the Occupy Wall Street protesters as predominantly Democratic: 11 % think they are Republicans. Viewers of cable news on MSNBC are the most likely to think the protestors are Republicans. Watching the left-leaning MSNBC news channel is associated with a 10-point increase in the likelihood of misidentifying the protesters.
To which I say, "WHAT left-leaning MSNBC would that be? The one that chased off Keith Olbermann but kept Joe Scarborough?"
I do not think that word means what Fairleigh Dickinson , bless his little symbolic heart, thinks it means. And I would say the correct answer may be "neither", but the question was
A large group of protestors has been camped out on Wall Street for the last couple of weeks. To the best of your knowledge, are these protestors mostly Republicans or Democrats?
and I suppose it is possible a majority of Occupiers would still self-identify as Democrats.
Anyway, the evidence is pretty clear. When asked objective questions, watching Fox makes you less likely to know truth. Fox lies. They are negative information.