Fox News viewers less informed about current events, poll shows

Fairleigh Dickinson University recently questioned 612 adults in New Jersey about how they get their news, offering as options traditional outlets like newspapers and local and national television news, or blogs, websites and even Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

They then asked a series of factual questions about the major events of the last year, from the “Arab Spring” to the Republican race for president.

For example, respondents were first asked whether, opposition groups in Egypt had been successful in bringing down the Mubarak regime.

Among NPR listeners, 68% correctly said they had been; only 49% of Fox News viewers answered correctly.

In fact, the survey found, Fox viewers were 18 percentage points less likely to answer correctly than those who watched no news at all.

“The results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all,” said Dan Cassino, a political science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson.

Those who watched Sunday public affairs shows tended to be the best informed on current events, the survey found. Readers of national newspapers also were more likely to respond correctly.

O’Reilly Jokes About “Gay” Penguins “They Wear Tight T-shirts”

From Fox News – too busy to mention anti-gay bullying, but plenty of time to make stereotypical jokes about gay people.

On the November 17 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller discussed the story of Pedro and Buddy – two male penguins at the Toronto Zoo who behave much in the same way that a mated couple would behave. The “gay” penguins are expected to be separated in order to mate with females as part of a plan to “help the species populate.”

Unsurprisingly, O’Reilly and Miller could barely get a word out about the story before devolving into gay stereotypes and fits of childish giggling:

O’REILLY: In Toronto there’s a couple of gay penguins I believe.

And I think they’re in Canada legally but I’m not sure because they’re from the Arctic or Antarctica. Now the gay penguins, are they trying to make them straight or what are they trying to make them? What are they doing with those penguins?

MILLER: Well I don’t know but, first off, you can see in that opening shot they’re just like the kids in Zuccotti. They crap on the outside right on the rock. I don’t know. The one –


MILLER: The one gay penguin’s name is Pedro. And here’s my problem: has anyone seen papers on Pedro? Is he even here legally for God’s sake?

O’REILLY: That was my question. Wait they –

MILLER: Listen, Billy. How do you even know when a penguin’s gay? Is their corner of the penguin habitat inordinately tasteful?

O’REILLY: No, they wear tight t-shirts.

MILLER: Is it well done?

O’REILLY: I don’t know, I can’t say anymore. But they’re trying to – I think they’re trying to make these gay penguins mate with – I don’t know. It’s too confusing.

MILLER: Stop right there. All I know is who’s in a better position to participate in a gay marriage than two creatures who are perpetually dressed formal?

O’REILLY: God if we’re back here tomorrow, I’ll be stunned.

Fox News uses fake video to show “violence” in Wisconsin

TalkingPointsMemo points out that Fox News is using clips from a violent rally in Sacramento California when talking about the Wisconsin Union Protest. Just another blip in the long line of ethical violations Fox has to its name. Watch the video above.

Notice the B-roll footage in the background at the 1:42 point in the clip, complete with the calming backdrop of palm trees and… wait, there are palm trees in Madison, Wisconsin?

No there are not. But that’s because the footage comes from a solidarity protest in Sacramento, CA. Conservatives thought they’d found the clip that could undermine the entire pro-union movement.

Surprisingly, Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fair and balanced kids, fair and balanced.

Fox News switches results of poll

This morning, during a segment regarding the current protests happening in Wisconsin with that state’s Governor Walker working to strip workers of the right to collective bargaining, co-host Brian Kilmeade referenced a poll by Gallup in today’s USAToday in a discussion with Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman.

KILMEADE: Wow. But is President Obama out of step with history? Joining us now to debate it, knock it around just a little bit, Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman and Jim Glassman, Director of the Bush Center and author of the book Safety Net. First things first, Robert, do you think the president is taking a big risk here?

ZIMMERMAN: Not at all. I think he’s showing respect for history and respect for our history of supporting the rights and safety of workers, but more than that, he’s speaking for the mainstream of our country and the main stream of Republican governors that are not siding with Governor Walker in his efforts to overturn right to work — collective bargaining.

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? Sixty-one percent in favor of taking it away. Thirty-three percent oppose. Six percent up in the air. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/23/11]

The “network” even made a pretty graphic showing the “results” of the poll:

The problem was: the “network” switched the results. 44 minutes later, in the very last minute of the broadcast, Kilmeade corrected his misstatement saying a quick “I apologize.” Here’s the correct results of the Gallup poll:

I’m sure it was all just a silly error. I’m also sure I just saw a unicorn.