People who work at Fox News might like to think that they are
despised by real journalists only because they are conservative and most
journalists are liberal. Anyone who read the admiring obituaries of William F. Buckley Jr. in mainstream and liberal
outlets would know that is nonsense. Journalists, both liberals and
ones with no ideology in particular, are quite capable of respecting
conservative pundits and reporters who deserve their respect.
But Fox does not. The reason is not because it holds a set of values
that others may not share. And that is only partially because it claims
to be “Fair and Balanced” when it is neither.
Rather, it is because it fails the fundamental test of journalism: are you informing your audience? According to a new study
by Farleigh Dickinson University, Fox viewers are the least
knowledgeable audience of any outlet, and they know even less about
politics and current events than people who watch no news at all.
Respondents to the survey were able to answer correctly an average of
1.8 of 4 questions about international news and 1.6 out of 5 questions
about domestic affairs. “Based on these results, people who don’t watch
any news at all are expected to answer correctly on average 1.22 of the
questions about domestic politics, just by guessing or relying on
existing basic knowledge,” said Dan Cassino, the poll’s analyst.