by Sojourner Staff
BOSTON, MA – A poll conducted by Suffolk University on a Tweet by the President on the mainstream media’s alleged role as the “enemy of the American people” revealed that most respondents who identify as Fox News viewers agreed with the assertion, despite the fact that Fox News is part of the mainstream media, and the most watched cable news network in the United States.
The poll of 1000 people was conducted between March 1 and March 5 and revealed a significant disparity in the opinions of those who rely on other media outlets.
Respondents were asked whether or not the President’s statement was fair, which only a third did. They were then asked which news source they trusted the most, and the disparity among participants became much clearer.
There is a caveat to the results. Given the prominence of Fox News among other news outlets, many of the sources mentioned as the most-trusted among participants received only a few mentions. To make this clear, Suffolk University also provided a breakdown of the frequency that each of the identified outlets was mentioned.
There are also other reasons gleaned from past research by Pew on the demographics of major news networks. Fox News viewers tend to be more ideologically conservative than its main competitors, notably CNN and MSNBC. This suggests that it would make sense that the views of a Republican president would be reflected by a conservative/Republican audience. But what about accuracy?
An infamous 2011 interview with Jon Stewart, formerly of The Daily Show, on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Stewart claimed that polls show Fox News viewers were “consistently misinformed”. An effort by PolitiFact to fact-check Stewart’s claim revealed something different however.
In several studies conducted to investigate informed opinion among media consumers, some Fox programming, like The O’Reilly Factor, performed very well, boasting an audience among the most-informed. Ranking just below NPR and The Daily Show.
On the whole, however, Fox News Channel itself has been represented among the least-informed audiences.