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Doocy skews skewed viewership to "prove" FOX is fairandbalanced

Reported by Chrish - August 18, 2008 -

FOX and Friends crowed today 8/18/08 over the Pew Research results about cable viewers political leanings, twisting the findings to "prove" that FOX News is indeed fairandbalanced. Numbers are such malleable things, aren't they?
With video.

Steve Doocy read off the select results and concluded that because there is a more even distribution of viewers of different parties, FOX must be more f&b - failing to inform viewers of some salient observations from the researchers.


From the Pew Research article (emphasis mine):

"Another area where the cable and network news audiences differ is in their political orientation. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to regularly tune into nightly network news shows, while similar numbers of Republicans and Democrats regularly watch cable TV news. However, not all cable audiences are alike, and there have been changes in the partisan profile of the various cable news networks just in past two years.

News Audiences More Democratic (Note: see related article at NYTimes)

The general public has become more Democratic since 2006, and this is reflected in the audiences for leading TV news outlets. The audiences for CNN and MSNBC, which were heavily Democratic two years ago, have become even more so: fully 51% of CNN's regular viewers are Democrats while only 18% are Republicans. MSNBC's audience makeup is similar - 45% of regular viewers of MSNBC are Democrats, 18% are Republicans.

The regular audience for nightly network news also is now about two-to-one Democratic (45% vs. 22% Republican). In 2006, 40% of the regular viewers of nightly network news were Democrats compared with 28% who were Republicans.

The regular audience for the Fox News Channel continues to include more Republicans than Democrats. Currently, 39% of regular Fox News viewers are Republicans while 33% are Democrats; in 2006, the margin was 38% to 31%."

So, looked at another way, FOX has a disproportionate number of Republican viewers, and we can conclude that is because they are NOT fairandbalanced but rather present a skewed perspective that reinforces their ideology. And speaking of ideology, the article continues:


"Two Fox News Channel talk shows, Hannity & Colmes and The O'Reilly Factor, also have highly conservative audiences. Hannity & Colmes is viewed regularly by 7% of the public; among the show's regular viewers, 68% describe themselves as politically conservative. The O'Reilly Factor with Bill O'Reilly is the most widely viewed talk show included in the poll: 10% of the public watches this show regularly and another 19% watch sometimes. Roughly two-thirds of O'Reilly's regular viewers are conservatives, while a mere 3% describe themselves as liberals."

Sorry, Doocy, nothing is "proved."