While Fox News has long been accused by leftists of spreading “disinformation,” one survey suggests that those who watch the network’s competitors are more likely to be misinformed.
According to The Washington Times, a survey carried out by the conservative Heartland Institute found regular viewers of CNN and MSNBC often hold inaccurate beliefs on a range of topics.
Those who watched Fox News better informed about debt and taxes
Conducted in the spring of 2021 among likely voters, the poll reported that relatively few respondents knew the total amount of America’s national debt.
However, those individuals who could name the correct figure were more likely to watch Fox News than either CNN or MSNBC.
What’s more, whereas 36% of Fox News viewers knew that the top marginal tax rate was between 30% and 40%, just 23% of CNN watchers and 22% of MSNBC viewers had the same information.
While 18% of Fox News watchers were aware that roughly 10% of Americans lacked health coverage in 2019, that figure dropped to 7% and 6% among those typically tuned in to CNN and MSNBC.
CNN viewers wildly overestimate number of African Americans killed by police
Another major area of concern was police shootings, with 25% of CNN viewers thinking that around 500 unarmed African Americans are killed by police annually.
Meanwhile, a police shooting database maintained by the Washington Post reports that only 148 unarmed black suspects were killed by law enforcement between the start of 2015 and January 25 of this year.
Justin Haskins is the Heartland Institute’s editorial director, and he told the Times that such misconceptions likely arise out of the narrative that CNN presents its viewers with.
“Why do they believe that? Is it because CNN tells them it’s 500 a year? No,” Haskin was quoted as saying. “It’s because CNN doesn’t tell them how many are being shot by police, but they’re coming to that conclusion because [of] the narrative CNN provides to its viewers.”
CNN lays off staff, cancels streaming service
Badly informed viewers isn’t the only problem that CNN has to contend with. Fox News reported last year that the online streaming service CNN+ was shut down less than a month after it launched due to low ratings.
What’s more, Fox News also reported late last year that CNN was forced to lay off staff, including politics reporter and editor-at-large Chris Cillizza.
My time at CNN was an absolute blast.
I got to work with smart and dedicated journalists every day.
I’m sad it’s at an end but also excited about what the future holds for me.
— Chris Cillizza (@ChrisCillizza) December 1, 2022
According to Forbes, CNN finished up last month with a daily average of only 629,000 prime time viewers compared with Fox News’ 1.945 million.