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Thread: Are Fox News viewers LESS informed?

  1. #11
    Member jefflab5's Avatar
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    I find this laughable. There was a yet another poll after the election about "fair" coverage of the election. Guess what the Communist news network (CNN) was first and Fox News came in second behind all the other mainstream media outlets. I'll stick with Fox and their brand of Kool- Aid, feel free to go drink the other networks Kool- Aid, if you wish it is a free country after all.

  2. #12
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    I believe that the most insidious consequence of the growth of the Luddite Right has been its belief that all science is political.

    The growth of this country into a world superpower during the 20th century was primarily the result of our pragmatic belief in scientific method, engineering prowess, and a commitment to make things work. Now we define our conclusions first, attack anyone who disagrees, and listen only to evidence that supports our particular view. We use the careful language of scientific method -- which abhors statements of certainty because they blind us to contrary evidence -- as an argument to discredit science altogether. "How can you believe the theory of evolution?" our Luddites say, "My grandmother doesn't look like an ape and I didn't see anything evolve today. It's all a lie."

    One of my professors in graduate school was fond of saying that personal experience is not statistically significant. It's an important thing to remember. It doesn't say that one should surrender common sense and critical judgment, but one must be willing to submit hypotheses (another word for beliefs) to analysis. Scientific method says that we must be willing to be most critical of those things we believe in most strongly because those are the centerpieces of our intellectual blindness.

    If Rush Limbaugh had been in charge of the department of science, the world would still be flat with the sun circling around it. FOX News would be reporting the allegations of Newton and Galileo derisively, stating that the next crazy person would probably try to sell you a trip on a flying machine. MSNBC in turn would be championing Newton for having cured gravity.

    At some point, one either has to be prepared to subject one's beliefs to scientific testing or climb into the grave pulling our whole country in behind you. It seems to me, once again, that the Luddite Right has decided that it is better to be dead than read (pun fully intended).

    Before one reacts too quickly, I have and will say the same thing to knee jerk liberals. When I first started work as a government policy analyst in 1973, I found that I almost had to prove a program was evil before it would be stopped. There was a presumption made that if the objectives were charitable and good the program must be good as well. Millions were wasted. With the types of arguments we routinely have on this board and in our most recent election, my fear is that if we all saw a drowning man, one group would set out to build a giant ship while the other argued that the man got himself into trouble and should get his own self out. The man would die, and everyone would breath a sigh relief because our opinions would be left safe and sound.

  3. #13
    Senior Member JS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Johnson View Post
    As a researcher, I am absolutely dependent on statistics. Maybe you would like to discuss statistical methods.

    PS I am an expert in statistics. On the other hand, I am just an armchair politician (in other words, my political opinions may not be logical).
    Well, I was a Psych major. Aced everything BUT Stat. (can you say BOOOORRRRRING . )
    So we won't be discussing statistical methods but given an adequate ration of liquid refreshment, we might have an interesting dialogue on WHY people view things as they do.

    JS
    “Don’t wave your phony patriotism in MY face! If you really love America, open your wallet and hire an American kid to build what you buy. Think of all our problems that might solve.” Doug Fraser (paraphrased) 1980

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  4. #14
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    What its prominence suggest, and what all science confirms is that the dog is a creature of the nose- A. Horowitz.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    This is old news. Is anyone surprised that those on the right don't believe a University of Maryland study?
    For starters, it's not a University of Maryland study. It's a study by World Public Opinion.Org. They're affiliated with the Univ. of Maryland's PIPA program. They're funded by the previous who's who list of liberal organizations I provided.

    Those on the right, please enlighten me how these particular results of this study were "biased".(An excerpt from a newspaper article on the study)
    No, it wasn't a newspaper article. It was an editorial column. You do know the difference don't you? I'm sure you do. Perhaps that's why you took out the first and last paragraphs of the column which were heavy with overt editorializing. I'm sure you'd get a good chuckle out of me using a Rush Limbaugh editorial as evidence supporting one of my opinions. Just as I got a good laugh at you trying to fob off an editorial as legit news that supported the veracity of a study prepared by a very liberal public opinion organization.

  6. #16
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    Paul, Thanks for the thoughtful response.

    I agree that the wording of questions can bias results. Are the three questions in their survey biased from your point of view?

    You seem to be questioning whether there were WMDs found or not. Technically you are correct that some items were found but not the "stockpiles".

    While I totally agree that a more direct investigation could be done to answer the research question about Fox news, the purpose/objective of this study was not to prove or disprove anything about Fox news specifically. Here are the questions the researchers were trying to answer
    • How widespread are these misperceptions? Are they clustered in a constant minority or does a majority have at least one key misperception?
    • How have these misperceptions related to support for the decision to go to war and subsequently?
    • Do these misperceptions vary according to whether they get their news from print media or a particular television network?
    • Is the problem that Americans simply do not pay enough attention to the news? If they pay more attention, does this reduce the likelihood of misperceptions? Does this vary according to their news source?
    • Is the problem one of bias—of one seeking out information to confirm political predilections? Do levels of misperception vary according to party identification or feelings about President Bush?

    To answer these and other questions we developed a more systematic set of questions that were included in a series of three polls, conducted over June through September, with a total of 3,334 respondents. This was combined with the findings from four other polls conducted January through May for a total data set of 8634 respondents.
    The polls were fielded by Knowledge Networks using its nationwide panel, which is randomly selected from the entire adult population and subsequently provided internet access. For more information about this methodology, go to www.knowledgenetworks.com/ganp.
    Funding for this research was provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation.
    Go ahead and discount the results of this study as "biased" because they were observational but the results are statistically defensible. 67% of survey respondents that cited Fox news as their primary source believed there was a connection between Saddam and Osama. 16% of survey respondents that listed NPR and PBS believed there was a Saddam-Osama connection.
    How specifically are these two results biased by the way this survey was designed and conducted and isn't there a significant difference in these results from a statistical viewpoint?

    Is this a discrete enough example?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    I believe that the most insidious consequence of the growth of the Luddite Right has been its belief that all science is political.
    I am not sure were the Luddites fit into this.

    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    "How can you believe the theory of evolution?" our Luddites say, "My grandmother doesn't look like an ape and I didn't see anything evolve today. It's all a lie."
    This argument would have been more powerful if you used another faction such as 'an acquaintance.'

  8. #18
    Senior Member Steve's Avatar
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    Why don't people on the right believe studies on global warming.

    4 main reasons I have

    Every solution involves more government control

    No one has ever been to explain the natural variation in Climate that has resulted in numerous ice ages over the years

    The religious fervor that environmentalists have

    The attempt to squash debate leads me to believe the data will not hold up under scrutiny.

    In summary, I do not trust the left.
    Kelly, Weis, Willingham, & Davies

  9. #19
    Senior Member Bob Gutermuth's Avatar
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    I think a lot of it is jealousy. Fox news consistently beats PMSNBC and the other drive by cable news outlets handily.
    Bob Gutermuth
    Canvasback Chesapeakes
    ROLL TIDE!

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry V View Post
    Go ahead and discount the results of this study as "biased" because they were observational but the results are statistically defensible. 67% of survey respondents that cited Fox news as their primary source believed there was a connection between Saddam and Osama. 16% of survey respondents that listed NPR and PBS believed there was a Saddam-Osama connection.
    How specifically are these two results biased by the way this survey was designed and conducted and isn't there a significant difference in these results from a statistical viewpoint?

    Is this a discrete enough example?
    The problem that I see with this is that FOX News has done very little reporting on a "Saddam-Osama" connection while NPR and PBS have spent a considerable of time reporting that there was no "Saddam-Osama" connection (most likely in an attempt to discredit President Bush). If NPR and PBS spent the same amount of time discussing this subject as FOX News, would the results be different? Furthermore, does a person's lack of knowledge about one subject mean that person lacks knowledge about other subjects?
    Last edited by Paul Johnson; 11-07-2008 at 02:33 PM.

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