Do these morons actually watch Fox?

I was reading an interesting WaPo piece about the Obama transition when I saw this:

At the Labor Department building on Constitution Avenue, the new administration means that the TVs in the main lobby are now tuned to CNN after years of Fox News.

Do Republican federal bureaucrats actually watch Fox News? Personally, I would never hire someone who watched Fox News to do anything, cut my lawn, rotate my tires, whatever. And if there existed an equally stupid form of liberal media, I’d feel the same way about that.

Can it really be true that there are people making decisions about the Consumer Price Index and how we should calculate unemployment and all that who also think that Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy are on the up and up?






102 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Jake says:

    An entire post that’s a rhetorical question. Well done.

  2. 2
    John O says:

    The rot is incredibly well entrenched.

  3. 3

    Need to check the time stamps on our posts. I just got done blogging an EERILY similar thought over at Talking Points Memo. You’re seriously creeping me out. Check this:

    I gave up watching television news to avoid these idiots. Leaving a television on Faux News is akin to sleeping in a low-rent hotel with the door wide open and a bag of money in plain sight. No good can come of it.

    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsme.....-blogg.php

    Enjoy.

  4. 4
    cleek says:

    Can it really be true that there are people making decisions about the Consumer Price Index and how we should calculate unemployment and all that who also think that Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy are on the up and up?

    47% of the people who bothered to vote, voted for McThatPalinOne. so, um, yes. also.

  5. 5
    Jess says:

    OT, but I got a giggle from this report from Politico:

    “How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives?” Boehner asked. “How does that stimulate the economy?” Boehner said congressional Republicans are also concerned about the size of the package.

    I guess I have a dirty mind, and probably had too many martinis this evening…

  6. 6
    Walter Sobchak says:

    OVER THE LINE!

  7. 7
    TenguPhule says:

    “How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives?” Boehner asked. “How does that stimulate the economy?”

    Hard questions from a Boehner.

  8. 8
    Joshua Norton says:

    Republicans are also concerned about the size of the package.

    They usually are. See: Larry Craig (R-Third Stall Down)

  9. 9
    bago says:

    Ooh! a double dicking!

  10. 10
    Robin G. says:

    The final piece of the puzzle falls into place.

  11. 11
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    I feel a little bit like I am walking on eggs, around the people who think we can prosecute our way to better government …. and then get all tingly over what news channel people are watching.

    Um, just a suggestion. Cable tv doesn’t really influence that many people one way or the other these days. I think most people glance at it the same way I do …. to see what the weather is doing, and if there have been any plane crashes. Not much else is that compelling.

    Aren’t we about due for a Malkin post?

    I mean, it’s important to know what she is saying these days, isn’t it?

  12. 12
    amorphous says:

    Needs more "Assholes" tagging.

  13. 13
    JohnD says:

    Do Republican federal bureaucrats actually watch Fox News?

    Yes.

    I work at a government institution and my experience is that, in any common area with a TV on (like a cafeteria or lobby), at least one TV is always tuned to FOX news. Those of us on site for the inauguration got to see it on FOX.

    Hopefully, that’s going to change now.

  14. 14
    Incertus says:

    Can it really be true that there are people making decisions about the Consumer Price Index and how we should calculate unemployment and all that who also think that Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy are on the up and up?

    Only 14 comments in and already all the snark is used up. Fuck.

  15. 15
    Ninerdave says:

    Do Republican federal bureaucrats actually watch Fox News?

    Duh. How else are they supposed to insulate themselves from reality.

    SATAQ

  16. 16
    AnneLaurie says:

    Can it really be true that there are people making decisions about the Consumer Price Index and how we should calculate unemployment and all that who also think that Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy are on the up and up?

    In the peons’ defense, it was widely trumpeted that the C-Plus Augustus’ handlers always kept their sets tuned to Rupert’s Revenge, and peons survive by knowing what idiocy their "masters" are going to be promoting tomorrow. It’s the professional version of John Cole or the Sadlynauts reading Red State and its ilk.

  17. 17
    Anton Sirius says:

    To be fair, they may have just turned on the TVs in 2001 and been unable to figure out how to turn them off or change the channel for the next eight years.

    Remotes is HARD.

  18. 18
    Indylib says:

    You think the yahoos at the Labor Dept. watching Faux News all the time Shrub was in office is creepy, how about the thought that Faux News was usually what was on at Navy installations and ships during the Shrub admin. When my DH was on the USS Tarawa I always dreaded going into the Chief’s Mess because there were 2 large screen TV’s in a relatively small room, both oozing Faux News. It wasn’t ordered by the command or anything, anyone allowed in the mess who wanted to could change the channel whenever they wanted . My husband said the males would usually turn on Faux News and the females in the Mess would change over to CNN if they had a chance.

    For the first time I’ve been in the pharmacy area of the hospital at Naval Station Great Lakes in 8 years the television was on CNN instead of Fox. And behind the Quarterdeck desk today was a huge picture of President Barack Hussain Obama. I just stood inside the door and enjoyed it for a minute.

  19. 19
    Cain says:

    I’d have tuned it to C-SPAN. Who needs these talking heads suggestively telling us how to think? Assholes.

    cain

  20. 20
    TenguPhule says:

    Cable tv doesn’t really influence that many people one way or the other these days.

    Three Words. Missing White Woman.

    Cable TV rules the low information public’s world.

    Many of them sadly vote.

    So yeah.

  21. 21
    Fulcanelli says:

    Like Cheney’s tour rider insisting on his hotel room TV’s being set to Fox News before he checked in, look for the Obama Administration to stumble across a double super secret Executive Order or Directive in a filing cabinet or a concealed wall safe somewhere ordering this and other random propaganda stunts and stupidity throughout Federal office buildings in the coming months, along with only God fucking knows what else…

    There’s lot’s of good reasons why they’re dragging their feet confirming Holder, wait until they begin fumigating the Justice Dept. Didn’t I see somewhere recently that they found millions of those "missing" e-mails? And all that obsolete software and pc hardware the Obama posse is discovering is still in use. Lot’s of juicy informational tidbits will be discovered in the coming months, don’t touch that dial, er, remote!

    OT, but a prediction: Cheney will probably pass away from health problems during Obama’s first term to take his place in the 9th circle. Just a hunch.

  22. 22
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    So yeah.

    That explains how PallingAroundWithTurrists and ReverendWright got John McCain elected, I guess.

  23. 23
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    To be fair, they may have just turned on the TVs in 2001 and been unable to figure out how to turn them off or change the channel for the next eight years.

    I think that is the most likely explanation, well done.

  24. 24

    @Joshua Norton

    They usually are. See: Larry Craig (R-Third Stall Down)

    I wonder if my neighbors can hear how hard I’m laughing about this.

  25. 25
    mannemalon says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    That explains how PallingAroundWithTurrists and ReverendWright got John McCain elected, I guess.

    Point taken, but keep in mind McCain won 46% of the vote. Despite running as the successor to George Bush, and one of the most inept campaigns in history, when 90% of the country thought we were on the wrong track, against one of the most brilliant candidates ever. Some believed he wouldn’t even break 35%.

    46%.

  26. 26
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    McCain won 46% of the vote

    Well, two things. He lost by almost ten million votes, and by an electoral near-landslide.

    And, he didn’t get 46% of the vote because of Fox News. If Fox News ran the country, Teri Schiavo would be doing a morning talk show right now.

    Not … talking, but doing the show.

  27. 27
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Some believed he wouldn’t even break 35%.

    Some even bet on it, with you, er, I mean DougJ.

    But I predicted low forties for Johnnie, IIRC, and missed by a couple points. I had figured Barr and Nader for a couple more points than they got.

  28. 28
    MikeJ says:

    “How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives?” Boehner asked. “How does that stimulate the economy?”

    One forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days’ concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella’ could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.

  29. 29
    mannemalon says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    And, he didn’t get 46% of the vote because of Fox News. If Fox News ran the country, Teri Schiavo would be doing a morning talk show right now.

    Sure, but no one said Fox News ran the country. The point was that they do have substantial influence on our society, especially the so-called low information voter. If you consider the factors I previously listed, it only gives credence to this point. The same reason you, or whomever, truly believed the man wouldn’t break 35% of the vote.

    The initial point for you to make was that the people in question aren’t normally considered low information voters.

  30. 30
    bago says:

    @MikeJ: "We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls."

    I still don’t understand why you’d want to waste that in vegas.

  31. 31
    bago says:

    Preview didn’t show a word of my comment. Bug!

  32. 32
    Taylor says:

    Turn off the fucking television! I can’t go into a store or buy stamps in the post office without having that banality blared in my ear. And talk about being stuck at the airport and staff apologizing that they can’t turn down the volume….

  33. 33
    catdander says:

    Well, that’s just plain disgusting, but interesting, since practically every major office building and restaurant in this fine city I live in but which I refuse to call "home" has Fox News on in their lobbies or over their bars. It’s even in the fucking elevators and I’m not making that up and you can’t change the fucking channel either.

  34. 34
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @bago:

    I still don’t understand why you’d want to waste that in vegas.

    Much less Dallas. Which was actually even funnier.

  35. 35

    Can it really be true that there are people making decisions about the Consumer Price Index and how we should calculate unemployment and all that who also think that Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy are on the up and up?

    When you think about it this type of subtle brainwashing fits in perfectly with the rest of Bush’s Orwellian presidency. I bet they got their 2 minutes hate on with Megan Carlson every morning too!

  36. 36

    I would never hire someone who watched Fox News to do anything, cut my lawn, rotate my tires, whatever.

    Please don’t tell me DougJ is the Advice Goddess in drag.

  37. 37
    JL says:

    Can it really be true that there are people making decisions about the Consumer Price Index and how we should calculate unemployment and all that who also think that Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy are on the up and up?

    Not all decisions are good decisions!

  38. 38
    JL says:

    The real question should be, how long will it take O’Reilly to start whining?!

  39. 39
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Turn off the fucking television! I can’t go into a store or buy stamps in the post office without having that banality blared in my ear. And talk about being stuck at the airport and staff apologizing that they can’t turn down the volume…

    You need one of these. They work. :)

  40. 40
    gil mann says:

    And if there existed an equally stupid form of liberal media, I’d feel the same way about that.

    Well, there’s everything on Air America minus Rachel Maddow. Not exactly "stupid" per se, but I can’t think of a positive adjective for a network that showcases the wit and wisdom of Mark Green and Bob Shrum. At least hate speech has some forward momentum.

  41. 41
    Rosali says:

    I get Fox News second hand from my idiot boss. The latest was that Sen. Schumer was responsible for the USAir crash in the Hudson because he promoted a geese preserve near LaGuardia Airport.

  42. 42
    Gravenstone says:

    @JL:

    The real question should be, how long will it take O’Reilly to start whining?!

    Start?

  43. 43
    chopper says:

    @TenguPhule:

    he does love to dicker over the budget.

  44. 44
    p.a. says:

    Cable tv doesn’t really influence that many people one way or the other these days.

    PIPA poll on Iraq War beliefs based on news source

  45. 45
    Fr33d0m says:

    Like JohnD said. I retired from the AF in ’04 and common area televisions were commonly tuned to Fox–largely by a group of self impotent Repugnicons. I would often switch it to MSNBC every chance I got because I knew how much it pissed them off.

    Now I work for a contractor on that same base and the only news channel available on their televisions is Fox. Thats no more likely to change than the picture of Reagan on the bosses wall.

  46. 46
    p.a. says:

    "http://www.worldpublicopinion......t;>

    hope this works now. these function buttons are the suck.

  47. 47
    paragonpark says:

    "PIPA poll on Iraq War beliefs based on news source"

    The problem with such surveys is that they assume correlation equals causation. I’d suggest that it is far from likely that watching FOX causes people to support wars and far morel likely that people already inclined to support wars choose to watch FOX.

    Similarly, I don’t think that watching TV evangelists causes people to have fundamentalist religious beliefs so much as people with fundamentalist views choose to watch the evangelists.

  48. 48
    aimai says:

    We don’t watch any cable or broadcast tv at our house at all so I’m not used to it. When we travel by air and we end up trapped near the tvs that are on in aiports I realize why this country had descended into madness in the last eight years. The sheer volume of ugly ravings, of "your child at risk", of disaster reporting and the paucity of real historical or political insight was just stunning. Waiting by the gate to leave we were bombarded with fear mongering stories about disasters we couldn’t control that would imminently kill our families. Waiting by the carousel for our bags we were subjected to Glenn Beck’s ravings about how Obama was going to be Castro’s best friend. It has an effect on your subconscious and on your conscious mind. When my daughter was in the hospital I started just grabbing a chair and getting up on it and turning the TVs off. I figured if people wanted it on badly enough they would get up and turn it on. But they never do.

    aimai

  49. 49
    DougJ says:

    That explains how PallingAroundWithTurrists and ReverendWright got John McCain elected, I guess.

    They did get 47 percent of the vote.

    And as I recall someone made a bet that they would lose by more than Alf Landon did.

  50. 50
    jenniebee says:

    Personally, I would never hire someone who watched Fox News to do anything, cut my lawn, rotate my tires, whatever.

    If she was hot enough and kept her mouth shut, you’d let her rotate your tires. You know you would.

  51. 51
    David says:

    Half of the stories on David Frum’s website (the website that is supposedly rebuilding the Republican Party) are about Sarah Palin’s wardrobe/shopping spree flap:

  52. 52

    Am I the only one who thinks that CNN’s only a slight improvement?

  53. 53
    Jim Pharo says:

    You do realize that the entire political establishment over the previous 8 years watched nothing BUT Fox News, right?

  54. 54
    Jim Pharo says:

    You do realize that the entire political establishment over the previous 8 years watched nothing BUT Fox News, right?

  55. 55
    TCG says:

    Personally, I would never hire someone who watched Fox News to do anything, cut my lawn, rotate my tires, whatever.

    Hmm, you must live in one of those liberal coastal elites that I heard about during the campaign.

    For those of us living in Palin’s Real America, this is not a choice.

  56. 56
    Svensker says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    Am I the only one who thinks CNN is only a slight improvement?

    No. And frequently, when we want to watch "news", CNN is doing a story on the kinds of jets cricket team owners fly. We often watch Fox for headlines during those times. The old CNN had news, the new CNN is mostly celebrity fluffing.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Comrade Jake says:

    All of it’s garbage if you ask me. I mean, I challenge anyone here to listen to Lou Dobbs for more than ten minutes without throwing something at their teevee.

    The only news hour worth watching is the one on PBS.

  59. 59
    passerby says:

    Good Morning Balloon Juicers,

    There are 3 points I would like to emphasize:

    1.

    I’d have tuned it to C-SPAN. Who needs these talking heads suggestively telling us how to think? Assholes. (cain)

    2.

    We don’t watch any cable or broadcast tv at our house at all so I’m not used to it. When we travel by air and we end up trapped near the tvs that are on in aiports I realize why this country had descended into madness in the last eight years.(aimai)

    and last, but not least,

    3.

    Am I the only one who thinks that CNN’s only a slight improvement?(JDRhoades)

  60. 60
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Trouble is, CNN sucks too. New mindlessly reactive news same as the old mindlessly reactive news.

  61. 61
    Taylor says:

    Conservatively Liberal @ 39:

    We need to get the word out about these things…

    Time to fight back.

  62. 62
    passerby says:

    @Taylor:

    Conservatively Liberal @ 39:
    We need to get the word out about these things…

    Yes, and for me, it’s right up there with those cell phone jammers.

  63. 63
    Xenos says:

    MSNBC is fun, but I try not to mistake it for reality. Right now Kieth and Rachel are flogging the NSA surveillance story, and the rest of the media is walking right by it without a second glance. They don’t mind that the NSA spies on the media — it keeps the competition in check and toeing the line.

  64. 64
    DougJ says:

    Yes, it was pretty much Bush Administration policy to have all TVs tuned to Fox News.

    I guess so, based on that story. Crazy.

  65. 65

    I’m indebted to Fox News for giving me a practical use for the parental controls on my cable system.

    I block Fox News (and the 700 Club) with parental controls so I don’t accidentally watch them when channel surfing.

    If, for some reason, I do want to watch, it forces me to take a moment while I punch in the code to be sure my blood pressure isn’t too high.

  66. 66
    fliegr says:

    I realize the plural of anecdote is not data, but I’ve found that every time I talk politics with one of my fellow military members (something I try to avoid because I want to keep the rest of my hair) their limited information is sullied by all of the bullshit memes propagated by Fox and Limbaugh. So at least in our little corner of the pool the right wing media outlets do have an effect, and it ain’t positive.

  67. 67
    Mike in NC says:

    Bush Administration policy to have all TVs tuned to Fox News.

    Never saw anything in writing, but most military command centers I spent any time in between 2001-2008 usually had several TV monitors, and odds were that FOX was on the largest screen with the volume turned on. Watchstanders could change channels if they wanted to, but it seemed the default mode was FOX…

  68. 68
    Dave_No_Longer_Laughing says:

    First-hand knowledge…

    There are at least fourTV sets on when the news should be watched. C-SPAN, Fox, CNN and a local station usually are on.

    It is a good idea to see what is newsworthy, especially if you’re making the news.

    Now, if you RETARDS on this blog believe in your heart-of-hearts that Fox News is some sort of Republican propaganda vehicle and CNN is the Democrat’s, you folks need to get out into some fresh air.

  69. 69
    dmsilev says:

    @Dave_No_Longer_Laughing:

    Now, if you RETARDS on this blog believe in your heart-of-hearts that Fox News is some sort of Republican propaganda vehicle and CNN is the Democrat’s, you folks need to get out into some fresh air.

    Fox News being fair and balanced a few days ago.

    -dms

  70. 70
    Faux News says:

    Phoenix Woman is correct. There was clearly an unspoken policy that all TV’s in Federal facilities be tuned into my name sake. Especially military facilities. A friend of mine at Bethesda Naval Hospital told me the Pharmacy TV was always tuned into Fox News. I’m sure the retirees loved it.

  71. 71
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Now, if you RETARDS on this blog believe in your heart-of-hearts that Fox News is some sort of Republican propaganda vehicle and CNN is the Democrat’s, you folks need to get out into some fresh air.

    I believe half of that….

    I’m off to get halfway out into some fresh air.

  72. 72
    paragonpark says:

    "It is a good idea to see what is newsworthy, especially if you’re making the news."

    Yeah, I’ll grant you that in a "metanews" sense it is perhaps worthwhile to gauge what topics are getting the most or least relative play in various media. As long as you consider that information for whatever it may be worth rather than believing that the content of any of the media transmissions is truly more or less important because of the frequency or that the content from any of the media is accurate, it can do you little harm and might help you more effectively engage in your desired manipulation of the tools ( meant in both senses) the media provides.

    Pretty much 99% of everything on TV news and 99.9% of everything on the internet is crap. so long as you never forget that there is something to be said for knowing what people are saying. An understanding of what crap is reaching what audiences can aid understanding a little.

  73. 73
    Ash Can says:

    Now, if you RETARDS on this blog believe in your heart-of-hearts that Fox News is some sort of Republican propaganda vehicle

    We believe it because Rupert Murdoch himself has all but said that this is why he founded the network in the first place. If you honestly DON’T believe it’s a Republican propaganda vehicle, you’re not fooling anyone but yourself.

  74. 74

    @Dave_No_Longer_Laughing: Poor Laughable Dave. You’ve been such a loser for so long, but you were able to hide behind the lies Fox News kept spouting.

    Of course, the people you followed knew that, in the end, truth will out. They’ve planned all along to dump their useful idiots — that’d be *you* — when that day came. Now that it has come, your contemptible emasculation is on full, proud display.

    Idiot.

  75. 75
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    The point was that they do have substantial influence on our society

    Show me the data. I don’t know of any empirical reason to believe that. I have never seen anything even approaching proof that the supposed biases of operations like Fox are leading, rather than mostly following, their audience.

    The whole feedback loop based on ratings seems to support the idea that they are followers and not leaders.

    Also, their numbers are tiny. Cable news is watched by a small number of people and there is no evidence to support the idea that this small number is being led to any particular worldview, that I know of.

    Sorry, no sale. I’ve been watching this "issue" for fifty years now and I have zero reason to believe what you are asserting.

  76. 76
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    And Doug, are you commenting under other handles, to your own threads? Arguing with yourself or agreeing with yourself?

    Fine with me if you do, but I’d like to know about it.

  77. 77
    qkslvrwolf says:

    Just a quick one before I’m off to dinner:

    If you include military types among government bureaucrats (sp?), then yes, they do watch, they do care, and they predictably look stunned whenever they come out with what they believe is a crushing point and you just look at them blandly and say "you watch a LOT of sean hannity, don’t you?"

    Anyway…this is up to and including a lot of generals, at least in the air force.

  78. 78
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Well it seems possible that the blonde hair and pastel suits/miniskirts might be a factor too. ‘Specially when the sound’s turned off.

  79. 79
    Conehead says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    Not … talking, but doing the show.

    Win.

  80. 80
    northstar says:

    I used to work for subsidiary of UPS in Alpharetta GA, a 1/2 drive to the home of CNN. All of the TV’s in our break rooms on multiple floors were tuned to Fox, and that was during the 2004 race, which was horrible for someone who had moved from California. I could barely eat some days. If I changed the channel to CNN or anything else, someone changed it back to Fox. I remember my co-worker gleefully telling me how great the Iraqi’s had it, cause "they’re free now, you know?" Yep, I know…

  81. 81
    par4 says:

    3 hours of Wolf Blitzer and I’d confess to just about anything.

  82. 82
    J Royce says:

    CatHat asked:Show me the data. I don’t know of any empirical reason to believe that. I have never seen anything even approaching proof that the supposed biases of operations like Fox are leading, rather than mostly following, their audience.

    Fox News viewers are less informed;

    "As the researchers explained in their report, “The extent of Americans’ misperceptions vary significantly depending on their source of news. Those who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions. Those who receive most of their news from NPR or PBS are less likely to have misperceptions. These variations cannot simply be explained as a result of differences in the demographic characteristics of each audience, because these variations can also be found when comparing the demographic subgroups of each audience.”

  83. 83
    Jon H says:

    I think they should get rid of the TVs and set up network radios tuned into the BBC World Service. CNN blows.

  84. 84
    b-psycho says:

    Meh…not enough balance after all that FoxNews. Going from blatantly right-wing establishment to bland establishment that has a habit of disseminating right-wing fever swamp crap unscrutinized on occasion isn’t much.

    They should put the TVs on something TRULY super-lefty, like some station that airs shit like "Democracy Now!". I hear FreeSpeechTV is still around…

  85. 85
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Fox News viewers are less informed;

    The material presented seems to give no clue as to what the scope of the effect is and what measurable effect this has on any voting.

    I don’t see any useful information here, other than a general conclusion that the dumb people watch Fox, which is something that most of us would agree with. But it says nothing about cause and effect.

  86. 86
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    And as I recall someone made a bet that they would lose by more than Alf Landon did.

    Okay, this is the last time I am going to explain this to you. If you continue to use this point as a lie to snark me, I will be forced to fuck you with sharp stick for eternity.

    I made a bet with you, which I stated at the time was made mainly to find out where you would actually put your money where your mouth was. You bravely took me to 35%, showing really great confidence in the forthcoming Obama victory. i went there for sport.

    But my prediction of the outcome, which I made and revised but slightly several times leading up to the election, was pretty close to what actually happened. I predicted a point margin of ten or more, I think he actually did about 8 points. So I missed by two points, mainly on my misoverestimation of the Nader-Barr vote counts, if I remember correctly. Those two barely got a combined 1% I think, I had them at 4%.

    Also, just to clear up the business side, I asked several times for instructions as to how to pay you proceeds of the bet, and never received any response whatever that I know of. Just for the record. I did this on the list and on the blog.

    Bottom line here though, there is no evidence that Fox News has any particular effect on any voting by anybody, that I know of. If you think mentioning that you won a sporty bet with me on an election somehow overshadows the fact that peope are asserting something they pulled out of their asses and cannot prove, by pointing to a bet I made as if it has something to do with this question, then you are wrong.

    I know that you are quite capable of presenting the data to support a Fox-as-influencer assertion …. if there were any to present. So, trot it out please. Let’s see it. Show me the money.

    You might want for fun to take a look at the 1980 election. Fox News didn’t exist, there was a new and rather obscure thing called CNN, which wasn’t in love with Reagan that I recall. Reagan won by almost 10 points. Since then, taking 2008 as the end point, the swing has been almost 18 points toward Dem in the presidential vote count. Let’s see the data on how Fox was a factor in that shift?

    Take all the time you need.

  87. 87
    Ecks says:

    All I know is that the other day I saw a bumper sticker saying "don’t blame me, I voted for Palin," and now I need to know if there’s a word for laughing and crying at the same time.

  88. 88
    Ecks says:

    Bottom line here though, there is no evidence that Fox News has any particular effect on any voting by anybody, that I know of.

    As a social scientist, I want to know what that data would even look like? It’s a bit like saying "sure that hurricane was nasty, but can you prove that it was the water that it picked up passing over the Gulf of *Mexico* which destroyed your house?"

  89. 89

    Phoenix Woman is correct. There was clearly an unspoken policy that all TV’s in Federal facilities be tuned into my name sake. Especially military facilities. A friend of mine at Bethesda Naval Hospital told me the Pharmacy TV was always tuned into Fox News. I’m sure the retirees loved it.

    TZ and I even went to a McDonalds one day that had permanent tile on the outside that was painted in the form of a U.S. Flag, a "God Bless Our Troops!" sign in the dining area, a wall hanging plate in the kitchen painted with the likeness of Jesus and yes, Fox News was on the television.

    I’m not saying I’m getting involved in this argument, just stating what we saw on ONE TRIP to ONE McDonalds (we decided it was independently owned and operated).

  90. 90

    All I know is that the other day I saw a bumper sticker saying "don’t blame me, I voted for Palin," and now I need to know if there’s a word for laughing and crying at the same time.

    Confusion

  91. 91
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    As a social scientist, I want to know what that data would even look like?

    That’s what you think the question is? To me the question is, why do we talk and snark as if Fox has an effect on voting, absent any evidence (that I am aware of) that it does, or any measurement of its actual effect? Why do we take this for granted?

    Isn’t making those kinds of loosey-goosey correlation-causation errors exactly what we laugh at Fox viewers for doing?

    You are seriously comparing Fox news to the effects of a goddam hurricane as an analogy?

    Bull.Shit.

  92. 92
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    Oh sorry, I see the ‘social scientist’ thing. That explains it.

    Next, an economist will explain the relationship between Fox News and your paycheck.

  93. 93
    TheHatOnMyCat says:

    if there’s a word for laughing and crying at the same time.

    I would call that "dinner with my mother."

  94. 94
    Svensker says:

    To me the question is, why do we talk and snark as if Fox has an effect on voting, absent any evidence (that I am aware of) that it does, or any measurement of its actual effect? Why do we take this for granted?

    You see, Hat, there’s this thing. It’s called, if I can spell it right because it’s a BIG word, propaganda. Some people believe it influences other people. Maybe those people who think that are all crazy. Maybe not.

  95. 95

    You see, Hat, there’s this thing. It’s called, if I can spell it right because it’s a BIG word, propaganda. Some people believe it influences other people. Maybe those people who think that are all crazy. Maybe not.

    Propaganda is meant to influence, but whether it actually succeeds or not is not a given.

    Fox News had a lot of viewership right after 9/11. This is at the same time that about 2/3’rds of all cars on any American road had flags and Support Our Troops bumper stickers. It was a crazy time. As the war with Iraq unfolded, the WMD lies came to surface, the total fuck-up of Katrina, the Patriot Act and other such things occurred, those flags and ribbons and such started coming down, and Fox’s viewership suffered, until we were at the point over the last four years where we often cited the "28%ers".

    That’s not influence, that’s just a group of crazies who cannot influence an election without at least a third party candidate.

  96. 96

    that’s just a group of crazies who cannot influence an election without at least a serious third party candidate.

    Sorry, somehow I left a word out.

  97. 97
    Ecks says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat: Ok, let’s be more systematic:

    How do people form their decisions about who to vote for? Presumably they draw on what they know about the candidates, the issues, the parties, blah blah, and make some decision based on that.

    So if they have systematically wrong information about all of those things, you’d expect them to make a lot of dumb choices (say, voting republican).

    But where do they get that info from? Well, a lot from their friends and neighbors and people they meet. But most of those people don’t know anyone in Washington or Iran, or wherever the hot spots in the world are. That information tends to filter out through the media and the web. Where else?

    So then if the media are feeding systematically wrong info… there’s problems. Now can you isolate the exact degree of contribution from one media outlet? No, not really. You don’t know many of those people who listen believe a thing they are being told, or how many of those people who do believe the framing they are given then go on to tell all their friends and family members about it and influence them. And it will depend also on what OTHER information they are hearing, if it is contradictory, and if so, which they trust more (or which fits with their existing prejudices or whatever).

    So is there a real problem out there big enough to get excited about? Yes, it seems that an awful lot of Americans (a majority?) believe a lot of stupid and fucked up things about what is going on in their country and the world. In fact, they believe the exact same fucked up things that Fox (and Rush and co) are broadcasting.

    Ok, so correlation != causation. But what are the possibilities? Most Americans believe Ahmedinajad is crazy, so Fox picks that up and reports on it? Or maybe it’s just a spurious correlation, and Americans and Fox both independently come to this conclusion. But, nah, most Americans have no idea who he is until douchebag’s like Hannity tell them. So it seems reasonable to conclude that the misinformation and bogus issue-framings that Fox promotes really are informing a whole lot of people (directly and indirectly). Does this make sense as a plausible mechanism? Why yes, people commonly do watch Fox with the specific intent of learning what "news" is happening in the world, and will say fucked up things like "you can’t trust anything from CNN, only Fox tells the truth." I’ve heard people say this with my own ears.

    So can we know exactly, precisely, the effect Fox is having? That per hour of Hannity on the air, 13,537 Americans become .03 percent more misinformed? Nope, we can’t. But can we have a pretty good idea that the right wing noise machine (with Fox as its banner member) is having a significant influence on the discourse of a lot of America? Yep, seems quite likely. And can we determine that it’s enough to shift elections? Well there’s no way to PROVE that, unless you can make hundreds of identical copies of America and independently manipulate how many Fox broadcasts get sent out to each, but… it does seem like a pretty solid possibility. I would hazard that if Americans had been getting the straight dope on world affairs, Bush would have lost in 2004 by a record breaking margin, and Palin’s popularity statistics would be a number 4 year olds can count to without getting bored.

    Call it bullshit if you want, but it’s a pretty safe bet in mine.

  98. 98
    TheAssInTheHatOnMyCat(Formerly Comrade Tax Analyst) says:

    Point taken, but keep in mind McCain won 46% of the vote. Despite running as the successor to George Bush, and one of the most inept campaigns in history, when 90% of the country thought we were on the wrong track, against one of the most brilliant candidates ever. Some believed he wouldn’t even break 35%.

    If you take out the states where marrying your sister is a common practice then you would get much closer to 35%. Maybe a tick under 40%, I would guess.

    Genes matter.

  99. 99
    dog's eye view says:

    CNN is a problem, though, because it has been so dumbed down.

    Guess it’s not patriotic to turn to BBC America, but they often provide a better summary of US news, never mind world news.

  100. 100
    TenguPhule says:

    It was a crazy time.

    Yeah and guess who helped the crazy STAY ALIVE.

    Obama was a victory but the war remains.

  101. 101
    TenguPhule says:

    That explains how PallingAroundWithTurrists and ReverendWright got John McCain elected, I guess.

    About 40% of voters bought the bullshit.

    Not merely the lardasses at home, but the people who go out and vote.

    So yeah, we may not be so lucky as to have a good candidate and a suicidal opponent next time.

  102. 102
    F'in Librul says:

    Oddly enough, the channel tuned in at NASA centers varies by geography.

    Marshall shows one TV with CNN and one with Fox.
    Kennedy shows CNN and Fox.
    Johnson shows nothing but Fox.
    Ames shows nothing but CNN.

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