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Digby comments on a topic which often comes up here at the Blog of Mass Destruction.....
I think this sort of thing is the natural outgrowth of the corporate media's "he said/she said" abdication of their duties to uncover the facts and lay out the truth. The Post Modern "dueling narrative" style they've adopted tracks quite nicely with the conservatives' propaganda needs, and it's now become so sophisticated that we have large swathes of people who no longer agree on even the most basic facts, much less the proper interpretation.
It's getting to the point where sorting out reality from fiction is going to become harder and harder even for those who are paying attention.
The dual narrative issue came up again because of another new study, this time by World Public Opinion. This is what WPO found....
...a new poll finds that 9 in 10 voters said that in the 2010 election they encountered information they believed was misleading or false, with 56% saying this occurred frequently.
90% of voters polled think they had "encountered...misleading or false...information" leading up to the election. Ya' think?
The new WPO study also concluded....in a shocker....that....
"Equally significant, the poll found strong evidence that voters were substantially misinformed on many of the key issues of the campaign."
"substantially misinformed".......here in free America? That's hard to ....umm.....believe. How about a few examples?.....
1-Though the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that the stimulus legislation has saved or created 2.0-5.2 million jobs, only 8% of voters thought most economists who had studied it concluded that the stimulus legislation had created or saved several million jobs.
2-Though the CBO concluded that the health reform law would reduce the budget deficit, 53% of voters thought most economists have concluded that health reform will increase the deficit.
3-Though the Department of Commerce says that the US economy began to recover from recession in the third quarter of 2009 and has continued to grow since then, only 44% of voters thought the economy is starting to recover, while 55% thought the economy is still getting worse.
4-Though the National Academy of Sciences has concluded that climate change is occurring, 45% of voters thought most scientists think climate change is not occurring (12%) or that scientists are evenly divided (33%).
Readers may recognize these four contentiously "debated" issues from postings and commenting that has gone on here and at Da King's site.
Conservatives who read and comment on the dueling-blogs of Ohio.com have insisted that their.....false.....take on the four above issues is, instead, the accurate take. This is America where we are free to believe in falsehoods if we want, of course.....but where do all these phony narratives come from, and why are those falsehoods promulgated?
From the WPO study.....
In most cases those who had greater levels of exposure to news sources had lower levels of misinformation. There were, however, a number of cases where greater exposure to a particular news source increased misinformation on some issues.
Those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe that most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely), most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points), the economy is getting worse (26 points), most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points), the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points), their own income taxes have gone up (14 points), the auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points), when TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points) and that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points). The effect was also not simply a function of partisan bias, as people who voted Democratic and watched Fox News were also more likely to have such misinformation than those who did not watch it--though by a lesser margin than those who voted Republican.
The Reverend doesn't need to review any new polls to know that what WPO concluded scientifically.....has been reality for quite awhile. When I write about how corrupt our corporate-whore media is.....I'm not kidding. It's real, and it's beginning to rival the old Soviet propaganda machine......or, Baghdad Bob.
By far, however, it is the anti-American, gusher of excrement which daily flows out of the Rupert Murdoch, Republican-promoting, sewer which has aided in the stupefying of American voters. Even Democratic voters are stupider for having watched Fox.
Just like in the case of Iraq.....when people are purposely misinformed repeatedly.....bad stuff happens. I don't think anything can be done about Fox's open sewer of stupid....but one thing I am sure of, more bad stuff will happen to America and American initiatives because of it.
The dumbing down of America....has consequences.