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Fri Oct 11, 2013, 04:20 PM

Now I Understand Why People Believe What They Hear on Fox News….

http://sheilakennedy.net/2013/10/now-i-understand-why-people-belive-fox-news/

Ever wonder why people don’t recognize when “news” reports are blatantly, obviously incorrect, improbable or impossible? Or wonder why anyone in his right mind would vote for Michelle Bachmann or Louis Gohmert or Ted Cruz?

My working thesis is that folks who don’t know anything–who are hazy about history, have no clue about how government functions and have only the most tenuous connection to the Constitution–simply have no context within which to judge the reasonableness of assertions that more knowledgable people simply laugh at.

Recently, Bill Maher cited a study showing that fewer than 17% of incoming college freshmen knew what the Emancipation Proclamation was (he described the incoming class as “Basically, golden retrievers with smartphones”). Unfortunately, we have a lot of studies that conclude we don’t know anything. And the hits keep coming.

As if we needed even more evidence of Americans’ abysmal lack of knowledge, here are the results of yet another survey I stumbled across:

-snip-

2. 55% of Americans believe that Christianity was written into the Constitution and that the founding fathers wanted One Nation Under Jesus. This includes 75% of Republicans and Evangelicals. [source]

-snip-

7. When looking at a map of the world, young Americans had a difficult time correctly identifying Iraq (1 in 7) and Afghanistan (17%). This isn’t that surprising, but only a slim majority (51%) knew where New York was. According to Forbes and National Geographic, an alarming 29% couldn’t point to the Pacific Ocean. [source]

8. 25% of Americans were unable to identify the country from which America gained its independence. Although 19% stated that they were unsure, Gallup findings indicated that others offered answers varying from France to China. Older folks scored much better than young people on this question, as a third of those 18-29 were unable to come up with the correct answer. [source]

-snip-

11. A surprisingly high percentage of Americans, 20%, believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth, instead of the opposite, aka the correct answer. This is despite the fact that centuries of science have consistently proved otherwise. [source]

-snip-

14. 2006 AP polls showed that a majority of Americans were unable to name more than one of the protections guaranteed in the first Amendment of the Constitution — which include speech, assembly, religion, press and “redress of grievance.” Just 1 in 1000 could name all of these five freedoms. However, 22% were able to come up with the name of every member of the Simpson family. [source] TC mark

And we wonder why we elect buffoons to high office.

Just kill me now.

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply Now I Understand Why People Believe What They Hear on Fox News…. (Original post)
highplainsdem Oct 2013 OP
spanone Oct 2013 #1
lpbk2713 Oct 2013 #2
Whisp Oct 2013 #3
steve2470 Oct 2013 #4
Warpy Oct 2013 #5
dougolat Oct 2013 #6
freshwest Oct 2013 #7
Dpm12 Oct 2013 #8
BlueJazz Oct 2013 #9
napkinz Oct 2013 #13
yuiyoshida Oct 2013 #21
BlueJazz Oct 2013 #24
yuiyoshida Oct 2013 #25
Qutzupalotl Oct 2013 #10
dmr Oct 2013 #14
Dark n Stormy Knight Oct 2013 #34
Jamaal510 Oct 2013 #11
Snake Plissken Oct 2013 #16
tomm2thumbs Oct 2013 #20
Triana Oct 2013 #12
ErikJ Oct 2013 #28
Bernardo de La Paz Oct 2013 #15
Jackpine Radical Oct 2013 #23
GP6971 Oct 2013 #27
Brigid Oct 2013 #17
FSogol Oct 2013 #18
tomm2thumbs Oct 2013 #19
yuiyoshida Oct 2013 #22
LineLineLineReply !
LukeFL Oct 2013 #30
tomm2thumbs Oct 2013 #32
yuiyoshida Oct 2013 #33
JoeyT Oct 2013 #41
elehhhhna Oct 2013 #26
LukeFL Oct 2013 #29
Cleita Oct 2013 #31
Victor_c3 Oct 2013 #35
MindPilot Oct 2013 #37
JoeyT Oct 2013 #42
MarchemintotheSea Oct 2013 #36
RandiFan1290 Oct 2013 #38
MarchemintotheSea Oct 2013 #39
Fortinbras Armstrong Oct 2013 #40
RadiationTherapy Oct 2013 #43
awoke_in_2003 Oct 2013 #44

Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 04:21 PM

1. k&r...

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 04:23 PM

2. Golden retrievers with smartphones




I hate to say it but that's not too far off base from what I have seen.


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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 04:24 PM

3. ...golden retrievers with smartphones

 

omg that is so sad and true. This is not by accident either - it's taken a long time to breed these things, on purpose.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 04:26 PM

4. way too much pride in ignorance in this country nt

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 04:28 PM

5. Individuals are shockingly stupid

but when they come together in collaborative groups, say on the job, they get a bit smarter. That's how this highly technological society keeps running to support all the dimwits.

This has been going on forever, my college professor grandpa (born 1870) saying that most of his students graduated with the degree of A.S.S.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 04:45 PM

6. The point, I guess, of the film "Idiocracy"

Kids respond well to a rich environment, but with too much of the "rich" being hoarded, they often don't even get much attention: call it devolution.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 04:53 PM

7. The Idiocracy is the Singularity. Yeah...



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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 05:01 PM

8. I also read a study that showed

that as much as 75% of Americans could not find the United States on a map. Just like what Morgan Spurlock said on "Super Size Me", that we aren't just the fattest nation in the world, we are becoming the stupidest. BTW, by Simpson family, does the thing the TV show?

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 05:08 PM

9. I have lots of wonderful friends here but I'm not sure I can take it anymore.

 

AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #9)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 06:20 PM

13. it's a gift with some people









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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #9)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 07:11 PM

21. That is the first thing I thought of with this

posting. How long ago was that? It probably has become worse.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #21)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 07:48 PM

24. Most of us on/at DU are friends with fairly intelligent people. We tend to forget that there is..

 

...a dark side out there. Scary.

You wonder how it is to know almost nothing about everything !

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #24)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 07:52 PM

25. I learn something new here every day...

I like that about this place...

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 05:24 PM

10. Plus Fox News is on in lots of businesses

—ones I try not to patronize, but lots of other people don't have that policy. If they hear something repeated enough times, they start to believe it.

I think what sways them more than the selective facts is the emotion, the faux outrage; after all, if they're just making this stuff up, why are they so upset? It must be true!

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Response to Qutzupalotl (Reply #10)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 06:21 PM

14. That's very true.

Leading up to the 2008 election I had a neighbor tell me that Fox News wouldn't and couldn't lie. She believed that lying was against the law.

She was a hard nut to crack, but I spent a good deal of time showing her where she could find truths and accuracies so she could make up her own mind.

She & her husband said they voted for Obama.

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Response to dmr (Reply #14)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 03:26 AM

34. I guess she never heard about this lawsuit:

The Media Can Legally Lie
By Mike Gaddy

In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.

Back in December of 1996, Jane Akre and her husband, Steve Wilson, were hired by FOX as a part of the Fox “Investigators” team at WTVT in Tampa Bay, Florida. In 1997 the team began work on a story about bovine growth hormone (BGH), a controversial substance manufactured by Monsanto Corporation. The couple produced a four-part series revealing that there were many health risks related to BGH and that Florida supermarket chains did little to avoid selling milk from cows treated with the hormone, despite assuring customers otherwise.

-snip-

Fox executives and their attorneys wanted the reporters to use statements from Monsanto representatives that the reporters knew were false and to make other revisions to the story that were in direct conflict with the facts.

-snip- When they refused and threatened to report Fox's actions to the FCC, they were both fired.

Akre and Wilson sued the Fox station and on August 18, 2000, a Florida jury unanimously decided that Akre was wrongfully fired by Fox Television when she refused to broadcast (in the jury's words) “a false, distorted or slanted story” about the widespread use of BGH in dairy cows.

-snip-

In a stunningly narrow interpretation of FCC rules, the Florida Appeals court claimed that the FCC policy against falsification of the news does not rise to the level of a "law, rule, or regulation," it was simply a "policy." Therefore, it is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly.

During their appeal, FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre’s claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 05:41 PM

11. How could any American not know where

the Pacific Ocean is, let alone New York?

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Response to Jamaal510 (Reply #11)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 06:55 PM

16. It could be worst



some can't count to 100

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Response to Snake Plissken (Reply #16)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 07:05 PM

20. love it


Obviously it should read 67 percent, not 60 percent back Romney

bwhahahah

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 06:13 PM

12. And that tells you why the GOP can't stand "intellectuals" or decent public education. n/t

 

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Response to Triana (Reply #12)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 08:05 PM

28. That's why they are one of the first to be targeted for execution in totalitarian take overs.

 

Like Pol Pot who targeted anybody wearing glasses!

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 06:52 PM

15. Are people deliberately pretending to be stupid for pollsters?

Sure, there are people who don't know these basics; they show up on that TV show all the time.

But lots of people do not like pollsters. Are they deliberately giving faux answers?

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #15)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 07:19 PM

23. Not Faux answers at all.

FOX answers.

Sometimes it's just too easy.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #15)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 08:01 PM

27. Probably not

They have no sense of history or tradition

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 07:00 PM

17. I guess "Idiocracy" really is a documentary after all.

And this is not sustainable.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 07:04 PM

18. Miss Teen South Carolina was right about the US's crippling shortage of maps!

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 07:04 PM

19. 20% of Americans believe the Sun revolves around the Earth


THAT alone should scare everyone

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Reply #19)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 07:15 PM

22. omg! Where does that leave the MOON???

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #22)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 08:12 PM

30. !

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #22)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 10:03 PM

32. you mean that big round hunk of cheese?

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Response to tomm2thumbs (Reply #32)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 10:15 PM

33. Yes everyone knows

Cheese will melt on the earth, and than we will all be up to our chests in Cheese! OH NO...it will put dairies out of business!!


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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #22)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 07:03 AM

41. Revolving around the Earth with the rest of the Universe.

An amount of ignorance that takes some doing when we live in an age where we have satellites and deep space telescopes.

I wonder if the people that believe that keep trying to prove it with a space program, but their astronauts they send to the moon keep unwittingly becoming deep space probes for some reason.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 08:01 PM

26. Also, we were brought up watching our parents watch the news, read the papers

 

(many of us, anyway) and hearing the benefits of a free press in our public schools during history class. I grew up respecting the press and believing much more than appropriate. Until I was interviewed by a nationally known columnist who got super drunk then fabricated quotes galore to me. I was ~22 years old. I became a much more careful and discriminating reader after that.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 08:05 PM

29. Wow!

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 08:18 PM

31. I always found the sellers of mental Kool-Aid made emotional

appeals to the prejudices of their followers. Scapegoating and other methods of showing them who was supposedly responsible for their problems always works on the uninformed and fearful.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 04:43 AM

35. I wonder how many people just answer the questions falsely even though they know the answer

because they think it is funny or something. I could see myself doing that. In fact, I spend a big chunk of my time at work making people think I'm an idiot.

I'm a chemist and whenever various big-wigs walk through our lab I point out the flux capacitor (our mas spectrometer) and the anti-matter chamber where we make our dilithium crystals (our scanning electron microscope). I point out how we ramp up the energy through our flux capacitor to 1.21 gigawatts and then make a up a bunch gibberish about antimatter, capacitor drives, etc. It's amazing that most people don't know that I'm just making up shit that I heard from various science fiction things I saw as a kid.

I also make up my own names for the elements. I'd assume that everyone knows Fe is iron, but I go on and call it feronium I call Ag aginium, Au is aunium, Si is silver, S is silicon, etc.

It's amazing how many people will believe anything/everything you say if you act like you know what you are talking about.

Anyways, if someone were to ask me if I thought the bubonic plague in the middle ages was actually an attempt by aliens to wipe out the human race on earth I'd probably say "sure, why not". Or if someone asked me if I though the earth was 6,000 years old I'd probably also say "sure" too.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #35)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 05:32 AM

37. Yeah, I would think I was being pranked if I was questioned like that.

 

But it is also kind of un-plausable since those numbers would suggest that there are not only a lot more smart people out there but also that same group has the sense of whimsy to skew the results. I doubt there are that many of you and me.

I enjoy the advertising where an ordinary thing is suddenly a great technological breakthrough. Two I've noticed recently, one of the car company commercials touts their pickups being made of "rolled steel", in another, a miracle device that allows you to get TV for FREE!!! is just a cheap indoor antenna. (if you call within the next ten minutes, we'll send you TWO! All you pay is shipping and handling)

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #35)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 07:18 AM

42. I always wonder the same thing.

When I hit number 8 I thought "Well that one is easy, because it's in the Old Testament. We gained our Independence from Egypt. Duh."

I know at least some of them are doing it, because I'd have done it too.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 05:26 AM

36. As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the

 

"As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/

This nation is devolving

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Response to MarchemintotheSea (Reply #36)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 05:33 AM

38. I like money

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #38)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 05:39 AM

39. How Pubs, Teahadists and Conservatives see President Obama

 

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 06:58 AM

40. When I was a junior in high school in the mid-1960s

Last edited Mon Sep 29, 2014, 11:57 AM - Edit history (2)

I took a class in European history after 1500. On the first day, the teacher handed out blank maps of Europe with the rivers and the country borders and nothing else. He told us to fill in as much as we could. There was a student who labeled Switzerland as "Sweden," and the general level of geographical ignorance was equally bad.

Some years ago, I attended a book signing for the science fiction writer David Weber. After he gave his (very interesting) talk, I asked him to do me a favor. In some of his Honor Harrington books, he has a major character named "Rob S. Pierre," and I asked him not to do anything like that again. He said that he thought it was clever when he did it, but agreed it was a bad joke and promised he wouldn't do it again. A young woman asked, "What was the joke?" Weber said, "It's a play on the name 'Robespierre'." "Who's Robespierre?" "One of the movers and shakers of the French Revolution." "What's the French Revolution?"

There is a joke I heard more than once in Europe, "What do you call someone who speaks only one language?" "An American."

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 08:07 AM

43. "My working thesis is" - stop.

That isn't what a thesis is.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Oct 12, 2013, 11:04 AM

44. Is it a coincidence...

 

that the decline in education began shortly after the resurgence of religion in this country (Reagan wooing the religious right)? I think not. The "original sin" was eating of the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Religion and education do not mix. I know a lot of religious DUers will take exception to that statement, but if you take a good hard (and honest) look at your holy book you may see it, too.

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