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Sat Sep 9, 2017, 12:55 PM

A stunning new study shows that Fox News is more powerful than we ever imagined

A stunning new study shows that Fox News is more powerful than we ever imagined It could even be flipping elections.
by Dylan Matthews

"Fox News is, by far, America’s dominant TV news channel; in the second quarter of 2017, Fox posted 2.35 million total viewers in primetime versus 1.64 million for MSNBC and 1.06 million for CNN. Given that Fox was founded by a longtime Republican Party operative and has almost exclusively hired conservative commentators, talk radio hosts, and the like to host its shows, it would stand to reason that its dominance on basic cable could influence how Americans vote, perhaps even tipping elections.

A new study in the American Economic Review (the discipline’s flagship journal), with an intriguing and persuasive methodology, finds exactly that. Emory University political scientist Gregory Martin and Stanford economist Ali Yurukoglu estimate that watching Fox News directly causes a substantial rightward shift in viewers’ attitudes, which translates into a significantly greater willingness to vote for Republican candidates.

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The effects of CNN and MSNBC on centrist voters are mostly negligible; MSNBC, in 2000 and 2004, modestly increased odds of voting Republican, before it turned left in time for 2008. But Fox News increases Republican voting odds for centrists, for Democratic viewers, and even, in 2004 and 2008, for Republicans already strongly inclined to vote that way. Watching three minutes more of Fox News per week in 2008 would have made the typical Democratic or centrist voter 1 percentage point likelier to vote Republican that year.

“Fox is substantially better at influencing Democrats than MSNBC is at influencing Republicans," the authors find. While most Fox viewers are Republican, a sizable minority aren't, and they're particularly suggestible to the channel's influence. In 2000, they estimate that 58 percent of Fox viewers who were initially Democrats changed to supporting the Republican candidate by the end of the election cycle; in 2004, the persuasion rate was 27 percent, and 28 percent in 2008. MSNBC, by contrast, only persuaded 8 percent of initial Republicans to vote Democratic in the 2008 cycle."

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In a way it's the number one reason why the GOP won in 2010, was able to gerrymander with impunity and why Hillary really lost and there is very little to be done about it-- the damage is done.

The actual study is here https://web.stanford.edu/~ayurukog/cable_news.pdf
Bias in Cable News: Persuasion and Polarization
Gregory J. Martin∗ and Ali Yurukoglu

It's technical but well worth it.

"In other results, we estimate that removing Fox News from cable television during the 2000 election cycle would have reduced the overall Republican presidential vote share by 0.46 percentage points. The predicted effect increases in 2004 and 2008 to 3.59 and 6.34 percentage points, respectively. This increase is driven by increasing viewership on Fox News as well as increasingly conservative slant. Finally, we find that the cable news channels’ potential for influence on election outcomes would be substantially larger were ownership to become more concentrated."

Imagine how much the effect was by 2016!

19 replies, 6096 views

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply A stunning new study shows that Fox News is more powerful than we ever imagined (Original post)
andym Sep 2017 OP
FarPoint Sep 2017 #1
hadEnuf Sep 2017 #6
FarPoint Sep 2017 #9
Chasstev365 Sep 2017 #2
samnsara Sep 2017 #3
KPN Sep 2017 #4
msongs Sep 2017 #5
andym Sep 2017 #7
machoneman Sep 2017 #16
Angry Dragon Sep 2017 #8
andym Sep 2017 #11
mdbl Sep 2017 #17
sharedvalues Sep 2017 #10
BigmanPigman Sep 2017 #12
andym Sep 2017 #13
BigmanPigman Sep 2017 #14
mdbl Sep 2017 #18
czarjak Sep 2017 #15
dalton99a Sep 2017 #19

Response to andym (Original post)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 01:00 PM

1. I've never under estimated their power of political propaganda.

They stuck with their mission... eroded our country with 24/7 lies for 20 years!

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Response to FarPoint (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 01:16 PM

6. Absolutely!

Many of us saw this coming 20 years ago.

It's always been about the media.

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Response to hadEnuf (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 01:52 PM

9. Exactly....

I have always tried my best to inform folks of the Fox Jim Jones power..

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Response to andym (Original post)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 01:08 PM

2. Though it never took over on DU, this is why I have referred to Fox as "Goebellsvision"

 

It's the wildest dreams of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebells and if the Nazis had had it, some of the Jewish viewership might have even supported the party.

VERY SCARY! I hope Roger Allies is burning in hell as I write this!

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Response to andym (Original post)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 01:08 PM

3. that channel isnt even allowed on in my house

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Response to andym (Original post)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 01:11 PM

4. Duh!

It takes a study to recognize that? Come on! Propaganda is called PROPAGANDA for a reason!

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Response to andym (Original post)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 01:15 PM

5. people who watch fox vote republican. well that was worth millions to learn nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 01:20 PM

7. The question here is exactly how much influence

does watching Fox have? Does it only preach to the converted? etc. This provides some quantification of the effect.

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Response to msongs (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:55 AM

16. O.K. let's break this down....

2 million viewers, divided by 300,000,000+ Americans?

2 million viewers, divided by say 150,000,000+ adult Americans?

2 million viewers, divided by say 75,000,000+ Republican voters?

2 million viewers, divided by say ZERO Democratic voters?

Fox's viewership is way overrated in my opinion. The bigger issue is how all the other networks, blogs, sites, radio, i.e. media-in-general, let Trump's minions get away with so, so many lies. By not calling out Chuckleberry's daughter yesterday on her constant lies, Trump's kids on lying about Russiagate and on and on, the public is done a grave disservice.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 01:33 PM

8. Fox is now mainstream media............does that make it fake news??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #8)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 02:40 PM

11. LOL. It was always fake news. By becoming MSM, Fox downgraded other news to "fake"

by association.

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Response to andym (Reply #11)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 09:56 AM

17. Sounds right to me

Fox was the beginning of fake news - it even elevated the stature of the fake news rags on the rack in the store checkout isle.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 02:25 PM

10. We imagined all right.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 04:25 PM

12. And to make us even happier, the fake prez gets most of HIS

info from it! Why bother paying for advisors if he doesn't even listen to them? No wonder our country is a world wide joke...so embarrassing.

Do they have something similar to it in other progressive countries? I thought I read last week that Fux was so unpopular in England that it ended up being cancelled by Murdoch.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 04:52 PM

13. Yes. "Fox News yanked off British airwaves"

http://www.salon.com/2017/08/29/fox-news-yanked-off-british-airwaves/
"Fox News yanked off British airwaves"
CHARLIE MAY

"Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News is being yanked off the air in the United Kingdom after the right-wing news channel was unable to generate adequate ratings after 15 years on the air.

The Guardian reported that 21st Century Fox, the cable news networks parent company, made the announcement on Tuesday.

“Fox News is focused on the U.S. market and designed for a U.S. audience and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the U.K.,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement. “We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the U.K.”

The decision was not connected to Fox’s $15 billion bid to takeover Sky, which is the top pay television provider in the U.K., according to CNN. In June U.K. culture secretary, Karen Bradley, said that “she was likely to refer 21st Century Fox’s purchase of Sky for an additional review, setting the merger up for many additional months of delays,” CNN reported. Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority would carry out the supplemental review. The Murdochs already hold an enormous grasp on British media, as they own three major tabloid newspapers: The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times. Bradley expressed concern that the takeover of Sky would give the Murdochs too much power, CNN reported."
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One tidbit: Apparently Fox in Britain was making illegal comments on the day of Brexit. As would be expected.

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Response to andym (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 04:56 PM

14. I admire the English for their common sense and good taste.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #14)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 09:57 AM

18. we used to have that here

before the 1990's hit.

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Response to andym (Original post)

Sat Sep 9, 2017, 11:59 PM

15. As Brian Kilmeade put it...

"What would you like to hear?"

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Response to andym (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 07:38 AM

19. Kick.

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