There’s ample evidence that Fox News viewers tend to be surprisingly uninformed about current events. We’re starting to get a better sense as to why that is.
What’s more important: Iraq or Anna Nicole Smith? Depends on which network you’re watching.
According to PEJ’s first quarter News Coverage Index, “MSNBC and CNN were much more consumed with the war in Iraq than was Fox.”
In daytime, FNC devoted 6 percent of its time to Iraq, and 17 percent of its time to Anna Nicole. For CNN, the mix was 20 percent Iraq, 5 percent Anna; for MSNBC, the mix was 18 percent Iraq, 10 percent Anna.
“Fox also stood out for its lack of coverage on the firings of the U.S. attorneys, compared with the other channels. The story, which gained real momentum in mid March, consumed a mere 2% of Fox’s total airtime. CNN devoted twice that percent (4%) and MSNBC four times (8%).”
So, according to Fox News, a conflict that claims 3,441 American lives is less newsworthy than the death of a c-list celebrity.
Why does the network even bother to put “news” in its name?