I read this story about Farleigh Dickinson's latest "study" which claims viewers of the Fox News Channel are the "least-informed" national audience and let out an audible chuckle. Seriously?
I suppose if the measure of how well informed someone might be is based on how well they recite liberal talking points, then the study might have a case. But how informed are Fox viewers compared to others when it comes to issues that actually matter?
Take for instance the lawsuits filed by various Catholic groups against the ObamaCare contraception mandates. If you're a Fox News viewer, you've undoubtedly heard about this piece of news -- arguably one of the biggest stories on the defense of religious freedom against an encroaching federal government in U.S. history. But how much do viewers of other networks know -- how "well-informed" are they on this topic?
The May 21 editions of ABC’s World News and NBC’s Nightly News failed to report the story altogether and CBS Evening News gave this historic news story a mere 19 seconds of air time.
The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell calls this the media's "worst bias by omission" that he's seen in the last 25 years:
This is not a mistake, nor is it an editorial oversight by the broadcast networks. This is a deliberate and insidious withholding of national news to protect the ‘Chosen One’ who ABC, CBS and NBC have worked so hard to elect and are now abusing their journalistic influence to reelect Obama. And when a network like CBS mentions the suit ever-so-briefly, they deliberately distort the issue by framing it as a contraception lawsuit instead of what they know it to be: a religious freedom issue. It’s bogus, dishonest – a flat out lie.
The fact is that the Catholic Church has unleashed legal Armageddon on the administration, promising ‘we will not comply’ with a health law that strips Catholics of their religious liberty. If this isn't 'news' then there's no such thing as news. This should be leading newscasts and the subject of special, in-depth reports. Instead, these networks are sending a clear message to all Americans that the networks will go to any lengths – even censoring from the public an event of this historic magnitude – to prevent the release of any information that will hurt Obama’s chances of re-election.
The so-called 'news' media have sunk to a new low. This is despicable.
Further, an analysis by MRC's Matt Balan found that of all the Big Three networks' 36 stories, interviews and mentions of the HHS contraception mandate from January 30 to February 15 earlier this year, morning and evening guests favored politicians over church officials by a margin of 60 to 9. NBC News (not surprisingly) had the worst ratio, hosting 25 politicians to speak on the subject and just 3 members of Catholic Church clergy.
So, Farleigh Dickinson, I'm sure your analysis would be correct... if we wanted to measure how much NBC viewers know about why Obama is right and the Catholic Church is wrong. But we don't. Instead, in the context of history and the preservation of freedom, the blatant bias of your favorite networks is turning out more rhetoric than news.