Why Republicans Can’t Stay Mad at Fox News

Surprise! Despite Fox fallout, Republicans are still more likely to trust the "fair and balanced" network over competitors.

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Fred Prouser/REUTERS

Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Television Stations in Pasadena, California July 24, 2006.

A front page story in today’s edition of Politico announces a “purge” at Fox News, where contentious, hyper-partisan pundits lured Republicans into a false sense of security during the election. Ratings have dropped and viewers feel “duped,” Politico reports, so the network is undergoing a credibility “colonoscopy.” But while Republicans trust Fox less than they have before, a survey highlights why viewers aren’t likely to switch the channel.

For four years, Public Policy Polling has been asking Democrats and Republicans who they trust when it comes to the broadcast media. According to the latest numbers, released on Wednesday, both liberals and conservatives used to trust Fox more than they do now. In PPP’s inaugural poll, about 50% of all viewers said they believed what people were saying on CEO Roger Ailes’ channel. This year only about 40% did, the lowest since PPP has been asking. The other networks from the inaugural poll–ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC–either elicit about the same or slightly more trust than they did in 2010. (CNN is owned by the same parent company as TIME.)

Yet the survey sheds light on a comforting truth for the likes of Ailes. Even on the wane, Republicans still trust Fox far more than other networks. In fact, it’s the only outlet that more of them trust than distrust by enormous margins. Excepting PBS, that disparity is about 50 points. So however mad viewers may be about election coverage or Sarah Palin’s divisive squawking, if most conservatives trust no other news outlet, they remain a fairly captive audience in the broadcast world.

The ratings at Fox, which has topped the Nielsen charts for a decade, are still handily better than other major networks even after the post-election dropoff. On Tuesday, more than 1.1 million tuned in to watch their cable news shows, more than twice the number that watched MSNBC and more than three times the amount that turned into CNN.

43 comments
GarotadaGavea
GarotadaGavea

That's because everybody else is reporting NEWS. They want to be entitled to THEIR FACTS. So, Fox it is.

mcjny
mcjny

Getting all of your info from a single source? Never a good idea. Here's a few axioms to live by. 1 trust but verify 2. Believe half of what you. None of what you hear. Use these axioms to help navigate a landscape that is far more entertainment than news.

BruceS78
BruceS78

Why would anyone trust the network or cable news shows like Fox or CNN.  They have stopped reporting the news and spend most of their time being overly excited and whining about issues that often don't mean anything or matter.  Why is there a "storm of the century" every month?  Why is using a drone to kill an American Al Qaeda member sudden news but when it happened only merited headlines for a day or so? 

MementoMori
MementoMori

"On Tuesday, more than 1.1 million tuned in to watch their cable news shows"

Let's put that in perspective. Saying "Fox is number one!" is like claiming to be the tallest munchkin in munchkinland. Here are some cable shows that had more than 1.1 million viewers last week*:

WWE Raw (8:00) - USA- 4.863 million viewers, #1; 1.995 million adults 18-49 (1.6 rating), #5

WWE Raw (9:00) - USA - 4.857 million viewers, #2; 2.129 million adults 18-49 (1.7 rating), #3

Pawn Stars (10:00) - History - 4.836 million viewers, #3; 2.004 million adults 18-49 (1.6 rating), #4

WWE Raw (10:00) - USA - 4.711 million viewers, #4; 2.146 million adults 18-49 (1.7 rating), #2

Pawn Stars (10:30) - History - 4.709 million viewers, #5; 1.935 million adults 18-49 (1.5 rating), #6

American Pickers (9:00) - History - 4.487 million viewers, #6; 1.553 million adults 18-49 (1.2 rating), #7

Teen Mom 2 (10:00, 90 Minutes) - MTV- 3.371 million viewers, #7; 2.584 million adults 18-49 (2.0 rating), #1

Regular Show (8:00) - Cartoon - 2.271 million viewers, #8; 0.611 million adults 18-49 (0.5 rating), #20

Dallas - TNT - 2.232 million viewers, #9; 0.773 million adults 18-49 (0.6 rating), #15

Lizard Lick Towing (10:00) - truTV - 2.116 million viewers, #10; 1.173 million adults 18-49 (0.9 rating), #11

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (9:00) - Bravo - 2.075 million viewers, #11; 1.187 million adults 18-49 (0.9 rating), #10

Love & Hip Hop (8:00) - VH1 - 1.921 million viewers, #12; 1.377 million adults 18-49 (1.1 rating), #8

Black Ink Crew (9:00) - VH1 - 1.834 million viewers, #13; 1.345 million adults 18-49 (1.1 rating), #9

Switched at Birth (8:00) - ABC Family - 1.794 million viewers, #14; 1.015 million adults 18-49 (0.8 rating), #12

Vanderpump Rules (10:00) - Bravo - 1.673 million viewers, #15; 0.942 million adults 18-49 (0.7 rating), #13

Mad (8:30, 15 Minutes) - Cartoon - 1.574 million viewers, #16; 0.363 million adults 18-49 (0.3 rating), #27

Swamp Hunters (10:30) - truTV - 1.379 million viewers, #17; 0.749 million adults 18-49 (0.6 rating), #16

The Next Great Baker (9:00) - TLC - 1.363 million viewers, #18; 0.629 million adults 18-49 (0.5 rating), #19

Monday Mornings - TNT - 1.344 million viewers, #19; 0.386 million adults 18-49 (0.3 rating), #26

Tiny Tonight! The V Special - VH1 - 1.235 million viewers, #20; 0.912 million adults 18-49 (0.7 rating), #14

Intervention (10:00) - A&E - 1.162 million viewers, #21; 0.646 million adults 18-49 (0.5 rating), #17

Hoarders (9:00) - A&E - 1.123 million viewers, #22; 0.536 million adults 18-49 (0.4 rating), #21

So, congrats, you almost beat 'Hoarders'. 

* http://www.thefutoncritic.com/ratings/2013/02/05/mondays-cable-ratings-teen-mom-2-tops-demos-wwe-raw-leads-viewers-874312/cable_20130204/#AWypmCgxfV3PyuhS.99


MrObvious
MrObvious

 Why Republicans Can’t Stay Mad at Fox News

They need their propaganda media. It's about the only place accept for Meet the Press that takes them seriously.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

RE Katy's last para:

....SO???

Might doesn't make right.  If the whole idea of news is to get sixty-somethings-and-up a place to bathe their sorrows, then mission accomplished.

grape_crush
grape_crush

Link to the actual PPP "4th Annual TV News Trust Poll" here.

  • "We find once again this year that Democrats trust everything except Fox, and Republicans don't trust anything other than Fox. Democrats put the most faith in PBS (+61 at 72/11), followed by NBC (+45 at 61/16), MSNBC (+39 at 58/19), CBS (+38 at 54/16), CNN (+36 at 57/21), ABC (+35 at 51/16), and Comedy Central (+10 at 38/28). Out of the non-Fox channels Republicans have the most faith in PBS at -21 (27/48),  followed by NBC (-48 at 18/66), CNN (-49 at 17/66), ABC (-56 at 14/70), MSNBC (-56 at 12/68), CBS (-57 at 15/72), and Comedy Central (-58 at 8/66).

    When it comes to asking Americans which single outlet they trust the most and least out of the ones we polled on, Fox News once again wins both honors. 34% say it's the one they trust the most, compared to 13% for PBS, 12% for CNN, 11% for ABC, 8% for MSNBC, 6% for CBS, and 5% each for Comedy Central and NBC. Fox News is the choice of 67% of Republicans, while Democrats basically split their allegiances four ways between ABC and CNN, both at 17%, and MSNBC and PBS, both at 16%.

    Even more Americans identify Fox News as the outlet they trust the least- 39% give its that designation to 14% for MSNBC, 13% for CNN, 12% for Comedy Central, 5% for ABC and CBS, 3% for NBC, and 1% for PBS. 60% of Democrats give it their lowest marks while Republicans split between MSNBC (24%), CNN (19%), and Comedy Central (14%) on that front."

(underline is mine for emphasis)

Now, for fun, combine that in your head with this article.

  • "The research indicates a strong correlation between social fear and anti-immigration, pro-segregation attitudes. While those individuals with higher levels of social fear exhibited the strongest negative out-group attitudes, even the lowest amount of social phobia was related to substantially less positive out-group attitudes.

    'It’s not that conservative people are more fearful, it’s that fearful people are more conservative. People who are scared of novelty, uncertainty, people they don’t know, and things they don’t understand, are more supportive of policies that provide them with a sense of surety and security,' McDermott said.

    The researchers make clear, however, that genetics plays only part of the role in influencing political preferences. Education, they found, had an equally large influence on out-group attitudes, with more highly educated people displaying more supportive attitudes toward out-groups and education having a substantial mediating influence on the correlation between parental fear and child out-group attitudes."

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

Not too hard to figure out who's living in a world of epistemic closure when they admit that they believe only a single source of network news and no other.

PerryWhite1
PerryWhite1

GOP to FOX: "I wish I knew how to quit you."

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

I think, speaking electorally, it's good news for Democrats that republicans continue to live in their safe bubble.

"Tell us lies we want to hear"

KevinGroenhagen
KevinGroenhagen

"The other networks from the inaugural poll–ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC–either elicit about the same or slightly more trust than they did in 2010. (CNN is owned by the same parent company as TIME)

Note that the "reporter" failed to note that Fox News continues to be trusted more than any other network. Just 11% of Americans trust CNN, while only 6% trust MSNBC.

madcop
madcop

I think the survey was of news outlets.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@grape_crushFits with high Right-Wing-Authoritarian-Followers, who tend to believe whatever their authorities tell them no matter what evidence contradicts them (see Iraq/WMD). Sound like FOX viewers to you?:

"Authoritarian followers score highly on the Dangerous World scale, and it’s not
just because some of the items have a religious context. High RWAs are, in general,
more afraid than most people are. They got a “2 for 1 Special Deal” on fear somehow.
Maybe they’ve inherited genes that incline them to fret and tremble. Maybe not. But
we do know that they were raised by their parents to be afraid of others, because both
the parents and their children tell us so.

"Sometimes it’s all rather predictable: authoritarians’ parents taught fear of
homosexuals, radicals, atheists and pornographers. But they also warned their
children, more than most parents did, about kidnappers, reckless drivers, bullies and
drunks--bad guys who would seem to threaten everyone’s children. So authoritarian
followers, when growing up, probably lived in a scarier world than most kids do, with
a lot more boogeymen hiding in dark places, and they’re still scared as adults. For
them, gay marriage is not just unthinkable on religious grounds, and unnerving
because it means making the “abnormal” acceptable. It’s yet one more sign that
perversion is corrupting society from the inside-out, leading to total chaos. Many
things, from stem cell research to right-to-die legislation, say to them, “This is the last
straw; soon we’ll be plunged into the abyss.” So probably did, in earlier times,
women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement, sex education and Sunday shopping."

-- Bob Altemeyer

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@grape_crush 

You should copy/paste this quote into that Rubio article to watch some right-wing bigoted heads explode.

sacredh
sacredh

FOX to GOP: No one else would have us. Now lift your leg just a little bit...that's good. Right there.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Flox viewers "trusted" Karl Rove too.  Just sayin'.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@KevinGroenhagen  Note that the GOP (and FOX) useful idiot failed to note that FOX is also the least trusted news outlet:

"Fox News Channel was both the most trusted and the most distrusted of the news channels, garnering 34% of respondents in each category. FNC was followed by PBS, CNN and ABC in the “trusted” category. In the “distrusted category, FNC was followed by Comedy Central (we know, we know, not really a news channel), MSNBC and CNN."

And also that what news organization people say they trust depends entirely on how you ask the question and FOX comes in after PBS if voters are asked simply if they trust them or not:

"For the second straight year, PPP finds more voters trust PBS than any other television news source. PBS is once again the only outlet trusted by a majority of voters with 52% saying they trust PBS and 30% distrusting. NBC (44/38), CNN (43/39) and Fox News (45/42) are all now trusted by a plurality of voters. CBS (40/42) and ABC (37/40) dip into negative territory with MSNBC (38/43) close behind. Comedy Central (28/46), tested along with MNSBC for the first time in our poll, is least trusted, perhaps to be expected from a self-described comedy network."

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/study-fox-news-is-most-trusted-and-least-trusted-news-outlet_b107589

jmac
jmac

@KevinGroenhagen For KevinTheDuped:      "When you run a news operation with the sole criterion of ratings and feeding viewers what they want to hear so they can watch more of the ads making you money … you end up with the News of the World and FNC. You can’t really blame the grifters – like Palin and Beck and Morris – from smelling the cash."

Arimathean
Arimathean

@KevinGroenhagen Directly from the article: "Even on the wane, Republicans still trust Fox far more than other networks. In fact, it’s the only outlet that more of them trust than distrust by enormous margins. Excepting PBS, that disparity is about 50 points."


You know, Groeny, you could READ the article before you invent criticisms.  Just a thought to help you keep from embarrassing yourself more than necessary.

jmac
jmac

@KevinGroenhagen . . . Fox News continues to be trusted more than any other network. . . "  Too funny.   The leading newspaper in the US for decades was The National Enquirer.  The top tv show was "Wheel of Fortune".   Fox fits right in. 

MementoMori
MementoMori

@madcop Yes, I get that. My point was to place the size of the actual viewership in a larger perspective. Very few Americans watch Fox, or any other cable news. And the evening news broadcasts on the networks blow the cable numbers out of the water.

Fox is a paper dragon. It's taken seriously by the rest of the media only because it's king of the cable molehill.

sacredh
sacredh

Too easy. Good night.

KevinGroenhagen
KevinGroenhagen

@jmac@KevinGroenhagenYour post is an example of why I believe liberals are usually unintelligent. "When you run a news operation with the sole criterion of ratings and feeding viewers what they want to hear...."

That's two criteria:

1. Ratings.

2. Feeding viewers what they what hear.

Every network, with the possible exception of PBS, wants ratings. As far as number 2, Second Amendment supporters didn't get that with Chris Wallace's interview with Wayne LaPierre last Sunday. Fox News often directs hardballs had conservatives, which is something you rarely see concerning liberals interviewed on MSNBC, CNN, and the ridiculous CBS News.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Bleck sold a lotta gold thru Flox.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@KevinGroenhagen The study itself is available as a downloadable PDF if you follow the links, public idiot. See if you can find a monkey to show you how to do it.

Speaking of links, I notice that you never post any to try support your ridiculous nonsense. i wonder why?

jmac
jmac

@KevinGroenhagen @jmac Chris Wallace.  It's always BIG TIME news when Fox does the right thing.   It's almost worthy of the front page, it's so rare.   it's how they strive to be legitimate - the occasional report that's  not biased.   Obviously, Kevin's never watched Maddow - she seldom lets up on Obama, whether it's Afghanistan, the economy, drones, etc.  She certainly hit him in "Drift".  

outsider
outsider

@KevinGroenhagen @jmac  

Chris Wallace called out LaPierre's bs - which conservatives don't like. 

They want to lie and not be called on it. 

Right, Groeny?

outsider
outsider

@KevinGroenhagen @outsider2011 @MementoMori  

Except Mo's link worked (and there are a variety of other links to the same study - let me know if you'd like more) - and yours doesn't exist. 

As i said, talking out of your ass. Though i shouldn't be surprised, should i? 

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@KevinGroenhagen BTW: The same poll also said that Fox was the most "least trusted" network.  It's the most "most trusted" and the most "least trusted" network.  Yes, that really is the result of the poll.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@KevinGroenhagen

You misread - it's "most trusted", not "trusted".  Fox only rated 34% on that poll (still better than the others, but still)