Had they thought about it for more than a split nanosecond or so, they might have wondered if it could really be true that NASA had issued such a study, and done some checking.
It was a fun study written by a bunch of scientists and bloggers to amuse their friends. One of the scientists, Shawn Domagal-Goldman, happens to be a postdoc at NASA. That's the extent of the NASA involvement.
It took FOX almost a full day to register the disclaimers being issued from all quarters, not least from NASA and the source of the original misleadingly subedited article itself, the Guardian.
This might all hardly be worth recalling -- after all, a story that FOX News and the other rightish "news" sources got something completely wrong falls into the "Dog Bites Man" category of headline -- except that, during the course of that day, FOX anchor Megyn Kelly, one of those FOX pundits you reckon is probably still learning how to read a wristwatch, put a three-question poll up on her blog. The responses to the three questions, as posted on FoxNews.com (and reproduced lovingly by Media Matters), were:
Suggest NASA find better ways to spend taxpayer money: 88%
Immediately increase efforts to curb greenhouse gases: 0.74%
Develop weapons to kill aliens FIRST: 11.26%
The adroit mathematicians among us will immediately recognize that the final figure is over 15 times greater than the one in the line before it.
Now, obviously it wouldn't be quite fair to say that 15 times more FOX News viewers are worried about alien invasion than about climate change, but it gives us at least some glimmering of an indication of the extent to which FOX News has misled its audience on the subject of climate change: clearly, to these viewers, climate change belongs, as it were, in the land of the fairies.
There is, of course, a certain degree of schadenfreude to be derived from the fact that FOX News viewers cluster disproportionately in those parts of the US that are likely to get hit hardest in the next decade or two, but that's unfair on their poor, benighted children, whose fault this is obviously not. Also, of course, people will be suffering all over the world, and some of them far worse, because of these bozoes.
In the celebrated encounter the other day on The Daily Show between Jon Stewart and FOX News presenter Chris Wallace, Stewart several times made the point that habitual FOX News watchers were on average more ignorant than the rest of the population.
(He was, by the way, perfectly correct in this assertion. You might, I guess, dispute the polls' methodology -- although no one to my knowledge has ever made a serious attempt to do -- but Stewart's assertion is nothing more than a statement of truth.)
The FOX News website, Fox Nation, was not going to take this lying down, no sirree. As Joshua Holland reported on AlterNet,
The site answered Stewart by posting the results of some Fox viewer polls and then asking, "Does this sound misinformed to you?"
• 91 percent believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs
• 72 percent believe the health reform law will increase the deficit
• 72 percent believe the economy is getting worse
• 60 percent believe climate change is not occurring
So more than half of FOX News viewers, and in one case 91%, believe in things that can easily be, and frequently have been, demonstrated to be comprehensively false . . . and this is supposed to indicate they're not misinformed?
There's an extraordinarily good opinion piece by Frank Rich in yesterday's New York Times about the nontroversy over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.
The fact that the site isn't at Ground Zero and the building isn't going to be a mosque is a clue to the integrity of the wingnuts who're stirring this issue up and marketing Islamophobia in the selfish hope of gaining themselves some political capital -- the Goebbels trick, in other words. But what Rich points out is something beyond that. Our troops, he says, and specifically Gen David Petraeus, are trying to win a war in Afghanistan/Pakistan and, in essence, in the Arab world as a whole. The anti-Islam hatemongering the wingnuts have taken it upon themselves to purvey is a very large obstacle placed in Petraeus's way.
You have to ask yourself, Which side are these people on: America's or Osama bin Laden's? To be honest, you don't have to ask yourself all that hard: the answer's pretty obvious. They're on their own side . . . and if that involves selling out the American people and giving succor to al-Quaeda, they don't care.
Here's the start of Rich's article. I strongly urge you to follow this link to the rest of it.
How Fox Betrayed Petraeus
THE “ground zero mosque,” as you may well know by now, is not at ground zero. It’s not a mosque but an Islamic cultural center containing a prayer room. It’s not going to determine President Obama’s political future or the elections of 2010 or 2012. Still, the battle that has broken out over this project in Lower Manhattan — on the “hallowed ground” of a shuttered Burlington Coat Factory store one block from the New York Dolls Gentlemen’s Club — will prove eventful all the same. And the consequences will be far more profound than any midterm election results or any of the grand debates now raging 24/7 over the parameters of tolerance, religious freedom, and the real estate gospel of location, location, location.
Here’s what’s been lost in all the screaming. The prime movers in the campaign against the “ground zero mosque” just happen to be among the last cheerleaders for America’s nine-year war in Afghanistan. The wrecking ball they’re wielding is not merely pounding Park51, as the project is known, but is demolishing America’s already frail support for that war, which is dedicated to nation-building in a nation whose most conspicuous asset besides opium is actual mosques.
So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right — abetted by the useful idiocy of the Anti-Defamation League, Harry Reid and other cowed Democrats — that it has also rendered Gen. David Petraeus’s last-ditch counterinsurgency strategy for fighting the war inoperative. How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?
Sarah Palin was plugging her latest ghostwritten novel on FAUX News's Bill O'Liarly Show the other day. I gather even The Big Loofah himself had difficulty stomaching some of her utterances, and persecuted her Katie Couric-style by requesting she actually answer his questions. And then there was this . . .
O'Reilly: Let me be bold and fresh again. Do you believe you are smart enough, and incisive enough, intellectual enough, to handle the most powerful job in the world?
Palin: I believe that I am because I have common sense, and I have, I believe, the values that are reflective of so many American values. And I believe that what Americans are seeking is not the elitism, the, um, the, ah -- kind of spineless -- a spinelessness that perhaps is made up for that with elite Ivy League education and -- fact resume that's based on anything but hard work and private-sector, free-enterprise principles. Americans could be seeking something like that in positive change in their leadership. I'm not saying that that has to be me.
Thanks to Wonkette for posting a screengrab of a wonderful pi-chart prepared by Faux News to show the different levels of support enjoyed by the supposed GOP frontrunners for 2012.
Apparently 60% of Americans back Romney, 63% back Huckabee, and a stonking 70% back Palin.
That'll be 193% of the population voting Republican in 2012, then.
Fox News has promoted what it has referred to as October 17 "tea part[y]" protests by "Operation: Can You Hear Us Now," an organization that plans "to show the MSM [mainstream media] that we as the American Public are absolutely fed up with their journalistic malpractice."
There's lots more on this story here.
You'd have thought FAUX might have paused for a little introspection on the hatemongering front after their "contribution to public debate" led, directly or indirectly, to the murder of Dr George Tiller. And who's to tell (because no one seems much bothered about keeping figures) how many immigrants have died at the hands of knucklehead vigilantes geed up in their bigotry by the millionaire bunch at FAUX?
And then there's the promotion and justification of institutionalized torture, including such delightful techniques as waterboarding and anal rape.
It's a singularly infantile characteristic to refuse to accept the responsibility for one's actions. The combined age of the FAUX crowd must be about 4.
Democrats.com has been organizing a petition aimed at FAUX's advertisers: you can find it here. That URL has the additional usefulness of providing a list of FAUX's principal current advertisers. It looks like this:
Accu Chek Aviva
Ally Bank (allybank.com)
Conservatives for Patients Rights
HSBC Life Insurance
Super8 motels (super8.com)
Superior Gold Group
United Healthcare Insurance
United States Postal Service
There's also a list of those advertisers who've decided to dump FAUX, presumably on the grounds of conscience although perhaps because the petition is having some effectiveness:
Proctor & Gamble
As the old saying goes, you've got to know you're a heap of shit if Nestle, Pfizer and even Walmart are ahead of you in responsiveness to proper public concern about socially divisive hatemongering, incitement to violence and the like.
PC publishers ban dragon from breathing fire in children's book . . . because it's too dangerous
runs the headline over a Daily Mail article by Kurt Bayer and James Tapper. The Mail isn't a newspaper to which I ever pay much attention (a friend directed me towards this piece), because, well, it's sort of the printed equivalent of Faux News. In this instance, though, it does seem -- unless the artist/author concerned is flat-out lying, which is improbable -- to have a point.
For the full story, rush to http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/