By Tara Thompsom
In December, The Washington Post and University of Maryland conducted a national poll that included an assessment of where people get their news about politics and government. Democrats lean towards CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, the Times, and The Post were identified as a main source of news by at least three in ten people. Republicans, though, mostly look at two: local television and Fox News. Fox News has a larger audience than its competitors, an audience that is largely politically similar.
Researchers David Broockman and Joshua Kalla found that in September 2020 CNN viewers saw a majority of coverage about the coronavirus pandemic and Trump’s failures on limiting the virus’s spread. On Fox, the main coverage was about how the left embraced an “extreme” racial ideology and downplaying the pandemic.
The researchers found that “Fox News was far more likely to report facts favorable to Republicans while CNN was far more likely to do the same for Democrats.”
Republican officials often target Fox News coverage as a political tactic. When Ted Cruz and Marsha Blackburn asked President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, how she defined “woman” on March 22, she went from an average of one mention on Fox News per day over the previous week to five mentions per day in the week beginning March 22.
Fox News sets the media for half the country, its priorities tend to send out to other outlets as well. Because so many Republicans watch Fox News and care about shaping its viewers’ understanding of events, it’s a necessarily powerful force in Republican politics. Nikole Hannah-Jones, a lead on the New York Times’ “1619 Project” to Russia’s ongoing effort to stoke division in America, told CBS News “We have to try to be fair and accurate, and I don’t know how you can be fair and accurate if you pretend, publicly, that you have no feelings about something you clearly do.”
If you get information from any News source you should look into how trustworthy it is or if it tends to lean towards a specific political party. We all know we can’t trust everything we see online but we should be able to trust the News, no matter where it comes from, we should be able to trust it.