THIS GRAPHIC TELLS THE STORY
Figure 13 from that report, reproduced above with annotations by me, shows the results.
FOX NEWS is MOST TRUSTED by ALL AMERICANS “to provide accurate information about politics and current events”!
Among ALL AMERICANS:
- 25% TRUST FOX NEWS THE MOST
- 23% TRUST ABC/CBS/NBC MOST (which is about 7.7% each)
- 17% TRUST CNN MOST
- 12% TRUST PUBLIC TV MOST
- 8% TRUST JON STEWART MOST
- Only 5% TRUST MSNBC MOST !!!
Although the above conclusions are clearly shown in the very first column of the graphic as it appears as Figure 13 in their report, the authors do not seem to recognize or understand their own results! Clearly, they intended to focus on divisions of opinion regarding "immigration reform" and were therefore blind or perhaps embarrassed by the inadvertent result of their careful survey.
Here is EXACTLY what they wrote about Figure 13:
As Figure 13 illustrates, while more than half of Republicans list Fox as a trusted news source, no other source comes close. The traditional broadcast networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) are listed by 22% of Republicans, and all other television sources are in single digits. Similarly, 48% of self-described conservatives list Fox News as a trusted source, with the broadcast networks a distant second at 19%.
By contrast, there is no dominant trusted news source among Democrats or liberals. Four different sources are in double digits among Democrats -- the traditional networks at 31%, CNN at 26%, public television at 14% and MSNBC at 10%. Jon Stewart’s Daily Show is listed by 9% of Democrats. Among liberals, five sources are in double digits -- the broadcast networks (24%), Jon Stewart and public television (both at 17%), CNN at 16%, and MSNBC at 10%. These figures may partly reflect the ideological diversity of the Democratic Party. Whereas Republicans overwhelmingly identify as conservative (74%), the Democratic Party is more ideologically diverse, with 46% calling themselves liberal, 31% moderate, and 20% conservative.
Among independents, Fox is the plurality leader (as we have seen, at 26%) followed by the broadcast networks at 17%, CNN at 16%, public television at 14% and Jon Stewart at 11%. Among political moderates, broadcast news and CNN are the preferred choices (at 25% and 23% respectively), followed by public television at 17%, Fox at 15% and Stewart at 8%.
It is not possible from this data to offer a precise solution to the chicken-and-egg question -- whether the more important fact is that those with very conservative views are already attracted to Fox, or whether Fox turns its viewers into conservatives. What is clear is that conservatives are drawn to Fox, and that Fox may, in turn, reinforce and perhaps harden conservative views. The survey also suggests that our discussions of political polarization need to take account of the unusually large role Fox News plays among conservatives and Republicans. At the moment, liberals are subject to a wider range of influences than conservatives are. Put another way, conservatives show a greater degree of solidarity, at least where their media habits are concerned. At the same time, divisions within the Republican Party can be defined at least in part by attitudes and habits related to Fox News. This could have important implications for future battles over Republican nominations and arguments over the party’s philosophical identity.That is ALL they wrote about Figure 13. Please notice that in the above four paragraphs, they NEVER mention that among ALL AMERICANS FOX NEWS garners 25% in the MOST TRUST category, while MSNBC garners only 5% in that category. Nor do they bother to divide "Broadcast News" into separate results for ABC, CBS, and NBC, which would result in each gaining 5% to 10% (averaging 7.7%) in the MOST TRUST category. OY!
Back in 2009, I showed that More DEMOCRATS watch Fox News than CNN or MSNBC
FROM MY 2009 POSTING
Could it be? YES IT BE!
Analysis of ratings data from respected Pew Research and Neilson
shows that more Democrats watch Fox News than either CNN or MSNBC.
Fox News has come up on this Blog several times. The data in this posting sheds more light on the situation.
THE PIE CHARTS ARE NOT TOO SURPRISING
The first pie chart shows the distribution of the MSNBC audience. As one would expect, 45% are self-declared Democrats and only 18% are Republicans. The remainder are Independents (27%) and "Don't know" (10%).
The second pie does the same for CNN, with the only surprise being that a higher proportion of Democrats (51%) watch CNN than MSNBC. 18% of Republicans watch CNN.
The third pie does the same for Fox News. 39% of their viewers claim to be Republicans and 33% Democrats.
It might be surprising to see the Fox News "balance" between Republicans and Democrats. 39/33 = 1.18. MSNBC has a balance between Democrats and Republicans of 45/18 = 2.5. The balance at CNN is 51/18 = 2.83.
THE REAL SURPRISE
Fox News has a considerably higher viewership than either CNN or MSNBC. I combined that (from the 2009 Neilson data) with the data from the most recent (2008) Pew Research report, to generate the graphic.
The bars show the number of viewers using Total Audience (all ages) and averaging over the Entire Day. The Blue bars are MSNBC, the Red Fox News, and the Yellow CNN. The surprise is that more Democrats choose Fox News than either MSNBC or CNN. Indeed, if you combine the Democrats who watch MSNBC and CNN, they total only a bit more than Democrats who watch Fox News. If you consider Independents, more of them watch Fox News than CNN and MSNBC combined!
BUT, WHO IS "FAIR AND BALANCED"
Of course, what appears "fair" or "balanced" to one person on MSNBC may appear biased to another person, and vice-versa on Fox News. This is a subjective issue that each person needs to resolve for him or herself. My personal opinion is that MSNBC leans way to the left and Fox News a bit to the right. CNN appears to me to go right down the middle, or a bit to the left of middle.
The above data indicates that, given a free choice, people who seek out cable TV news and talk tend to choose Fox News over the competition. If you add the presumably "fair and balanced"-minded Independents to the presumably left-leaning Democrats, you find that more of that cohort watch Fox News than CNN and MSNBC combined. And that is true despite the fact that Fox News is available to fewer households.
BUT READ THE "FINE PRINT" BELOW
In the above analysis, I used Total Audience averaged over the Entire Day. I did that because the Pew Research data was for all ages and did not ask people when they watched cable TV. Fox News tends to have a slightly older audience, so had I used the 25-54 year old demographic, the results would have been a bit less surprising. However, they would still have shown that more Democrats and Independents watch Fox News than CNN or MSNBC.
The statistics for Prime Time are also a bit different from averages over the whole day. However, Fox News is also ahead on that measure. For example, for the 25-54 demographic, Fox News leads with 446,000 to MSNBCs 250,000 and CNNs 143,000. For the Total Audience including us old folks, Fox News leads with 2,036,000 to MSNBCs 753,000 and CNNs 621,000.