A poll released Wednesday by Public Policy Polling shows that fewer people than ever trust Fox News as a source for accurate news and reporting. Just 41 percent expressed trust in the network — down from 49 four years ago — while 46 percent said they distrust Fox. There’s an obvious reason why: Fox misrepresents facts and fudges its data to advance the conservative agenda. Indeed, it’s nothing like the “fair and balanced” network it claims to be. And, it seems, voters are catching on.
Here are just five recent examples of how Fox skews the news:
1. They misrepresented the unemployment rate. Fox News ran this chart showing the unemployment rate, but managed to somehow make an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent look higher than 8.9:
2. They misinformed viewers about Benghazi. When Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) were trying their hardest to smear President Obama and former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton over Benghazi, Fox ran an “exclusive” report saying that the CIA had denied a diplomat permission to fend off an attack on the embassy. That never happened, and details later confirmed that the report — and the other conspiracy theories Fox ran alongside it — was totally unfounded.
3. They blamed non-existent ‘massive layoffs’ on Obama. Fox News runs frequent segments covering Obama’s supposed ‘War on Coal’ and the website Fox Nation even ran this glaring headline blaming the election for huge layoffs in the coal industry. But there were not massive layoffs. Just one business owner in Utah laid off employees. Under Obama, the industry on the whole has actually continued to grow tremendously.
4. They got almost all of their climate coverage wrong. An analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists revealed that a full 93 percent of Fox News coverage on the topic global climate change was ‘misleading.’ Here’s the breakdown of how Fox covered the climate issue:
5. They don’t cover big stories. While the rest of the country discussed senatorial candidate Todd Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ comments, Fox News hardly covered the controversy. They similarly ignored the conflict surrounding the death of teenager Trayvon Martin, and of New York’s same-sex marriage law’s passage.
The list of areas where Fox falls down on the job is too extensive to enumerate. But what is clear is that Fox’s method of dodging the truth and giving convenient facts won’t keep working, if they can’t gain the public’s trust.