Data is in: fox news, RW media made contagion worse

Annie Deighnaugh

In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others....


The end result, according to one of the studies, is that infection and mortality rates are higher in places where one pundit who initially downplayed the severity of the pandemic — Fox News’s Sean Hannity — reaches the largest audiences....

------------------

In April, Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and Dolores Albarracin of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign published a peer-reviewed study examining how Americans’ media diets affected their beliefs about the coronavirus.


Administering a nationally representative phone survey with 1,008 respondents, they found that people who got most of their information from mainstream print and broadcast outlets tended to have an accurate assessment of the severity of the pandemic and their risks of infection. But those who relied on conservative sources, such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories or unfounded rumors, such as the belief that taking vitamin C could prevent infection, that the Chinese government had created the virus, and that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exaggerated the pandemic’s threat “to damage the Trump presidency."


These findings held even after controlling for viewers’ political affiliation, education, gender and age.

---------------

A working paper posted by the National Bureau of Economic Research in May examined whether these incorrect beliefs affected real-world behavior.

The authors used anonymous location data from millions of cellphones to explore how the popularity of Fox News in a given Zip code related to social distancing practices there. By March 15, they found, a 10 percent increase in Fox News viewership within a Zip code reduced its residents’ propensity to stay home, in compliance with public health guidelines, by about 1.3 percentage points.

------------------

Another recent working paper, by economists at the University of Chicago and other institutions, similarly finds that Fox News viewers are less likely to comply with public health guidelines than consumers of other media. But their paper takes the analysis two steps further: It finds that Fox viewers aren’t a monolith, with fans of some media personalities acting distinctly from others. It also provides evidence that those behavioral differences are contributing to the spread of the coronavirus and mortality rate of covid-19 the disease it causes, in certain areas.

The study focuses specifically on the differences in how Fox’s Tucker Carlson and Hannity discussed the pandemic during its early days.


“Our results indicate that a one standard deviation increase in relative viewership of Hannity relative to Tucker Carlson Tonight is associated with approximately 32 percent more COVID-19 cases on March 14 and approximately 23 percent more COVID-19 deaths on March 28,” the authors write. They further note that those differences fade beyond March, as the two hosts’ coverage had largely converged by then.

Full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/25/fox-news-hannity-coronavirus-misinformation/

SaveComment29Like2
Comments (29)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lurker111

LOL! So desperate. You know what caused the spread. Admit it. Stop living in a fantasy world. Our local cases seem to be going down after the rioting protest surge.

Kind of funny to blame the blue cities for watching Fox. lol! Mostly Hispanic, in their 20's....Yeah, right.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
batyabeth

"paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies
misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences
from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others...."

Duh.
"You know what caused the spread. Admit it. Stop living in a fantasy world."

ok lurker! Could you do the same please? I DO know what caused the spread. I do admit it. I don't live in a fantasy world where everything is rosy and we've beaten the thing and all will be well by April. I know masks and social distancing stop the spread, that certain places (with certain top politicians beholden to certain people) opened TOO SOON, and I know for darn sure that it isn't a hoax or a democratic conspiracy. I know that political rallys where masks are condsidered left wing make one happy virus. .

C'mom now. Admit it.

6 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stan Areted

ROTF! I smell DESPERATION!

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ziemia(6a)

I do hope that those expressing the following opinions are truly among a minority in the USA.

"ROTF! I smell DESPERATION"

"LOL! So desperate"

It doesn't take that big a proportion of a community to fill beaches and bars and parks. And it also doesn't take a big proportion of a community to spread the infection.)

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stan Areted

OR thousands and thousands and riots and protests in Minneapolis, New York City, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle--other cities.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

RW media made contagion worse

Working for trump is hard work.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Joaniepoanie


If it was just the protesters spreading the virus then how come many places are shutting down bars, restaurants again and closing beaches for July 4th? No mandates against protesting.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

So there are still (presumed) adults who are ignorant of the incubation time for this virus and how it's spread...?

Or are they well aware of how it works and prefer to irresponsibly spread disinformation in the cause of partisan flackery?

6 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stan Areted

ROTF no one said it was "just protesters."

It's life.

We were not and now we WiLL not be shut down entirely so that no one else gets this virus.

Country is moving on.

Make your own decisions; I am.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Nana H

Even Abbott and DeSantis have acknowledged that it was the bar goers and party goers that are responsible for the spikes. That is not to say that some of the protesters didn't too.

Interesting that NYC which saw lots of protesting but no bar re openings has not experienced a spike. Not that any factual information will help dispel the preferred narrative of some.

9 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Nana H

"Country is moving on"

Tell the hospital workers in Houston, Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma it's time to move on...they would if they could.


7 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
batyabeth

^^^^ so true. But don't confuse 'em with facts.

3 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Country is moving on.

And a number of counties are alarmed that their hospitals and ICUs could be overwhelmed with the recent surge.

I guess they should move on and not worry about the new patients being admitted, or those who will be seeking treatment in the future.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Joaniepoanie

Stan

No one said it’s just the protesters? ROTF.

********

Just look upthread. It’s been repeated non-stop:

“LOL! So desperate. You know what caused the spread. Admit it. Stop living in a fantasy world. Our local cases seem to be going down after the rioting protest surge.“

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Iris GW

Yeah I see how Florida and Texas are 'moving on.' Hoot.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)(9b)

Dr. Fauci just testified that there could be 100,000 new cases a day if we don't get our act together. That would absolutely overwhelm hospitals. I saw an article this morning that the governor of AZ gave permission to doctors to decide who they should save. (You know, like a death panel). That's is getting real.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

The virus doesn't care about the fanciful thinking of Trump and his supporters.

Science will best lead us, not a corrupt politician worried about his re-election.

3 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lurker111

Yep, an undeniable surge, confirmed by case tracking, but they won't give us the numbers for some odd reason. /s

You guys haven't presented any facts. The left won't even ask if you went to the protests anymore.

I never listened to Abbott, don't think I'm going to start now.

These are mostly Hispanic, in their 20's, and you won't see many of
them at the local bars. They don't watch FOX, and most are pretty much
racists, which I find strange for a mixed race. They hate their
grandparents.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stan Areted

We ARE moving on--with the virus.


Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deegw

Who is "we" and what exactly do you mean by "moving on"?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Moving on with a surge of hospitalizations.

Hooray for us!

4 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

IMO, they never have seemed to be based in reality. That's why I think of it as dispatches from Bizarro World - every day is opposite day there. But I do notice more bogus talking points crammed into a single comment, rather than spaced out over several.

And let's not ignore the utterly unashamed self-centered selfishness. As Jesus once said: "I've got mine. Everyone else is on their own."

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Since Trump’s numbers have nose-dived, his followers seem to be on edge, to put it mildly.

I agree.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
justerrilynn(10)

Nope, just laughing & having fun : )

This post was meant for that right? Lol

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10
Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
justerrilynn(10)


Nancy, probably true in the sense of Republicans being unhappy with all the hoaxes, bombings, burnings, lawlessness and vandalism that’s encouraged by the democrats.

However, if you are “a different kind of smart” you will probably think...oh, who knows really. Maybe cats will rule the universe.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Use the link provided to read the results of the Pew poll -- you will be surprised.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

A poll is a picture of opinions as of a certain date; the data present what is, not what is to come.

I think most persons understand the nature of polls.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
justerrilynn(10)

I don’t put a whole lot of stock into American political polls. Look at last time. I’m not inclined to hive think. Polls are mostly manipulated by democrats for democrats to make them feel like winners. I don’t need faux encouragement.

1 Like Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Decorating Guides 7 Tips to Sell Your Home Faster to a Younger Buyer
Draw today's home buyers by appealing to their tastes, with these guidelines from an expert decorator
Full Story
Life 'Not My Precious Books!' — Pain-Free Ways to Declutter Your Library
Have your books and neatness too, with these ideas for paring down and straightening up a beloved collection
Full Story
Most Popular Easy Green: 23 Ways to Reduce Waste at Home
Pick from this plethora of earth-friendly ideas to send less to the landfill and keep more money in your pocket
Full Story