On Sunday, Jon Stewart appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and claimed that Fox News viewers are ill-informed.
But in an embarrassing moment for Stewart, it turns out that he himself isn’t terribly well informed. Politifact has done some fact checking, and it turns out that Fox News viewers are actually better informed than the viewers of a lot of other news content.
…we have three Pew studies that superficially rank Fox viewers low on the well-informed list, but in several of the surveys, Fox isn’t the lowest, and other general-interest media outlets — such as network news shows, network morning shows and even the other cable news networks — often score similarly low. Meanwhile, particular Fox shows — such as The O’Reilly Factor and Sean Hannity’s show — actually score consistently well, occasionally even outpacing Stewart’s own audience.
Meanwhile, the other set of knowledge surveys, from worldpublicopinion.org, offer mixed support for Stewart. The 2003 survey strikes us as pretty solid, but the 2010 survey has been critiqued for its methodology.
The way Stewart phrased the comment, it’s not enough to show a sliver of evidence that Fox News’ audience is ill-informed. The evidence needs to support the view that the data shows they are “consistently” misinformed — a term he used not once but three times. It’s simply not true that “every poll” shows that result. So we rate his claim False.
I wouldn’t expect Stewart to retract his comments. But there is some irony in this.
Stewart, clearly, hates Fox News. But he loves going on Fox to promote his books and stuff.