NY Times poll reveals Fox News' influence on tea partiers

››› ››› MATT MCLAUGHLIN

A New York Times poll has revealed that a majority of "Tea Party supporters" named Fox News as the television network they "watch most for information about politics and current events." It should come as little surprise then that the tea party supporters polled also held positions that reflect misinformation pushed by Fox News on a variety of topics including socialism and the federal budget deficit.

Poll finds tea partiers get information from Fox News, consider Hannity and Beck to be "news shows"

NY Times poll: 63 percent of "Tea Party supporters" name Fox News as network they "watch most for information about politics and current events." Results from an April 5-12 New York Times/CBS News poll of "Tea Party supporters" found that 63 percent said that Fox News is the television network they "watch most for information about politics and current events." The poll also asked whether respondents "think of shows hosted by people like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity more as news shows or more as entertainment." Fifty-three percent of tea Party supporters said they consider such shows to be "news shows." The poll surveyed the opinions of 881 people it identified as "Tea Party supporters" and 1,580 people overall.

Poll also finds tea partiers hold positions that reflect conservative misinformation on Fox News

Tea partiers' views on blame for budget reflect Fox News misinformation. The New York Times poll asked respondents who they "think is mostly to blame for most of the current federal budget deficit -- 1. the Bush administration, 2. the Obama administration, 3. Congress, or 4. someone else." Twenty-four percent of tea party respondents said the Obama administration was mostly to blame, compared to only 8 percent of respondents overall. By contrast, only 6 percent of tea party respondents said the Bush administration was to blame for the deficit, compared to 39 percent of respondents overall. Fox News has repeatedly pushed misinformation about the federal deficit, including attributing the entire $1.4 trillion deficit for 2009 to President Obama, even though the Congressional Budget Office projected that based on policies set under President Bush and economic conditions at the time, the deficit for fiscal year 2009 would reach $1.2 trillion:

Reflecting Fox News' attacks on Obama and Dems, vast majority of tea partiers believe "Obama's policies are moving the country more toward socialism." The Times poll found that 92 percent of Tea Party supporters -- compared to 52 percent of respondents overall -- said that "Obama's policies are moving the country more toward socialism." Fox News has repeatedly attacked Obama and other Democrats by linking them with socialism:

Tea partiers' favorable view of GOP reflects Fox News' boosterism. The Times poll found that 54 percent of Tea Party supporters have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party, compared to 38 percent of respondents overall. Fox News has repeatedly promoted Republican causes and candidates on its programs:

Tea partiers' unfavorable view of Democrats reflects Fox News' frequent attacks. The Times poll found that 6 percent of Tea Party supporters have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, while 92 percent held a "not favorable" opinion. By contrast, 42 percent of respondents overall held a favorable view of Democrats and 50 percent held an unfavorable view. Fox News has repeatedly attacked President Obama and other Democrats on its programs:

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