New Study Finds That Fox News Is Brainwashing Viewers And Hurting The Republican Party


A new study has found that Fox News is hurting the Republican Party by brainwashing millions of angry conservatives with misinformation.

In a new study of the Fox News effect by Bruce Bartlett, research was collected that demonstrated the negative impact of Fox News on media and politics.

Bartlett described what the founding of Fox News first meant to conservatives, and how it shifted into an act of self-brain washing, “Like someone dying of thirst in the desert, conservatives drank heavily from the Fox waters. Soon, it became the dominant -and in many cases, virtually the only – major news source for millions of Americans. This has had profound political implications that are only starting to be appreciated. Indeed, it can almost be called self-brainwashing – many conservatives now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth.”

Mr. Bartlett documented Fox News’ extreme rightward shift after 9/11 and how the network went from tilting conservative to flat out misinformation and propaganda. The study also sums of years of research that points to Fox News viewers as being the least informed media consumers.

The dominance of Fox News has led to some extremely negative consequences that are harming the Republican Party:

Although this arrangement unquestionably aids Republicans in winning elections and votes in Congress, it is not without its downsides. One is that Fox now exercises such powerful control over the GOP that it has become the party’s kingmaker in presidential primaries.56 Indeed, during the 2012 election cycle, a number of aspirants for the Republican nomination had been paid Fox commentators, including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. And woe to the Republican who runs afoul of Fox’s top brass or ignores their advice, as Mitt Romney did on one occasion in 2012. Fox is now so important in GOP primaries that candidates must put aside pressing campaign concerns when summoned to a Fox interview, where any error is magnified within the Republican bubble.


Another problem is that Republican voters get so much of their news from Fox, which cheerleads whatever their candidates are doing or saying, that they suffer from wishful thinking and fail to see that they may not be doing as well as they imagine, or that their ideas are not connecting
outside the narrow party base.

Bartlett’s conclusion is that the same attributes that make Fox a strong cable network are harming the Republican Party.

There is little doubt that the Republican Party is influenced by two interests. The corporations and conservative billionaires who fund their campaigns and Fox News. A Republican candidate can be made or broken by Fox News, but the network also pushes Republicans to an unelectable right-wing position in presidential elections.

Viewers have been brainwashed by a combination of misinformation and constant confirmation of their own biases. Fox News doesn’t “report” reality. The result is that millions of Fox News Republicans expect their candidates to carry out what they see on television, which has led to a party of non-reality based voters supporting delusional candidates.

The impact is felt on a broken legislative process where for one party there is no middle and opposing the President at all costs has become a path to political victory.

The conclusion is unmistakable. Fox News has not only broken journalism. The conservative news network is also destroying the Republican Party.

101 Replies to “New Study Finds That Fox News Is Brainwashing Viewers And Hurting The Republican Party”

  1. Fox News, Soma.

    Like any other destructive drug- it’s time to let the Republican Party addiction run it’s course. After all, this is the way they want to let everyone else who is addicted- suffer.

  2. And, what can be done about it, especially in light (darkness…) of the current political situation and a spineless FCC?

  3. We read it everyday when republican trolls comment. Its like WTF are you talking about, you really cant be this stupid but they are.

  4. The assumption that the Fox viewers have “brains” to “wash” is baseless. Fox viewers can hardly be considered as intelligent thinkers. They thrive on the hatred spewed daily, that is the appeal of Fox. Every topic is spun to fire up the hate buttons.

  5. My wife’s nephew is gay and recently stated at a family
    reunion that Fox news is the only channel a person needs to watch to learn the truth. That’s how twisted
    around the sheeple are here in NC. It’s mind boggling.

  6. dw is correct. it is impossible to brainwash those without brains. It would be more like amygdala washing. Josef Goebbels legacy lives on at FoxNews.

  7. Here is Texas I have tried many times to have conversations with my fellow Texans that are devoted to watching Fox. They don’t engage in conversation they talk in sound bites.”Obama is a Muslim” “Obama is ruining the country” When you ask them to give reasons they can’t. They just start repeating the same sound bites. It is almost as if they are wind up toys programmed with a very limited vocabulary. It is very strange.

  8. Most Fox viewers believe that ONLY Fox present the “TRUTH”… Well, when EVERYONE else is apparently always wrong, one should get a clue…

    Fox viewers remind me of the old joke:
    Guy driving his car hears over the local radio: “There is a mad man driving on the highway in the WRONG direction”, and he thinks “There’s more than one!” as he’s swerving to avoid incoming cars…

  9. Most Fox viewers(yes I’m being careful not to offend sane people that are misguided) are ANDROIDS, created and produced by the FOX.

    Trained to “dog whistles, and repeats all the propaganda given to them. The FOX controls them, proven time and again in their voting against their own best interests.

    It scare me to death to think were our humanity would be now had Hitler had the Internet.

    Their source of fear stems from constant drumbeats that evil lurks around every corner. Be it evil Libs, people not like them, antichrist, or what ever new fear is cooked up for them. Pseudo PTSD on a grand scale.

  10. There has to be something fundamentally wrong with anyone who can make it through more than five minutes of their crap! I truly believe their main objective is to incite their audience to violence. They should be labelled a hate group.

  11. Boy you’ve got that right. I live in Texas and the misinformation of conservatives is monumental. The anger behind the misinformation is palpable.

  12. My cousin is an avid Fox watcher, though he doesn’t admit it. He too talks in Fox “News” sound bites and give any valid reasons for his view other than more sound bites. When I say to him, “So says Fox News”, he denies it and says, “I watch CNN too”, yet every time I come to his house, Fox “News” is on. Reality is unrecognizable to them. They’ve been living in Fox World so long the real world is passing them by.

  13. They need more honest, unbiased “journalists” like George Stephanopoulos. lol
    Conservatives have Fox. Liberals have NBC, CBS,ABC, MSNBC, and CNN and you piss and whine like children ! Unbelievable !!

  14. I know this is basically a pointless endeavor, but this is not a scientific study by any stretch of the imagination. For example, this “paper” contains the following sentence: “Fox viewers were more likely to believe that whites are as discriminated against as members of minority groups and to hold silly and bigoted views toward Muslims”. For this to be true and scientifically provable, you would have to quantify the term “silly” as an unambiguous scientific measure. This is actually not possible. If i think that being pro-choice is silly then I could easily make a table in excel showing that Democrats are, by a statistically significant margin, far sillier than Republicans. This paper is full of nonsense terms, incorrect or blatantly absent statistics, and from what I can see they controlled for a single confounder for one data set (but did it wrong). TLDR; this is a joke and you should all be embarrassed by your scientific illiteracy.

  15. Dumbass who ever said George Stephanopoulos is a journalist? That’s the problem with being stupid you think people who read the news and have softball interviews are journalist. No wonder you live in the land of dumfukistan

  16. All we have to do is read your idiocy to validate the paper which BTW was written by one of bush buttboys

  17. Just like the RWNJ were POSITIVE they had beaten Obama with Romney. They just could not BELIEVE that Obama had won again, Fox News TOLD them that EVERYONE in this country HATED Obama, and they were sure this was true, so true, that they in fact believed their OWN Propaganda, with Karl Rove Defiantly stating that Romney had won Ohio, Because that’s what they had been told over and over again!!!

  18. ” For this to be true and scientifically provable, you would have to quantify the term “silly” ”

    This is satire, right? You’ve gotta be kidding me. I think you just did quantify it.

  19. Agreed, I’m up here in Dallas and most of my family has sucked up the Fox Kool-Aid. It has gotten so bad that many of us are kept apart so as to not start fights. My brother, he hates facts.

  20. no, please do. If I am incorrect about their statistical analysis I would appreciate being enlightened. Statistics is a difficult field and your expertise may help me improve my next paper.

  21. erica, the far left and the far right have views that are not in the mainstream obviously, they are the ends of the norm in the center. The further to each side of the norm the more unacceptable to both it becomes. The far right and the far left will never see things from the same point of view, it is in their natures to disagree with each other. A segment of Fox viewers are far to the right and are blindly prejudiced in their world view.

  22. I think this one’s kinda a “DUH!” Most of us who use our brains for something other than keeping our ears apart came to this conclusion years ago, and the time and money spent on researching this could have been better spent elsewhere. On the other hand, in any debate it’s always best to have the empirical data to back up your side’s argument, and now we have that thanks to this study, even when said conclusion is as patently obvious as this one. (Not that facts hold that much sway over that crowd, but I digress. [WINK])

  23. So you actually think that a real scientific paper would describe a certain variable as more silly than another?

  24. Your replies on the Amtrak thread where you was shown to be wrong you kept insisting you were right for one

  25. also, the statistics are there, and the paper cites them clearly. Did you look at the PDF? It is mostly based on Pew Research type stats.

  26. Rin, I don’t necessarily disagree with you, my issue is these endless “studies” about how Liberals are smarter and more informed than conservatives, etc., that contain egregious and laughable errors yet they are reported as fact by the media. These attempts to show FOX to be stupid and biased ironically only show this to be true of the study authors and those who peddle their findings.

  27. Well, clearly you didn’t read the paper since I quoted a section which does not appear to be present in the above post.

  28. Nearly every story on Fox would be “silly” non-sense if it wasn’t so dispicably vile and dangerous to our very society.

    The right has long painted Hillary as an Alinsky devotee, because he offered her a job and because she did a thesis on him or something ages ago. They of course used that against obama because they already had that story written and just had to scratch out her name and put in his name.

    I laughed earlier today when I hit on one of the right sites and saw it is again her. She is a socialist radical. Again. Yawn. It is funny because they have a REAL socialist to go after and aren’t…

    I have read hundreds of these type stories about her and yet, they are all not going to convince any Dem to believe it. They do have a whole lot of Republicans who buy this BS though. Why is that? FOX promotes it. They get no rise calling her liberal, must go more left.….

  29. It’s not an argument by assertion to say that “silly” isn’t a scientific measure. If silly has been quantified please point me to the PUBMED article.

  30. Pop quiz
    1. Do trickle down works?
    2. Do blacks murder more that whites
    3. What states receive the most welfare
    4. Did we win the Iraq war and was it worth it?
    5. Did the economy improved under Obama
    6. Did the ACA/OBAMACARE lower the deficit?
    7. Did bush turn a surplus into an deficit?
    8. Under what party has the economy grown the most?
    9. Do you believe the climate is changing?
    10. What was the biggest fuk up 9 11 or Benghazi

  31. umm, I have no idea what you are talking about. The quote is from the actual paper not the politicususa post, which was my way of answering, “yes, I read the paper”, to DJ’s question. Try to keep up.

  32. I am a southerner. I have lived here all my 44 years. I love many things about the south. The one thing, however, that is suffocatingly clear is that most of the people here vote against their own interests. These people, who are otherwise intelligent beings, (not the stereotype hillbilly many think of) constantly watch FUX and I can’t understand how the hell this is possible. History has taught us that any group that hammers you with propaganda is historically dangerous and runs from the truth. WAKE THE HELL UP!

  33. I will never forget Karl Rove’s breakdown on Fox News. He even had a very tough time accepting the info that Megan Kelly was giving him.

  34. He tried to be a journalist, but just was a shill for the Soros Democrats, just like the other 30 people in the Obama Administration who went from the White House to journalism or from journalism to the White House.
    No liberal bias here ! Nothing to see! Keep on moving !!

    Got some more name calling there genius?

  35. Pop quiz—My Answers. Easy quiz. A Republican taking this test will REVERSE all of my Answers.

    1. Do trickle down works? NO.
    2. Do blacks murder more than whites. NO.
    3. What states receive the most welfare. RED STATES
    4. Did we win the Iraq war and was it worth it? NO we did not WIN. And NO it wasn’t worth it.
    5. Did the economy improved under Obama. YES! YES!
    6. Did the ACA/OBAMACARE lower the deficit? YES.
    7. Did bush turn a surplus into an deficit? YES!
    8. Under what party has the economy grown the most? DEMOCRATS
    9. Do you believe the climate is changing? YES
    10. What was the biggest fuk up 9 11 or Benghazi? Of course 9/11 ! But don’t ask a Republican…They think it’s BENGHAZIIIIII !!!!!!

  36. How Stupid Happens
    “Over Half of ALL Statements Made On Fox News Are False,” “Fox News wins battle for most-false cable network.”!
    Fox News Pundit Admits She Watches CNN ‘If I Want To Know About News’
    The Lies That Will Kill America
    “Fox News is its ministry of misinformation, the fake jewel of the News Corp. crown, a 24/7 purveyor of flimflam and the occasional selective truth.”

  37. STUDY: Watching FOX News Makes You Stupid
    Study Finds Fox News Viewers Least Informed Of All viewers
    Rupert Murdoch Calls Fox News Viewers Morons & White Trash
    …O’Reilly, also laughing, then joined in by saying, “Hey, how many Fox viewers does it take to change a light bulb? None, they all refuse to change the bulb because they prefer living in the dark.”

  38. That’s why Fox viewers are STUPID
    Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid
    “Attitudes at the University of Maryland, conducted a survey of American voters that shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. What’s more, the study shows that greater exposure to Fox News increases misinformation.”

  39. The Lies That Will Kill America
    “Fox News is its ministry of misinformation, the fake jewel of the News Corp. crown, a 24/7 purveyor of flimflam and the occasional selective truth.”
    Fox News Pundit Admits She Watches CNN ‘If I Want To Know About News’
    Rupert Murdoch Calls Fox News Viewers Morons & White Trash
    …O’Reilly, also laughing, then joined in by saying, “Hey, how many Fox viewers does it take to change a light bulb? None, they all refuse to change the bulb because they prefer living in the dark.”

  40. LOL I think she will be ok. After ALL she, and Bill went through, during Bill’s administration, he still got things accomplished. The GOP were not as Radically right than so they did make so sense then…..NOW NOT SO MUCH.

  41. To watch FOX news, you’ve got to possess at least two precursurs, dumbass in school and at senior graduation. Dumbass at birth. Oh wait, there one more. Must be stupid in the first place.

  42. Not just hurting the Republican Party, it’s hurting the whole country, and perhaps world, as well.

  43. And I’m supposed to care about this because? I hope they kill the friggin republican party. The amount of stupidity coming from them is palpable. As long as they remain in the minority who cares? Let it die and a new political entity that is ready for prime time arises. Also stop saying that only old people watch Fox, I’m old and refuse to watch Fox. Plus the added benefit of if the gop dies Fox dies also, seems like a win-win to me. Todays conservative has very little to do with conservatism and more to do with ignorance and hatred and that always fails.

  44. Mark Twain wrote of current GOP:

    “Anger/Hatred does more harm to the vessel in which it is stored…
    Than to anything on which it is poured”

  45. the paper which BTW was written by one of bush buttboys
    Um…not quite.
    Bruce Bartlett has made the claim that he was “banned” from Fox News (no ax to grind there, right?) and has been *concern trolling* the GOP from the right and then from the left for probably a decade.

    Bartlett likes to play the role of dissident conservative, who came to hate Bush, embrace Krugman and then Ron Paul. (I’ve lost track which policy position he now claims is correct) The man can never resist taking gratuitous swipes at Republicans and has enjoyed insulting everyone in the Republican party – basically on his way out the door.

    Bartlett comes across as a remarkably self-centered pompous a$$ who suffers from politcal schizophrenia….but from what I can gather, it appears he is now a liberal….with a bruised ego.

  46. I hope you don’t mind me borrowing this line from you. “in the land of dumfukistan” I love it, so I can’t help but use it. Thanks.

  47. The more brainwashing and misinformation the republicans spews, the more dangerous the party. Mainstream is perpetuating the lies and misinformation and damaging the two party system. I read rabid Republicans and teabaggers tearing apart this country, siding with the likes of Putin, Netanyahu, and every other crack pots feeding off our suckers born every minute. NBC and others are becoming FOX slowly but surely. The Koch Brothers, their minions on the Supreme Court, in Congress, in State and Local government is both scary and extremist. In the end nobody wins. If only more people were reading what Politicususa is writing. I pass it along via social media, but we need more people spreading the word.

  48. It is not old news, as much as it is the same dangerous news being spread to the younger generation. Never underestimate the danger of the known, or of old news, it can rear it’s ugly head again and again. It’s “new” to the younger generation and therefore always toxic and dangerous. Snuff it out like we would Ebola…it’s deadly.

  49. Rejoinder to your assertion “my issue is these endless ‘studies’ about how Liberals are smarter and more informed than conservatives, etc., that contain egregious and laughable errors….”

    I think I’ll just borrow your own quote:

    Yes, Erica, just call it idiocy without explanation or rebuttal.

    Pure genius.

    You know, you really need to stop employing ipse dixit in your lame attempt to claim you’re right – when you’re NOT.

    (Remember me? I’m your worst nightmare from your Amtrak PTC ongoing ERRORS!)

  50. Erica said:

    “no [sic], please do. If I am incorrect about their statistical analysis I would appreciate being enlightened.”

    That would be impossible because you did NOT point out anything – you just CLAIMED IT was erroneous.

    You know, you really need to stop employing ipse dixit in your lame attempt to claim you’re right – when you’re NOT.

    (Remember me? I’m your worst nightmare from your Amtrak PTC ongoing ERRORS!)

  51. Erica, I will grant you that the use of the word “silly” in Bartlett’s piece is, well, rather silly.

    But YOU clearly did NOT read the papers that are cited as the source, now did you?

    Because NEITHER the Brookings Institution study:

    NOR the Public Religion Institute study:

    Used the word “silly”.

    Was your problem TLDNR? Or you just want to pick out ONE WORD to invalidate an entire paper?

    Pretty lame on your part … but then THAT’S no surprise, now is it?

  52. Living in the Great White North, we’re not exposed to Faux, unless we pay extra in cable fees for such trash (which the vast majority do not). So I’m always curious when we go on vacation to our favourite Atlantic island to catch a wee glimpse of Faux. Last October, at the time the guard was shot on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, I switched over to Faux to see their coverage. It took less than 30 seconds for one of the blonde bimbos (Carlson, maybe?) to negatively reference Obama and lack of security — which had NOTHING to do with the Ottawa tragedy. “Nuff said.

  53. Exact situation in my family. I finally snapped at brother in law’s hate and ridicule after he ripped my wife, his sister a new one because she dared praise a Democrat.

    I told that SOB I’d call the cops on him, and told the family we’re done with Foxbot idiots.

    Of course now time has passed and his fee fees are hurt and I’m the bad guy.

    F*CK him, them and that, I’m done with those morons. If I smell Foxbot on someone, I ensure they know we’re not friends.

    Ugly? Yes, but my life is better that I don’t have to try and placate those idiots. Holidays much better too.

  54. Most people are lazy. Rather than think for themselves, they let other people/faux tell them what to think. However, if you think what everybody else does then you’re not thinking at all–which is the facists goal.

  55. So……what’s the excuse for MSNBC and CNN’s brainwashing techniques ?

    Oh…it’s different I guess.

  56. Yeah it is different . They don’t lie as much dumbass

    At Fox and Fox News, 10 percent of the claims PunditFact has rated have been True, 11 percent Mostly True, 18 percent Half True, 21 percent Mostly False, 31 percent False and nine percent Pants on Fire.

    That means about 60 percent of the claims checked have been rated Mostly False or worse. Here’s how it breaks down (as of Jan. 27, 2015):

  57. I’m glad you accept Politifact as the unabashed truth. The quote from Dana Perino that said On climate change “the temperature readings have been fabricated, and it’s all blowing up in their (scientists) faces”. This was said by Politifact to be 100% the TRUTH. So can we put that scam to bed?

  58. I didn’t know that bush lying ass warmonger had a degree in Climate science. You get stupider by the day

  59. No phrase in modern journalism is more suspicious than “studies show,” unless it’s “research reveals.” Mention “science” and the average scribbler’s eyes grow gauzy as his brain shuts down, and too many readers have the same reaction. This is especially true when the science involved is of the “social” variety: fields like social psychology, sociology, social anthropology, and all their bastard children. Entire mountains of baloney would come tumbling down if reporters applied an ounce of skepticism to the research findings shoveled at them by eager university publicists and happily repeated in print or on the air as settled fact.

  60. this article on foxnews is pure left wing garbage. Foxnews doesn’t follow the left wing agenda so of course those on the left call it hate filled speech that incites fear in everyone. Sorry but millions of Americans prefer Fox over MSNBC. that station has many a couple hundred viewers. they practically worship the coward we have in office now. its a pathetic disgrace and by the way foxnews has the highest ratings always!

  61. C’mon now, Chen. Let’s cut the racial stereotypes. You should know better.

    Not ALL old white guys. There’s a LOT of us here who are not Republicans.

  62. Whatsay we cut the racial stereotypes, Chen? You oughta know better.

    There are millions of old white men who do not vote Republican. Like me.

  63. History is fraught with many examples of this form of brainwashing. The Catholic Church and their heresy laws that attempted to retard science. The southern newspapers in the build up to the Civil War that hid their intent to keep slavery under the veil of Washington wanting to take away your rights. Nazi Germany and their propaganda machines. Just like FOX, they hide their intent by exposing people’s pre-existing prejudices to get them to believe a slanted version of the truth that suits their needs.Or they repeat a lie a thousand times until their viewers believe it must be true. Fortunately, people with a higher intelligence can see through their veil of misinformation.

  64. This discussion is quite comical really from all points as there are only a very few points that need to be understood to see that they are true and these all point to the same overall truth.

    Fox news fills it’s viewers and followers with complete and shielded untruth in general. To back that up I point to the fact that several of there own presenters and anyone I knew who follow FOX were astonished that this country would not elect a known bishop of a cult to be its primary leader by free election no matter how often they attempted to intermingle Christian and Mormon as related religions when they are alike in nothing but naming of some key concept characters.

    The next point is that every other source besides FOX reports different fact be that partial or complete.

    I am not saying a source cannot be incorrect, but a source over a period of time can be proven to be so, this is especially so if the only true point of reference is itself or tributary organizations.

  65. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are delusional spin from the liberal media. There is no shortage of filament. That light bulb has served honorably, & anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?

  66. Posted by Mark NC on April 9, 2015 at 8:50 pm: Fox News CEO Admits That The Network Is Not In The News Business
    Now, with the publication of the “Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media 2015,” Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman and CEO, has confessed that his network, despite its name, is not actually in the news business. Belittling his cable news competitors CNN and MSNBC, he gave the Reporter a statement revealing his true professional aspirations: “Fox News has redefined television journalism by fundamentally transforming it from an information medium to an entertainment medium. They dress up their pseudo-news segments in the same melodramatic packaging that entertainment outlets use: conflict, scandal, mystery, and hyper-charged emotions including hero worship and fear. Fox employs flashy graphics and attention-grabbing audio whooshes and gongs to decorate their reports that are presented as ‘ALERTS’ regardless of the news value. And always ther…

  67. True or not (and I’m leaning towards “not”), the numbers don’t lie:
    Fox News has more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined, and the Marketplace always decides.

  68. Thanks for giving us a perfect demonstration of the mindlessness of the average Fox News viewer. Some stupidity is just to unreal to believe until we see it first hand.

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