Fact Check: Jon Stewart misinformed on who is misinformed 

In the most heated portion of Jon Stewart’s interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Stewart claimed: “Who are the most consistently misinformed media viewers? … Fox viewers, consistently, every poll.”

But Politifact looked up some recent polls on media viewer knowledge and it turns out Stewart is the one who is misinformed. On Pew’s 2008 Media Survey, Politifact reports:

Fox News was just about at the national average — 19 percent of Fox viewers scored in the high knowledge category, compared to 18 percent of all respondents — but this time a handful of news outlets scored lower than Fox did. With scores ranging from 17 percent all the way down to 9 percent, they were CNBC, local television news, network news, morning news shows, television newsmagazines, personality magazines, religious radio, the Weather Channel, CBS News, Access Hollywood and similar shows, and in last place, the National Enquirer.

And once again, particular Fox shows scored well above the average. Hannity & Colmes was one of only four choices to exceed 40 percent — the others were the New Yorker/the Atlantic, NPR and MSNBC’s Hardball — while The O’Reilly Factor scored 28 percent, or 10 points above the national average. (Hannity & Colmes even exceeded Stewart’s Daily Show in this poll, 42 percent to 30 percent.)

On the University of Maryland’s June 2010 report Politifact writes:

Fox actually scored better than its two direct cable-news rivals — MSNBC, which is a liberal counterpoint to Fox, and CNN, which is considered more middle-of-the-road. Also scoring lower than Fox were local television news, the evening network news shows and the network morning shows.

And for the third time, particular Fox shows scored well. Hannity ranked fifth (just ahead of MSNBC’s liberal shows hosted by Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow) and O’Reilly ranked ninth. For the first time, Pew included Glenn Beck in its rankings, and the Fox host finished 12th — slightly ahead of Stewart’s own Daily Show.

Stewart’s viewers are less informed than Glenn Beck’s!?!? Ouch.

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Conn Carroll

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