12 Months of Misinformation: Explaining Fox News’ ‘Record Low’ Credibility

Fox News’ credibility hit a record low this year, according to new Public Policy Polling (PPP) research released Wednesday. In a press release, PPP put Fox’s abysmal year into context:

Just like its actual ratings, Fox News has hit a record low in the four years that we've been doing this poll. 41% of voters trust it to 46% who do not. To put those numbers into some perspective the first time we did this poll, in 2010, 49% of voters trusted it to 37% who did not.

After another year of airing misinformation and embarrassing gaffes, it’s no surprise that Fox News continues to lose Americans’ trust:

January 2012  - Fox Peddles Racist “Food Stamp” Rhetoric

Echoing Newt Gingrich’s disgusting nickname for the president, several Fox personalities peddled the misinformation that Obama is giving out more “freebies” than any other administration. As Media Matters reported, that’s false. In actuality, George W. Bush oversaw the largest increase in food stamp usage. Evidently, coded racism doesn’t bode well for credibility.

February 2012 – Fox Pundit Says Military Women Should “Expect” to be Raped

Fox News pundit Liz Trotta learned that Americans aren’t too fond of victim blaming. Responding to news that women would be working closer to front lines, Trotta implied that women should “expect” to be raped more if they want to serve this country. 

March 2012 — Fox Pundit Claims “Hoodie” Killed Trayvon Martin

Geraldo Rivera started a national movement this year when he suggested that Trayvon Martin died because of what he was wearing, not the overzealous vigilantism of a George Zimmerman or outrageous “stand your ground” laws.

April 2012 — Fox Host Misinforms on the Environment

Everyone knows Fox News has an appalling record on the environment. As the Union of Concerned Scientists revealed, Fox News has misled the American public in 93 percent of their climate change coverage. And in April, host Greg Gutfeld uttered a slew of environmental falsehoods, including the claim that the world plants more trees than it cuts down.

May 2012  — Fox Appeals to Jingoism and Lies About Obama

Media Matters reports a full on assault against President Obama for allegedly failing to express his gratitude to the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden.

June 2012 — Fox Ignores Context of “Private Sector is Doing Fine”

“The private sector is doing fine.” Remember when Fox News used this quote from the president to demonize him as an out of touch socialist without including the context that private sector jobs were in fact growing at a higher rate than the public sector?

July 2012  — Fox Peddles Voter Fraud Myths

Despite widespread reports on the rarity of voter fraud in this country, Fox’s Patti-Ann Brown willingly referred to Pennsylvania’s racist voter ID law as an “attempt to fight voter fraud.”

August 2012 — Fox Chooses not to Talk About Todd Akin

In August, Rep. Todd Akin found a national audience when he claimed that women’s bodies are biologically tuned to abort pregnancies resulting from “legitimate rape.” As Think Progress reports, Fox News barely covered the story.

September 2012 — The Polls Are Rigged…

When the polls weren’t in Mitt Romney’s favor, Fox News pundits joined conservative conspiracy theorists claiming that someone must’ve been cooking the numbers.

October 2012 — So Let’s Ignore Them…

The now-terminated pundit Dick Morris predicted that Mitt Romney would win in a “landslide.”

November 2012 — And Refuse to Believe When the Polls are Vindicated

Karl Rove’s meltdown on election night was probably the most notable Fox News moment of 2012.

December 2012 – Fox Proves Itself Incapable of Drawing an Accurate Graph

Media Matters caught Fox misleading the American public about the unemployment rate with a completely dishonest graph.

Fox News is already off to a great, credibility damaging start in 2013. Here’s to another year of misinformation, disgusting deceit and inflammatory speech!

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