A few weeks ago the Democratic National Committee chair, Tom Perez, announced that there would be no Democratic primary debates hosted by Fox News. There was considerable debate over whether this was a constructive policy, even though Fox News itself virtually validated it by repeatedly demonstrating their abject hatred for Democrats and their all-consuming adoration of Donald Trump.
Now a new survey affirms the decision to banish Fox News from the Democratic primary schedule. Navigator Research interviewed 1,000 voters to ascertain the ideological gaps between members of both parties and their viewing of Fox News. The results were published in their paper: “Stepping Inside the Fox Hole, The Media Echo-Chamber of Fox News,” It revealed stark differences that were directly attributable to frequent exposure to the propaganda on Fox. According to Navigator Research:
“There is an alternate reality in American politics, and it plays an outsized role in the way many experience and form opinions on the most important issues facing the country. Progressives should be mindful of the challenge from the Fox News echo-chamber and how it skews public perceptions. […] The influence of Fox News Channel is undeniable: from their audience to their biggest promoter, President Trump.”
The report went on to note that there was “near unanimity” between the Fox News viewing Republicans (what they call the “Fox Hole”) and the Trump world of “alternative facts.” These voters have opinions that are “vastly different from the rest” of the American people, and even from other Republicans who don’t watch Fox. For instance:
- 90% of the Fox Hole approve of Trump’s job performance. Compared to only 71% of the non-Fox GOP and 10% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
- 89% of the Fox Hole approve of Trump’s tax reform. Compared to only 62% of the non-Fox GOP and 6% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
- 84% of the Fox Hole approve of Trump’s national emergency declaration to fund a border wall. Compared to only 50% of the non-Fox GOP and 7% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
- 89% of the Fox Hole agree with Trump’s claims of “fake news.” Compared to only 76% of the non-Fox GOP and 11% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
- 78% of the Fox Hole agree that Trump accomplished more than any other president in two years. Compared to only 49% of the non-Fox GOP and 4% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
- 78% of the Fox Hole that think that Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation should be shut down. Compared to only 60% of the non-Fox GOP and 12% of non-GOP, non-Fox viewers.
What this tells us is what many of us have already known for years. Fox News viewers are a segment of the electorate who are almost completely unpersuadable on political matters. They are no more open to debate than members of a cult. Democrats appearing on Fox News have practically no opportunity to change the minds of anyone in their audience. It’s a total waste of time and resources.
That’s not to say that there aren’t minds in the country that can be changed, even among Republicans. However, Republicans who are not Fox News viewers can be reached on broadcast networks, local TV, or online news. And Fox News viewers who are not Republicans also watch other cable news sources and can be reached there.
But the Republicans watching Fox News – The Fox Holes – are cemented into their Trumpist mindset and are unavailable to Democratic arguments or ideas. So the DNC was right to reject Fox News as a primary debate host (although the general election debates are another matter). And Democrats should feel no need to accept invitations to be cannon fodder for biased and bigoted Fox News interrogations.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.