Top Menu

Fox News Watchers More Likely to Have Negative Views of Muslims

What we already knew in empirical form.

Fox News Watchers Consistently More Likely To Have Negative Views Of Muslims

(Think Progress)

Studies have already shown that regular Fox News watchers are “substantially” more misinformed about current events than consumers of other media, and that “greater exposure to [Fox] increased misinformation on a specific issue.” But a new poll suggests the conservative network may not just be harmful to viewers’ knowledge, but to their tolerance as well.

As highlighted by the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, a new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute reveals “a significant correlation between trust in Fox News and negative attitudes about Muslims. The study’s authors conclude:

Americans who most trust Fox News are more likely to believe that Muslims want to establish Shari’a law, have not done enough to oppose extremism, and believe investigating Muslim extremism is a good idea.

Indeed, more than twice as many Republicans who most trust Fox News think Muslims want to establish Sharia law in the U.S. as Republicans who trust other media outlets — 41 percent of Fox viewers compared to just 23 percent of other Republicans.

As Sargent notes, “we’ll never know whether Fox watchers harbor these views because they watch Fox, or whether they watch Fox because they harbor these views.” Nonetheless, Fox has propagated an “alternate reality” that consistently portrays Muslims as potentially dangerous, foreign, and suspect. For example, Fox disproportionately uses terms that reflect a negative view of Muslims more often than its competitors, as this graph of Nexis data from the last three months demonstrates :

And when these terms are used, they are often part of a story fear mongering about nefarious activities Muslims may be up to, such as imposing sharia law, creating a global caliphate, or plotting homegrown jihad. Other times, Muslims are subject to broad, negative generalizations:

– Host Bill O’Reilly on 1/13/11: “The American people need to know what is going on in the Muslim communities in — in our country because we really don’t. A lot of them are closed communities. We don’t know.”

– Fox legal analyst Peter Johnson Junior 2/7/11: “You have to look at the scholarly research on this issue over the years — is Democracy and Islam, are they compatible? Most scholars on the subject have said they aren’t compatible.”

– Fox and Friends’ Brian Kilmeade 10/15/10: “There was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9/11. It wasn’t just one person, it was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

Given the daily dose of conspiracy and Islamophobia on its airwaves, perhaps it’s no surprise that more than three-quarters of those who trust Fox think Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) McCarthy-like hearings on Muslim radicalization are a good idea, compared to just 45 percent of those who most trust CNN and 28 percent of those who most trust public television.

, , , , ,

  • nye880

    fox news is purposely against Obama, blacks, mexicans, arabs, muslims and gays. if you fall into any of these categories, you’ll never hear anything positive about you. they also deny the existence of racism and islamophobia.

  • Pingback: FOX News vs. real news. - Page 10 - Christian Forums()

  • CJ-Canadian

    “Fox News Watchers More Likely to Have Negative Views of Muslims”


  • Awesome

    Fox is owned by the Rupert Murdoch News Corporation, and like all the other mass media outlets, it has interlocking directorates with companies in the military-industrial complex.

  • Lo

    ^The second largest owner of Fox is a prince of a family that claims superior ownership over some of the holiest lands to Muslims. It’s all about the green, baby.

  • hmmm….

    Strange… Second largest owner of Fox is a muslim. Surprising that he allows he’s channel spreading anti-Muslim hate.

  • antiislamophobe

    Is this supposed to be new in anyway? I guess since its from an actual study, it confirms what we have suspected the past several years.

  • froger29

    I am blown away by this surprising news (sarcasm). Fox news is created for dogs by dogs.

  • LH

    This matches with my impression. I watch Rachel maddow’s show and Bill O’Reily’s show on my computer. I can sense that Bill’s show is full of hatred and bias, even from the point of view of a bystander (I am a non-muslim). The only thing I like about Bill is his jubilant voice when he say “Hi, I am Bill O’Reily”, that is probably why I haven’t unsubscribe it. CNN is also biased as well, but not as much as Fox. And there are those radio hosts, limbaugh, beck, levin ..etc. Sometimes I turned on my radio just to torture myself by listening to those conspiracy theories.

  • On a lighter note, enjoy:

    The measure’s sponsor, Rep. Rex Duncan (R-Sand Springs) said even though Muslims account for only 1 to 2 percent of the U.S. population, and not all of them follow Sharia law, they could somehow wind up imposing their will and their religion on rest of the nation.

    “I know people will say the First Amendment of the Constitution prevents Islamic law, or any religious law for that matter, from being used as the law of the land,” Duncan said. “As someone who only respects the Constitution when it suits my political interests, I’m worried someone else might try to do the same thing. I will not sit idly by when I have the chance to stoke irrational fears for political benefit.”

    While these movements initially began as a move against Sharia law by far right conservatives, the idea found little traction until the snipe and unobtanium provisions were added. As many as 13 other states are considering legislation or state constitutional amendments to this effect.

  • PD

    Lol whats funny guys….

    Just before i went to Loonwatch for my daily once over i was on Media Matters
    and this was there Page 1 headline

    Tonight On Glenn Beck: End Times Author Who Thinks Islam Is “Vehicle” Of Satan

    Beck will host End Times-obsessed author Joel Richardson, according to WorldNetDaily, which published his most recent book. Beck previously featured Richardson as an expert in his documentary Rumors of War.

    In 2009, Richardson published The Islamic Antichrist, in which he puts forth his theory that “Islam is indeed the primary vehicle that will be used by Satan to fulfill the prophecies of the Bible about the future political/religious/military system of the Antichrist that will overwhelm the entire world just prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ.”


  • NassirH

    Fox News embarrassing itself. Would probably be more funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  • Crow

    They could do a survey how fox news knocks your IQ. Somebody actually said to me one time that they knew what they were saying was true because glenn beck said it

  • Khaled

    “Shocking! I recall one JWer ( ) told us that Fox News had a pro-Muslim bias…”

    Apparently you haven’t gotten the memo, we have infiltrated the Conservative movement! We promote Shari`ah through the Republican party by bashing Muslims and we promote it through the Democratic party by promoting gay rights!!!…. ummm… This is a very strange shari`ah we’re promoting

  • Mosizzle

    Shocking! I recall one JWer ( 😀 ) told us that Fox News had a pro-Muslim bias…

    Obviously, he was stupid.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Fox News Watchers More Likely to Have Negative Views of Muslims | --

  • mindy1

    Not surprising

Powered by Loon Watchers