Study shows that partisan TV pundits, left and right alike, focus mainly on demonizing the opposition


I can’t help but wonder if THIS also applies to my blog:

Research published in the September issue of Political Research Quarterly has found pundits on political opinion shows influence attitudes toward presidential candidates — and in a way that is entirely negative…

The researchers found Fox News viewers became more favorable of McCain and less favorable of Obama over the course of the 2008 presidential election. Both Fox’s news programs and opinion shows made viewers more favorable of McCain and less favorable of Obama, but the effect was stronger for those who watched the opinion shows. The study also found MSNBC’s opinion shows had the converse effect, viewers became more favorable of Obama and less favorable of McCain.

Opinion shows on both news networks adopted an “attack mentality” during the 2008 election season. Pundits on MSNBC and Fox News attacked the candidate they disagreed with far more often than they voiced support for the candidate they agreed with.

This tendency to attack the opposition influenced how viewers perceived the candidates. Watching Fox News opinion shows made viewers more likely to think Obama was extremely liberal. Conversely, watching MSNBC opinion shows made viewers more likely to think McCain was extremely conservative.

But watching Fox News opinion shows had little impact on how viewers perceived McCain’s ideology, and watching MSNBC opinion shows had little impact on how viewers perceived Obama’s ideology.

The study suggests that “viewers attitudes are shaped predominantly by vitriolic coverage of the opposition…Rather than viewers consuming news from a source that confirms their support for their in-party candidate, viewers are consuming news from a source that seems to confirm their distaste for the opposition. The result is not only more polarized partisans but also partisans who are polarized because they hate the other side rather than because they are card-carrying supporters of their side.”








  1. AmazingScott

    Yes, I think it also applies to your blog, albeit by degrees. You generally stay within the facts, unlike the others in the article. I read your blog because it’s fun to watch you poke those doofus Republicans, and I regard it as comedic entertainment. Light comedy, anyway, but sometimes the comments from moronic conservatives are funnier than the blog itself…

  2. As I have pointed out for years, it absolutely applies to your blog.

  3. What I’d like to see is more democrats pointing out and criticizing the disappointment they have within their own parties leadership. Or are they also lacking in introspection like their counterparts on the right, who also find it easier to point out the failings of the opposition?

    Just how hard has any of the democratic party made Obama become that candidate they thought they were voting for in 2008? They all protect him and say its those damn republicans in the congress that stop him from being that FDR progressive he came off as in the beginning. Obama was a shill for the corporations from day one. We’ve all seen film clips of Obama the candidate and Obama the president on the same subjects. I don’t think I need to further embellish there.

    We are Rome.

    Did anybody happen to watch Bill Moyers show on Sunday? Look at the people you vote for and who they’re really looking out for. Our system of govt is thoroughly broken and corrupted with big money influences and nobody in WA DC has the b’s or the t’s to say enough.

    I doubt any of you will watch this because its easier to point your fingers at the other party than to look at the failings of your own.

    Party on………


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