The effect of cable news on political knowledge

I don’t endorse the political slant of this article, but I DO endorse the argument that the average level of objective political knowledge of the American public is unimpressive, to say the least. And I DO agree that cable media is at least partially responsible. I devote an entire unit to this very subject in my Parties and Voting Behavior class at Centre.

To further the point, in this article from The Monkey Cage, political scientists John Sides analyzes Pew data which supports (but does not conclusively prove) the argument that cable media is responsible for a lot of the political misinformation in the American public. For example, it’s primarily better-educated Republicans who have shown an increase in the likelihood of saying that Pres. Obama is a Muslim. This may be (emphasis: “may”) because they’re the ones more likely to be viewing cable news programming. The same increase isn’t shown to exist among less-educated Republicans (who are less likely to consume the same levels of cable news programming).

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