Look no further than a new poll released this week to understand propaganda does not make you intelligent. A survey conducted by Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports found those who watched CNN and MSNBC were “far more likely” to get basic crime statistics incorrect.
Not Exactly a Shocker
Fifty percent of respondents who said their favorite news channels were CNN and MSNBC believe that police fatally shot more than 100 unarmed African Americans in 2020. However, only 22% of those who watch Fox News agreed.
The answer is …
“Fewer than 50 unarmed black suspects were killed by police last year.”
It gets worse: “Nearly a quarter of CNN viewers (24%) and almost one-in-five MSNBC viewers (19%) think cops fatally shot more than 500 unarmed black suspects last year, but only nine percent (9%) of Fox News viewers think so,” Rasmussen found. By the way, 60% of talk radio junkies got it right.
Here is another one: True or false: More people were killed with assault weapons than knives in 2020.
The answer is …
False. More people were killed with knives than assault weapons last year. “About 1,500 homicides in the U.S. annually are committed with knives, while fewer than 500 are committed with rifles,” reports Rasmussen.
How did conservatives hold up against the leftists on this one? “Thirty percent (30%) of MSNBC viewers correctly estimated the number of homicides committed with rifles as between 100 and 500, as did 22% of CNN viewers and 19% of Fox News viewers. However, while 63% of Fox viewers underestimated the number of killings with rifles as less than 100, viewers of CNN and MSNBC were more likely to overestimate the number of homicides committed with rifles. Forty-three percent (43%) of CNN viewers and 40% of MSNBC viewers believe rifles are used in more than 500 homicides annually, compared to just 19% of Fox News viewers,” according to the report.
Just for Fun
Here is another question from the poll. Let’s make this one multiple choice: Approximately how many unarmed white Americans were fatally shot by police in 2020?
- Less than 50
- 50 – 100
- 500 – 1000
The answer is …
Four hundred fifty-seven whites were shot and killed by police in 2020, according to Statista.com. (This figure varies slightly depending upon the source.) On this one, pretty much everyone got it wrong. Only 18% of CNN and MSNBC devotees got it right. Fox News watchers were not much better at 19%.
So, there you have it, folks. If you listen to distorted facts and spin long enough, you begin to create an alternate reality. Perhaps this is why it has become so difficult for Americans to communicate with one another since they are clearly not working off the same playbook.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.
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