-By Warner Todd Huston
A poll conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org, a "project" run out of the University of Maryland, was the toast of the left-wingers last week for its finding that Fox News viewers were the most "misinformed" during the 2010 election cycle. Sadly, few of the news pieces on this poll mentioned that WorldPublicOpinion.org is funded in part by such far left-wing organizations as the Ben and Jerry's Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, the United States Institute of Peace, and the George Soros backed Tides Foundation.
The report was big news throughout the lefty blogs and the Old Media, as well. Longtime Internet lefty site Slate blurbed the report assuming the fact that Fox fans are misinformed was obvious. The New York Time's Brian Stelter reported the poll but didn't bother to try and size up the source, reporting it as straight news. Extreme leftist columnist Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer also treated the claim as fact. Associated Content did as well. Even our "friends" to the north accepted the report as fact. Canada's Globe and Mail accepted the all-Fox-fans-are-dumb meme as gospel truth and so did the Toronto Star.
One Mainstream Media columnist took quite a bit of time, though, to debunk some of the talking points -- talking points that were themselves "misinformed." The Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik wrote quite an extensive piece informing his readers that the all-Fox-fans-are-dumb meme was not quite as axiomatic as the left-wingers were trying to make us all believe.
Still, even Zurawick didn't report that the poll itself was commissioned and paid for by George Soros-backed organizations as can be clearly seen on the WorldPublicOpinion.org website.
Fox News did have an amusing retort to this skewed poll.
Asked for comment on the study, Fox News seemingly dismissed the findings. In a statement, Michael Clemente, who is the senior vice president of news editorial for the network, said: "The latest Princeton Review ranked the University of Maryland among the top schools for having 'Students Who Study The Least' and being the 'Best Party School' - given these fine academic distinctions, we'll regard the study with the same level of veracity it was 'researched' with."
It was a pretty amusing point. Can we trust the word of a notorious "party school"? But, again, even that quip, as amusing as it is, doesn't address the fact that a bunch of far, far left-wing NGOs paid for a study that shows conservatives are "misinformed."
Should we be surprised that George Soros happily funded a study that said conservatives are idiots? And shouldn't we be informed about his backing of this poll so that we can be informed about the poll's ideological bias?
Of course we should. Unfortunately, the media didn't do its due diligence and track these facts down.