The Pseudocracy

Professor Ostrom and I are thinking and writing about 21st century “pseudocracy,” the rule of untruths. As part of that thinking and writing, we shall comment on a recent study that shows that the most frequent viewers of Fox News were misled more often than those who watched Fox News less often or not at all.

[To see that study, please head to http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/dec10/Misinformation_Dec10_rpt.pdf%5D

For now, let us focus instead on the response of a Fox News executive to the report. At the website for the NEW YORK TIMES we read:

“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.’

“Mr. Clemente oversees every hour of objective news programming on Fox News, which is by far the nation’s most popular cable news channel.

“For the record, the Princeton Review says the University of Maryland ranks among the ‘Best Northeastern Colleges.’ It was No. 19 on the Review’s list of ‘Best Party Schools.’ ”

Mr. Clemente did not settle for having the credibility of Fox News called into question by a project that the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland managed. With his sophomoric response, he damaged the credibility of Fox News further.

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