Be honest now: If you were a news editor and this press release came across your desk, what would you think? What would you do?
Birmingham, Alabama (PRWEB)
December 04, 2012
The results of a 4 year study show that Americans who obtain their news from Fox News channel have an average IQ of 80, which represents a 20 point deficit when compared to the U.S. national average of 100. IQ, or intelligence quotient, is the international standard of assessing intelligence. Researchers at The Intelligence Institute, a conservative non-profit group, tested 5,000 people using a series of tests that measure everything from cognitive aptitude to common sense and found that people who identified themselves as Fox News viewers and ‘conservative’ had, on average, significantly lower intelligent quotients. Fox Viewers represented 2,650 members of the test group.
One test involved showing subjects a series of images and measuring their vitals, namely pulse rate and blood pressure. The self-identified conservatives’ vitals increased over 35% when shown complex or shocking images. The image that caused the most stress was a poorly edited picture of President Obama standing next to a “ghostly” image of a child holding a tarantula. Test subjects who received their news from other outlets or reported they do not watch the news scored an average IQ of 104, compared to 80 for Fox News viewers.
Lead researcher, P. Nichols, explains, “Less intelligent animals rely on instinct when confronted by something which they do not understand. This is an ancient survival reaction all animals, including humans, exhibit. It’s a very simple phenomenon, really; think about a dog being afraid of a vacuum cleaner. He doesn’t know what a vacuum is or if it may harm him, so he becomes agitated and barks at it. Less intelligent humans do the same thing. Concepts that are too complex for them to understand, may frighten or anger them.” He continues, “Fox News’ content is presented at an elementary school level and plays directly into the fears of the less educated and less intelligent.”
The researchers said that an IQ of 80 is well above the score of 70, which is where psychiatrists diagnose mental retardation. P. Nichols says an IQ of 80 will not limit anyone’s ability to lead happy, fulfilling lives.
The study did not conclude if Fox News contributed to lowering IQ or if it attracts less intelligent humans.
P. Nichols concludes that he wasn’t shocked by the studies’ results, rather how dramatic their range. “Several previous studies show that self-identified conservatives are less intelligent than self-identified moderates. We have never seen such a homogeneous group teetering so close to special needs levels.”
The Intelligence Institute
Might you be just a teensy-weensy bit skeptical of these findings? Suspect a hoax, perhaps? Wonder what “The Intelligence Institute” is? If not, it’s probably because your liberal college professors, the mainstream media and the Angry Left has brainwashed you into believing that anyone who disagrees with them are morons (as well as racists, of course). This is confirmation bias, my friends, and if we aren’t stupid already, confirmation bias will slowly but surely get us there, for it destroys our ability to process any information that doesn’t support our per-conceived notions. Then, after accumulating the appropriate skepticism about this dubious press release, might you research the background of the researchers and the methodology of the study itself? Check for credentials, mayhap? Would you try meet the bare minimum standards of journalistic integrity and diligence before publishing the report as fact?
Not if you work for Yahoo News, apparently. If you work there, you see the release and say, “Yup! That’s what I’ve always suspected all along!” Then, without checking anything at all, you publish this press release as if it was from the Carnegie Institute or MIT.
Of course the study was bogus. There is no “Intelligence Institute.” The study itself hasn’t been made available. When “P. Nichols” was questioned, he said the study was created for a political client that wanted to get a particular message into the news stream. He also admitted that the methodology was designed to get a desired result. In my opinion, the dishonest researchers didn’t even make a credible effort to fake a believable study. An average IQ of 80 would mean that about half of all Fox News audience members would be borderline mentally-challenged, at the outer boundary of what was once commonly called “retarded.” They would display such characteristics as “limited trainability.,,difficulty with everyday demands like using a phone book, reading bus or train schedules, banking, filling out forms, using appliances like a video recorder, microwave oven or computer, etcetera, and …require assistance from relatives or social agencies in the management of their affairs,” allowing them to “be employed in simple tasks” even then “requiring supervision.” People like this are given an intellectual workout when they try watching Nickelodeon. Who believes that they gravitate to news channels? Sean Hannity may be simplistic, but he’s not THAT simplistic. Or that entertaining.
Yahoo owes an apology to anyone who takes the website’s news reporting seriously for feeding them the news equivalent of raw sewage, as well as to Fox News and its viewers. (I’m sure one will not be forthcoming.) Was this an aberration in the news media, or peculiar to Yahoo? I see no reason to believe either. The arrogance, narrow-mindedness, laziness, bias and poor news judgment that Yahoo’s conduct here exemplifies is epidemic throughout the media, and its mishandling of it vital public duties of fair, diligent and competent reporting surfaces regularly, if not so blatantly. George Zimmerman is suing NBC for repeatedly broadcasting an edited version of his 911 call about Trayvon Martin, a tape that made him sound like a racist at the very moment when black vigilante groups were trying to hunt him down and kill him. Whether or not Zimmerman can prove that NBC’s mistake was malicious, it was still part of the same syndrome that led Yahoo to make fools of themselves: biased, not terribly open-minded or intelligent journalists interpreting data to confirm their static and narrow world-view, rather than objectively seeking the truth regardless of where it leads.