Wednesday, October 29, 2014

US badly informed by media. Media is appalled.

Article: Get your facts right: Italy, U.S. come bottom in modern life survey

Americans think that 32% of the people in the country are immigrants (no, it is 13%).

Americans think that 24% of girls aged 15-19 give birth each year (no, it is 3%).

Americans think that 15% of the people in the country are Muslims (no, it is 1%).

Elsewhere, it has been shown that Americans think that the proportion of people in the US who are homosexual is 10-15% or higher. The real number is about 3%.

Wow! Americans sure are dumb!

Actually, not.

Americans are mis-informed. Badly misinformed. Badly misinformed by the media.

Badly misinformed by a media whose coverage of many topics is often hysterical. And by "media" here, I mean broadcast and cable entertainment shows, too.

And by hysterical, I mean relentless coverage of some topics, like immigration and teen pregnancies. The shear overwhelming number of stories on these subjects makes people think the issue is bigger than it is.

Worse, article after article attacks (usually) whatever is viewed as the "conservative" or
"Republican" position. So there is a tendency to over-emphasize certain aspects: "Immigrants are wonderful! Look at all the happy children!" "Global warming is going to kill us all! Evil deniers are in the pay of the oil companies!"

The result is an intelligent populace bombarded by stupid.

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