How to Respond to Charges of Misinformation

The New York Times has an article about a University of Maryland study that shows that for the most part, the more people watched Fox News, the more they were misinformed about issues pertaining to the 2010 election (e.g., Fox News viewers were more likely to think that TARP began under Obama rather than Bush).

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.”

(NYT’s statement about the Princeton Review seems to be true.)

So now we know: if someone accuses you of making shit up and misleading your audience, just make some shit up.

(Update: Clarification suggested by alert reader Fez.)

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