Ari Rabin-Havt – The Fox Effect

March 12, 2012

If there’s one thing Point of Inquiry is concerned about, it’s ensuring a rational, sensible conversation in politics, in public life. And you simply can’t have such a conversation if the culture is awash in political, and politicized, misinformation.

What do we mean by “misinformation”? The denial of global warming. Claims about “death panels.” Assertions that the President of the United States wasn’t actually born here.

One thing all these falsehoods have in common is that if you watch Fox News, you’re more likely to believe them. Fox increases your risk, so to speak, of believing factually wrong things to support a political agenda. With other networks, this “Fox effect” just isn’t there.

How did it get this way? How did one leading network become a fount of misinformation?

For that, we turn to the most dedicated Fox monitors of them all—Media Matters. They’ve got a new book out on Fox, and I’ve invited their Executive Vice President, Ari Rabin-Havt, on to talk about it.

Ari Rabin-Havt
is Executive Vice President at Media Matters. He is co-author, with David Brock, of The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine.