• Polling

Most Americans Describe Fox News as Putting a Political Agenda and Profits Ahead of the Truth

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
Key takeaways
  • Fox News putting a political agenda and profits ahead of the truth, dividing Americans, and spreading conspiracies are viewed as the most accurate descriptors of the network. Americans are most troubled by the network spreading misinformation and its bias.
  • While many are unsure, a plurality say Fox News made the right decision when it fired Tucker Carlson, as most Americans have heard at least something about it.
  • Among those who can rate them, Anderson Cooper, NPR, and Jon Stewart are most trusted overall, while Republicans trust Elon Musk, Tucker Carlson, Fox News, Laura Ingraham, and Joe Rogan most.

Putting a Political Agenda and Profits Ahead of the Truth, Dividing Americans, and Conspiracies Define Views of Fox News

Democrats, independents, and non-Fox News Republicans are most likely to say putting politics ahead of getting the story right and dividing Americans are the most accurate descriptors of Fox News; independents and Republicans say it is part of the mainstream media.

Americans Are Most Troubled By Misinformation, Bias, Inaccuracy, Propaganda, and Division from Fox News

One in three Americans are most troubled that Fox News is spreading misinformation (33%), which ranks highest for Democrats (49%) and independents (32%).

  • Non-Fox News Republicans are most troubled by Fox News being biased (28%).

While Reported Regular Fox Viewership Has Grown Since 2019, There Has Been a Decline in the Last Month

Since mid-April of this year, regular viewership of Fox News has declined by 4 points (from 38% to 34%), with a 5-point decline in regular viewership among Republicans (from 55% to 50%). That said, 34% of Americans reporting regularly watching Fox News now is still an increase from March 2019 (26%).

Tucker Carlson Has Become Increasingly Unpopular Over Time; Favorable Ratings Are Driven By Fox News-Viewing Republicans

Tucker Carlson’s favorability has moved 6 points more underwater since March of 2019 (from net -7 favorable to net -13). Among Republicans who watch Fox News, his net favorable rating is +62; among Republicans who do not watch Fox News, his net favorable rating is just +16.

Three in Five Are Hearing About Fox Firing Tucker Carlson, and a Plurality Say It Was the Right Call

One in three Republicans (32%) are not sure whether Fox made the right or wrong decision on Carlson, though a plurality (49%) say it was the wrong choice: non-Fox News Republicans drive the share who are not sure (43%).

  • Fox News Republicans are hearing the most about the firing of Tucker Carlson (82% “a lot” or “some”).
  • Among those who have heard at least “some,” a majority say it was right decision by Fox News (54% right decision, 33% wrong).

Among Those Familiar, Anderson Cooper, NPR, Jon Stewart Most Trusted

Fox News Republicans trust Elon Musk (net +70 trust), Tucker Carlson (+70), Fox News (+69), Laura Ingraham (+68), and Joe Rogan (+41) most. While non-Fox News GOP also rank some of these as their most trusted, they distrust Fox News more than they trust it (net -11).

  • Independents are most likely to trust Joe Rogan (net +17), Anderson Cooper (+13), CNN (+12), and Jon Stewart (+9).

Roughly Half of Americans Are Familiar With Rupert Murdoch, and Those Who Are View Him Negatively Across Party Lines

Among Republicans, both those who watch Fox News and those who do not view him more unfavorably than favorably (net -17 and net -30, respectively).

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from May 4-May 8, 2023. 102 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 75 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

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