In eight of the nine questions below, Fox News placed first in the percentage of those who were misinformed (they placed second in the question on TARP). That’s a pretty high batting average for journalistic fraud. Here is a list of what Fox News viewers believe that just aint so:
91% believe that the stimulus legislation lost jobs.
72% believe that the health reform law will increase the deficit.
72% believe that the economy is getting worse.
60% believe that climate change is not occurring.
49% believe that income taxes have gone up.
63% believe that the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts.
56% believe that Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout.
38% believe that most Republicans opposed TARP.
63% believe that Obama was not born in the US (or that it’s unclear).

You might think that having the study exposed as a hoax just days after a press release touting it was released would mean Nichols was in hot water. Far from it. He did strenuously defend PRWeb, which is a website that offers a clearinghouse for press releases and can hardly be expected to vet every single claim made in every single notice that passes from their users to the web. In fact, Nichols said he had to rewrite his press release four times before PRWeb would post it. They sent the first draft back “and said it read like b.s.," claimed Nichols, who said they didn’t use that word. PRWeb asked for more details about the study and more specifics until five drafts later they were finally satisfied that it met some minimal standards, he said.
Once people started poking around into the suspiciously vague nature of the study and the nonexistent group that produced it, Nichols said PRWeb suspended the account of the group that posted the press release and demanded a meeting on Monday December 10 where they expect Nichols to provide more evidence to back the press release’s claims before they will keep this press release up or agree to post any others down the road.
So is the unnamed Republican PAC of moderate conservatives unhappy about this tempest in a teapot? Probably not. The meme — people who watch FOX News are dumb — is out there and spreading. No matter how often the study is refuted (and it happened within days), the original press release that was picked up as news will still be out there, forwarded and joked about and commented on like those hoax emails about Bill Gates giving away money to people who send him a message.