Media Shapes Views of Low-Information Voters

A funny television feature by Dan Joseph on MRCTV prompted me to question how public opinion could possibly be so distorted these days. In man-on-the-street interviews, the reporter asked numerous people whether President Obama or President Bush was responsible for the government shutdown. A hilarious succession of people solemnly declared that President Bush is the one responsible. While the interviews are laughable, the problem of "low-information voters" is not funny at all. A republic whose educational and cultural institutions produce voters that are ill informed cannot hope to arrive at good civic decisions. Evidence that the public is not well-informed abounds. According to the Pew Research Center's biennial survey, television is still the public's top news source (69 percent) and the public still believes that journalists are the ones who make sense of issues and conflicts (54 percent) and that the press is a "watchdog" preventing political leaders from misleading the public...(Read Full Article)