The Stimulus Bill That Failed

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New research from the University of Maryland shows that viewers of Fox News were more misinformed about factual questions than any other news audience during the 2010 midterm elections. No surprise there, I guess. But here’s the breakdown on one particular piece of misinformation:

Overall, heavy Fox viewers were the most uninformed about this. But only slightly. With the exception of the MSNBC audience, every other audience was almost equally uninformed. The only exception was daily viewers of Keith and Rachel, and even there an astonishing 64% of viewers basically thought the stimulus was worthless.

I don’t happen to believe that communication and messaging are as critical as the press sometimes makes them out to be, but something sure went cockeyed here. One way or another, the White House and congressional Democrats utterly failed to make a case that the stimulus bill did the economy any good at all. That’s obviously a tough sell in a high-unemployment environment, but still. Complete, utter failure. It’s astonishing.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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