The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fox News Wallows in Subterfuge

On March 27th, 2014, you, me and many others saw the latest edition of Fox News "statistical propaganda." As the deadline for ACA enrollment rolled to with four days (March 31st, 2012), Fox News managers appear to have felt the need to revisit a more than frequent ploy flimflam: use charts to provide brief visual snippets to people who will not seek deep meaning. The network managers present misleading charts and graphs (which many people disdain anyway) to deliver images 180 degrees from the truth.

The following is an Awesome Screenshot Capture and Annotate image of the Fox News Chart presented on March, 27th. After viewing the Fox New subterfuge, it literally took five minutes to develop a more truthful representation of data. Is it truly possible a network with a payroll such as that at Fox can work to such a low level of (visual representation of data) acuity? Of course, it can if by business model and standard operating 3P's (Policy, Procedure and Practice). 

(Excuse "hypothetical" misspell ;-)

Does the crime become a crime at perpetration of the act or does it commence at getting caught?

Fox News cleans-up is flawed chart and apologizes.

Fox News Might Want To Revise Its Laughably Bad Obamacare Graphic

 A Fox News graphic about Obamacare enrollment levels looked juuuuuust a bit off on Monday. 

It showed a bar chart comparing the number of Obamacare enrollments as of March 27 — 6 million — to the original projection of 7 million by March 31 from the Congressional Budget Office. There was a slight problem with the way the network portrayed things, though, as Media Matters noted

Think you can spot it?
obamacare graphic
If you couldn't spot it, 7 is just a bit more than 6, not 1000 times more (or whatever the chart had, we're bad at math)! 
The graphic aired during Monday's "America's Newsroom" during a discussion of how Obamacare will affect Democrats running for election this year. While the CBO had initially predicted last May that 7 million people would be enrolled in the new health care exchanges by March 31, it later decreased that projection to 6 millionfollowing the botched rollout of Obamacare last fall. 
People quickly went about correcting Fox News's chart for them:

Embedded image permalink

Three days later Fox News seems to have assessed the damage, recognized it failed in delivery of the false message, and now comes forth with a quasi admission of "mistake" and apology.

Fox News comes clean, but what about the graphic orevioulsy em blazoned in the brains of Fox News viewers who viewed the original misrepresentation. While we feel the graphic was yet another attempt by Fox News to mislead, we are pulling-up shy of making a direct charge of lying. We did that earlier in the week. However, see more below.

First, let's view a quick Huffington Post piece related to the misrepresentation and a more accurate update.

Fox News apologized on Tuesday for a seriously misleading Obamacare graphic, saying it had made a "mistake."

Seemingly the entire Internet rapped the network over the knuckles when it aired this chart about Obamacare enrollment levels:
obamacare graphic
On Tuesday, host Bill Hemmer aired what he said was "what that graphic should have looked like."
fox news
"That was our mistake. Correction noted," he added.


"Our Mistake??"

Fox News history of misleading graphics is as common as its service as the communication department for the GOP and media outlet for conservative America. It seems conservatives who tune to Fox News are more interested paradigm fulfillment and entertainment than fact based reporting. They obviously do not mind Fox News's all too frequent manipulation of visual graphics "electronic faux yellow journalism." We located a site that provides a very descriptive look at how Fox News managers go about data manipulation.  (A GOOD Read)

For  brevity sake we have linked Simply Statistics while posting a few samples of Fox misrepresentation from the site (below.)

.......when flipping through the graphs I thought it was interesting to highlight some of the techniques they use to persuade. Some are clearly classics from the literature, but some are (as far as I can tell) newly developed graphical "persuasion" techniques.
Truncating the y-axis
Changing the units of comparison
When two things are likely to be very similar, one approach to leading information is to present variables in different units. Here is an example where total spending for 2010-2013 is compared to deficits in 2008. This can also be viewed as an example of not labeling the axes.
Changing the magnitude of units at different x-values
Here is a plot where the changes in magnitude at high x-values are higher than changes in magnitude at lower x-values. Again, I think this is actually a novel graphical technique for leading readers in one direction.
To really see the difference, compare to the graph with common changes in magnitude at all x-values.
"Our mistake?"

How many times has Fox comeback to "apologize" for misrepresentation that actually appears intentional? After the first couple of misrepresentations once Barack Obama assumed the Oval Office (in 2009), one would think the network would strive to provide factual visual graphics, when they know others are watching. Is it possible the network, in some ways, fulfills its 3Ps via the initial broadcast and later clean-up via apology is part of the communication strategy?

The real tragedy is the extent to, which people continue to tune to Fox News for outright lies and mind-blowing misrepresentation.

Since Fox deployed visual trickery, we thought a visual from The Daily Kos would be good for driving home a point.

No comments :

Post a Comment