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New polls show effect of right-wing media's dismissive and conspiratorial coronavirus coverage

March 18, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Two polls released this week show the troubling effects that weeks of dismissive and conspiratorial coverage of the novel coronavirus from Fox News and other right-wing media outlets and personalities had on the American public.

New York (CNN Business)Two polls released this week show the troubling effects that weeks of dismissive and conspiratorial coverage of the novel coronavirus from Fox News and other right-wing media outlets and personalities had on the American public.

These right-wing personalities — such as Fox News' Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and talk radio host Rush Limbaugh — told their audiences that news coverage of the virus was hysterical and aimed at hurting Trump politically.

Polls from both Gallup and Pew Research revealed that Republicans — who are largely distrustful of mainstream news organizations and primarily turn to Fox News and other right-wing sources for information on current events — were much less likely to take the risks of the coronavirus as seriously as their Democratic counterparts.

Pew Research, which conducted its survey from March 10 to 16, found that 83% of Republicans who consumed only a diet of outlets with right-leaning audiences believed the news media had exaggerated the risks of the virus.

More specifically, Pew Research found that 79% of people who said they turned to Fox News for their news believed the media had exaggerated the risks of the virus.

In general, 59% of Republicans surveyed by Pew Research believed the media had covered the outbreak either "very well" or "somewhat well. " That was 21% lower than those on the other side of the political spectrum, with 80% of Democrats believing the media had covered the virus well.

Sixty three percent of Fox News viewers surveyed by Pew Research also said they believed the virus posed a minor threat to the health of the country, compared with 31% of MSNBC viewers and 37% of CNN viewers.

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