Claim: Correlations Between Media Preference and Coronavirus Infection Rates

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
Throughout Metabunk are references to the importance of having reliable sources of information and that various outlets like Infowars, NaturalNews, RussiaToday, Sputnik and others often make false claims to support a political narrative. Within the US people have responded differently to the Coronavirus pandemic based upon where they get their News from, that often is a reflection of their political alignment.

The local perspectives on the Coronavirus re-openings and the compliance with measures recommended by the scientific community in one of the studies cited in the article below found:

The authors used anonymous location data from millions of cellphones to explore how the popularity of Fox News in a given Zip code related to social distancing practices there. By March 15, they found, a 10 percent increase in Fox News viewership within a Zip code reduced its residents’ propensity to stay home, in compliance with public health guidelines, by about 1.3 percentage points.


From the WashingtonPost: New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic

In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others.


The end result, according to one of the studies, is that infection and mortality rates are higher in places where one pundit who initially downplayed the severity of the pandemic — Fox News’s Sean Hannity — reaches the largest audiences.


“We are receiving an incredible number of studies and solid data showing that consuming far-right media and social media content was strongly associated with low concern about the virus at the onset of the pandemic,” said Irene Pasquetto, chief editor of the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, which published one of the studies.

Excerpts linking to the studies:

Misinformation and conspiracy theories
In April, Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and Dolores Albarracin of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign published a peer-reviewed study examining how Americans’ media diets affected their beliefs about the coronavirus.


Beliefs lead to actions
A working paper posted by the National Bureau of Economic Research in May examined whether these incorrect beliefs affected real-world behavior.

How conservative media consumers’ behavior could worsen the pandemic
Another recent working paper, by economists at the University of Chicago and other institutions, similarly finds that Fox News viewers are less likely to comply with public health guidelines than consumers of other media. But their paper takes the analysis two steps further: It finds that Fox viewers aren’t a monolith, with fans of some media personalities acting distinctly from others. It also provides evidence that those behavioral differences are contributing to the spread of the coronavirus and mortality rate of covid-19 the disease it causes, in certain areas.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
By March 15,

at the onset of the pandemic,” said Irene Pasquetto, chief editor of the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, which published one of the studies.
is that infection and mortality rates are higher in places where one pundit who initially downplayed the severity of the pandemic

Considering the blue west coast got hit first, then the blue Tri-state (NY,NJ, CT),Boston... and had crazy high numbers (higher than current numbers).. This article smells fishy. Although i guess it is possible the minorities in NYC and the rich socialites in Westport and the peoples of NJ prefer to watch Hannity, but i doubt it.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
hhmmm...
CNN’s Anderson Cooper first talked about American coronavirus cases on February 17, 2020, and began daily coverage of the disease in late February as well. He drew criticism for saying as late as March 4, 2020, that “if you're freaked out at all about the coronavirus, you should be more concerned about the flu.” Hannity also compared coronavirus to the flu on February 27, 2020.
Content from External Source
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ariels...news-slams-findings-as-reckless/#32e93ae579fb

another tid bit regarding the University of Chicagos working paper:
https://bfi.uchicago.edu/wp-content/uploads/BFI_WP_202044.pdf
page 6

11See, for example, “His colleagues at Fox News called coronavirus a ‘hoax’ and ‘scam.’ Why Tucker Carlson saw it
differently.” The LA Times, March 23.
Content from External Source
Tucker didnt see it differently. That's not what Conservatives meant by the coronavirus hoax.
As we have reported, the “hoax” kerfuffle began at a Trump rally in South Carolina on Feb. 28. At one point Trump said, “And this is their new hoax.” But he did so in the context of assailing Democrats for trying to politicize what the Democrats saw as his administration’s shortcomings in combating the crisis.
Content from External Source
https://www.factcheck.org/2020/04/democratic-ad-twists-trumps-hoax-comment/





Don't get me wrong, i do believe Tucker's fear mongering and conspiracy theories likely made his viewers more paranoid, i just know that University of Chicago paper didn't actually prove anything (as they say in the paper itself).
There are too many reasons "why" for me to get into, and wouldn't want to rob others of the fun of analysis... besides, the OP doesnt actually give any claims of evidence. Just claims. So ... that which is presented without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
* the very first quote sort of gives data as evidence, but since WP is behind a paywall and i have no idea which "authors" that quote refers to, not the University of Chicago- i did try that one-, I'm too bored now to look for it now. That university of chicaco working paper is insanely long!




Hannity was actually fairly reasonable, giving accurate facts and Tucker was inciting hate against China.

Hannity as quoted in the paper https://bfi.uchicago.edu/wp-content/uploads/BFI_WP_202044.pdf
For example, in his show on February 27, Hannity stated: And today, thankfully, zero people in the United States of America have died from the coronavirus. Zero. Now, let’s put this in perspective. In 2017, 61,000 people in this country died from influenza, the flu. Common flu. Around 100 people die every single day from car wrecks.
Content from External Source
true.
For example, on March 10, Hannity stated: So far in the United States, there has been around 30 deaths, most of which came from one nursing home in the state of Washington. Healthy people, generally, 99 percent recover very fast, even if they contract it. Twenty six people were shot in Chicago alone over the weekend. You notice there’s no widespread hysteria about violence in Chicago.
Content from External Source
true



Tucker:

On the February 10 edition of his Fox News prime-time show, Tucker Carlson floated an unsubstantiated theory about the origins of the coronavirus outbreak, echoing conspiratorial fearmongering about the disease from former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and his billionaire benefactor, as well as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).

The debunked narrative that the coronavirus was engineered and leaked from an infectious disease research laboratory near Wuhan, China, has been described as an “outbreak of nonsense” and a “fringe theory.”
Content from External Source
https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-ne...us-theory-which-his-medical-expert-guest-shot



article written by Tucker March 12

One of the reasons that Americans may have missed the significance of this virus is because unfortunately, it came enmeshed with politics. On television, talking heads have wasted hours upon valuable hours yammering not about the virus and its potential victims, but how it is racist to tie the coronavirus to China, where it came from.

And yet ingrained habits are hard to break, and among our professional class, no habit is more deeply ingrained than seeing the world through the lens of race, which they do. When Congressman Kevin McCarthy tweeted information about the Chinese coronavirus, Ilhan Omar responded this way: "Viruses don't have nationalities. This is racist."


Oh shut up.

....
China is watching all of this. The Chinese government knows that identity politics is America's greatest weakness. It divides us. It makes us stupider. In times of crisis, it may even paralyze the national will at essential moments. It could do that now.
Content from External Source
https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-racist-chinese-coronavirus-identity-politics
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
The mod created this thread with the name "Claim: Correlations Between Media Preference and Coronavirus Infection Rates". The Washington Post article is titled, " New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic ".

I fail to see where you have debunked the claim. I do see you [removed for politeness] discounted these studies as not being evidence. You could look at the studies; the methodology, the data collected, how they analyzed the data, and what conclusions they have drawn from that study... and if there is a flaw, you should let the researchers and the World know of your own research that debunks the studies so that they can retract them from the scientific journals where they are published.

the OP doesnt actually give any claims of evidence. Just claims. So ... that which is presented without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
 
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Landru

Moderator
Staff member
The mod created this thread with the name "Claim: Correlations Between Media Preference and Coronavirus Infection Rates". The Washington Post article is titled, " New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic ".

I fail to see where you have debunked the claim. I do see you cavalierly discounted these studies as not being evidence. You could look at the studies; the methodology, the data collected, how they analyzed the data, and what conclusions they have drawn from that study... and if there is a flaw, you should let the researchers and the World know of your own research that debunks the studies so that they can retract them from the scientific journals where they are published.
I'm going to step into this conversation to reiterate a point. Be polite. Adjectives such as cavalierly stray from that principle. This applies to everyone.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The mod created this thread with the name "Claim: Correlations Between Media Preference and Coronavirus Infection Rates". The Washington Post article is titled, " New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic ".

I fail to see where you have debunked the claim. I do see you [removed for politeness] discounted these studies as not being evidence. You could look at the studies; the methodology, the data collected, how they analyzed the data, and what conclusions they have drawn from that study... and if there is a flaw, you should let the researchers and the World know of your own research that debunks the studies so that they can retract them from the scientific journals where they are published.
i only looked at the University of Chicago study. they already know enough of their flaws and state them in the working paper.
as far as a 'debunk' of that paper, we all know correlation (and that word is used ALOT in that paper) does not equal causation. so what's to debunk really?
they also don't give us any of the data we would need to check their "conclusions". it's a silly premise anyway... people in nursing homes (the highest fatality rates in the early epidemic) without proper PPE had no choice in the matter even if they did watch Hannity.

just saying...
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I do see you [removed for politeness] discounted these studies as not being evidence.
oh and you are welcome to give me the evidence from that study that i might have missed. i wasnt able to find any raw data. i wasnt even able to find an "n" number for Hannity watchers vs "n" numbers for Tucker watchers. vs "n" numbers for CNN watchers etc. I also didnt see any locations they used or mortality figures.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
ok the first quote in OP isnt from the first paper either. the only "peer reviewed" paper.
note: apparently Harvard Kennedy School started their own journal in january 2020. https://shorensteincenter.org/announcing-hks-misinformation-review/

add: this paper actually gives needed data and numbers.

but doesn't seem like alot of people were anti-handwashing social distancing. (survey taken between March 3-March 8, roughly 475 conservatives and 475 liberals)

I didnt even start social distancing until March 3rd and we had the Westchester outbreak near by. and all my friends (lib and conservative) thought i was being paranoid. which maybe i was as they went on as normal till mid march at least and none of them got sick.
DiBlasio (NY Dem)was telling people mid-march go to the bar, go to the movies. <the movie thing was March 2nd

I'm actually surprised so many people responded positively to that question.

1593553950433.png


and according to that paper
getting news from Google News, or Yahoo News, is worse than listenign to Rush Limbaugh as far as handwashing and social distancing. and FB and twitter are better than reading liberal media. so that's all a bit weird and surprising.



edit add: o_O

• Republicans also were more likely to believe that the CDC was exaggerating the threat of the
coronavirus to hurt President Donald Trump (see Table 2)
Content from External Source
 
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Mechanik

Active Member
I was preparing a post on all three papers and the Washington Post article, but apparently I used up my WaPo views and can no longer see the article without signing up. Since I can’t prove that particular point, I’ll instead post this study:
Pew Research Study On Media Bias
1593568066503.png
Content from External Source
The Washington Post is (or was, since I haven’t seen a more recent update) almost in exact balance with Fox News around the average with regards to conservative vs. liberal. The facts of the OP studies may, or may not, be robust, but the WaPo conclusions are not necessarily unbiased.

Please don’t mistake my intent here, wish I could quote WaPo directly, but let me just say that relying on WaPo for unbiased reporting is somewhat akin to relying on Fox. By the way, I deliberately linked to the WaPo article about the Pew study instead of the base study.

If you disagree with me, please quote the exact words you disagree with.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
but let me just say that relying on WaPo for unbiased reporting

You can tell how biased the papers are too if you read them. esp the 2nd and third linked in OP. The quotes they chose make no sense in the timeframe they were uttered and ignore liberal media personalities saying the exact same stuff (or Fauchi saying the exact same stuff).

for instance the 2nd paper there says on March 10th laura Ingalls says:
On the same day, Ingraham echoed this sentiment of the low risks from COVID-19: “We need to take care of our seniors. If you’re an elderly person or have a serious underlying condition, avoid tight, closed places, a lot of people, don’t take a cruise maybe. Everyone else wash your hands, use good judgment about your daily activities.” (Farhi and Ellison, 2020)
Content from External Source
how is that echoing a sentiment of low risk?

it says of CNN (even though i posted above Cooper Anderson calling it a flu long after Hannity did!
The second-largest US cable news channel, CNN, adopted a more dire tone consistent with the views and recommendations of health experts. For instance, On February 13, CNN broadcast an interview with CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, who predicted a widespread community transmission.
Content from External Source
Fox had all those guys on too.
 
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