A news network of their own

A NEWS NETWORK OF THEIR OWN…. A new Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos asked respondents about their thoughts and viewing habits relating to the three major cable news networks. The results weren’t altogether surprising, but the breakdowns offered some interesting insights.

The poll asked, “How often do you watch Fox News Channel; daily, at least once a week, a few times a month, rarely, or never?” One in four Republicans watches the network daily, and another 27% watch it weekly. The GOP network’s numbers were strongest in the South, and among whites.

Numbers for CNN and MSNBC were, predictably, far different. CNN’s numbers were stronger across the board, but weaker among self-identified Republicans and respondents in the South. MSNBC produced better numbers among self-identified Democrats.

The same poll also asked, “When it comes to accuracy and trustworthiness as a source of news would you say that Fox News Channel is extremely reliable, reliable, unreliable, or extremely unreliable?” Once again, the GOP network did very well among self-identified Republicans (a combined 65% of whom find Fox News reliable or extremely reliable) and among Southerners. CNN did far better with the overall national audience on the question of reliability, and did better with a more ethnically diverse audience, but struggled, again, with Republicans and in the South. MSNBC, in general, isn’t watched by a large enough national audience to register clear numbers.

David Weigel picked up on the regional trend.

The biggest swing region in the poll? The South. In Southern states, 46 percent of viewers say that Fox News is “extremely reliable” or “reliable.” Only 6 percent of them say that of MSNBC, compared to 26 percent who say it of CNN, a huge shift from the days when CNN was derided as the “Communist/Clinton News Network.”

The partisan breakdown is about as stark — 74% of Republicans “never” watch CNN; 89% of Republicans “never” watch MSNBC; but 59% watch Fox News at least once a month.

There’s a very good reason for widespread confusion about current events.