Tucker Carlson’s Viewers Started Social Distancing a Week Before Sean Hannity’s, Studies Show
New research has claimed that Fox News’ viewers behavior during the pandemic has been strongly affected by the personalities they watch. Three separate studies have found that Fox’s decision to downplay the virus and spread misinformation may have impacted public health.
Washington Post data reporter Christopher Ingraham highlighted some of the studies’ findings on Twitter. In particular, he drew attention to the different behavior patterns exhibited by Fox viewers that seemed dependent on what shows they watched.
“Three extraordinary new papers quantify how conservative media outlets like Fox News misled their viewers in the early days of the pandemic, showing how that misinformation may have discouraged protective behavior and worsened the severity of the outbreak,” Ingraham said.
Three extraordinary new papers quantify how conservative media outlets like Fox News misled their viewers in the early days of the pandemic, showing how that misinformation may have discouraged protective behavior and worsened the severity of the outbreak https://t.co/36iit2hZxr
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) June 25, 2020
Though he noted that social science research like this should be taken with a pinch of salt, the findings are consistent with other studies of this kind. Ingraham also pointed to the fact different Fox News personalities had handled the Coronavirus.
“Tucker Carlson viewers began social distancing about *one week earlier* than Sean Hannity viewers. That had huge effects,” he tweeted.
According to the WaPo report: “A one SD increase in relative viewership of Hannity relative to Tucker Carlson Tonight is associated with approximately 32% more COVID-19 cases on March 14.”
Several prominent Fox News hosts have downplayed the virus while on, Trish Regan, lost her job at Fox Business after calling Covid-19 a hoax perpetrated by Democrats.