According to progressive polling data provided to The Daily Beast, Fox’s efforts to undermine the Mueller probe have seemingly paid off—at least in shaping its viewers’ opinions.
05.30.18 9:12 PM ET
For months, the early morning and evening programming at Fox News has been a steady stream of hyper-negative commentary on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the possibility that Russian actors colluded with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
It’s proved highly persuasive.
According to a new public-opinion survey by the progressive messaging group Navigator Research, self-identified Fox News watchers overwhelmingly oppose the Mueller investigation by a 73-23 percent margin.
The breakdown was not included in the group’s formal survey but was part of crosstab tabulations provided to The Daily Beast. And it underscores the immense power of media echo chambers in today’s increasingly tribal politics.
The survey found almost the near inverse when surveying self-identified viewers of CNN and MSNBC, who, combined, said they supported the Mueller probe by a 79-18 percent margin (officials couldn’t break the numbers down by specific network viewership without getting into a statistically insignificant sample size).
But the two camps were different in one key respect: Fox viewers were on an a proverbial island while CNN and MSNBC viewers were not. When surveying consumers of all other kinds of news except Fox—broadcast tv, cable, print, radio and online—Navigator Research found support for the probe at a 64-25 percent margin.
As a right-leaning outlet, Fox News has—among cable channels—been zealous in its cynicism of the special counsel’s efforts, with primetime hosts often portraying the investigation of Trump as an sinister, perhaps lawless, effort to undermine his presidency. There are notable exceptions (see: Smith, Shep). But there is a reason that the network is the primary place for the president and his aides to grant interviews when talking about Russia and other matters.