A remarkable survey about the news consumption of America finds that more than half of conservatives use Fox News as their main news source, liberals will “drop” a friend if they turn out to be a righty, BuzzFeed is the most distrusted and partisans are split on the Drudge Report.
Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project report revealed the “cleavage” in American media habits, with the Left picking CNN, NPR, the New York Times and MSNBC as their sources, and the right Fox.
It also showed who trusts what media and found outlets like the Drudge Report, split evenly between liberals who distrust it more, conservatives trusting it and those in the middle viewing the influential site “about equally trusted as distrusted.” Only one news source, BuzzFeed, was “more distrusted than trusted” across every ideological spectrum.
And it found a stunning overweight of Left-leaning media, with 25 of the 32 most used news sources considered by users to the left of center, and only seven to the right of center.
“The differences between the media habits of liberals and conservatives — and between those in the ideological ends and the middle — is striking,” said Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research.
The report was released at midnight Monday. It was part of Pew’s ongoing effort to chart the political division in America, seen most during election seasons.
The survey, titled “Political Polarization & Media Habits,” found that conservatives are more unified around Fox, with 47 percent calling it their main source of news about government and policy. They express greater distrust of media, though 88 percent trust Fox. And either with friends or on Facebook, they prefer those with similar political views.
Liberals are less focused on one news source and trust the media more than distrust it. They are more likely than conservatives to “defriend” or block “someone on a social network — as well as to end a personal relationship — because of politics,” said Pew.
“Roughly four-in-10 consistent liberals on Facebook (44 percent) say they have blocked or defriended someone on social media because they disagreed with something that person posted about politics. This compares with 31 percent of consistent conservatives and just 26 percent of all Facebook users who have done the same,” said Pew.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com.