Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fox News Popular Among Egyptian Conspiracy Theorists

Studies have shown that Fox viewers are less informed than those who watch no news and that exposure to Fox increases misinformation. Apparently Fox's brand of misinformation–along with that of right-wing Web sites–has gone global; the station has become a favorite among Egyptians prone to conspiracy theories:

Speaking of U.S. news channels: Even as the Egyptian government and most of the media have been complaining about slanted international coverage of events in Egypt, one American channel has suddenly become popular here. TV satellite channels have been showing subtitled segments from Fox News, particularly ones in which President Barack Obama is taken to task for his wrong-headed and supposedly unconditional support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Thanks to this strange connection between anti-Islamist circles in Egypt and right-wing groups in United States, the idea that Obama is a staunch supporter of the Islamists has become widespread.

A prominent Egyptian newspaper interviewed a Republican political consultant it mistook for a senator and quoted him as saying, “The Brotherhood climbed to power, backed by the Obama administration.” Tahani el-Gabali, a former Supreme Court judge who has clashed with Islamists, told a local TV program last week that Obama’s Kenyan half-brother is a financier of the Muslim Brotherhood, an allegation that appears to have originated on U.S. right-wing Web sites.

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