Thursday, August 26, 2010

spreading falsehoods

I've long been troubled by how many Americans report believing in demonstrably false ideas, from Iraq's supposed involvement in the 9/11 attacks to the grossly inflated view of the size of the foreign aid budget and now to the president's religion.

Political scientists have a plausible answer. John Sides, one of the many interesting people who contribute to The Monkey Cage, shows that data that suggest that political elites have spread the idea that Obama is a Muslim through their insinuations. The weight of evidence is that the false belief has grown most in recent months among Republicans who follow politics closely than among those less engaged with political news.

I'm convinced.

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