A Two Americas of Cable TV Viewers

In new survey released by Pew, Americans see few ideological differences among the three broadcast TV news networks, but among regular viewers of cable TV news, content differences are readily apparent, and these perceptions flow heavily from partisanship.

In general, the public sees few differences among the three broadcast networks. Fully 74% say ABC News, CBS News and NBC News are all pretty much the same. Only 18% say there are real differences between the three. But impressions of the three major cable news networks differ substantially. While 40% of the public says CNN, the Fox News cable channel and MSNBC are pretty much the same, 48% see real differences among the three. The feeling that the three broadcast networks are all pretty much the same is shared by network and cable news viewers alike. When it comes to evaluations of the cable news networks, however, cable viewers themselves are among the most likely to draw distinctions among the three major outlets. Among regular viewers of CNN, Fox and MSNBC, roughly 60% say that real differences separate the cable news networks. This compares with 48% of the general public and 44% of regular viewers of the big three broadcast networks.

In addition, views of the cable networks differ sharply by education and partisanship. College graduates are much more likely than non-college graduates to see real differences between CNN, Fox and MSNBC. And Republicans are more likely than Democrats to see differences. Among Republicans, 57% say there are real differences among the three major cable news networks; only 33% say the cable networks are all the same. Democrats are evenly split on this issue: 45% say there are real differences, 46% say the cable networks are all the same.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less
Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

Keep reading Show less