Getting cause and effect backwards

This article on Quartz is about Bill Maher’s interview with President Obama. The last sentence quotes Obama saying:

Look, if I watched Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me either.

Maher and Obama are discussing the effect of the “balkanization”of media with “800 stations and all these websites.”

Of course, Obama’s statement is correct on its face.

Though, I believe he means that Fox News causes people to not want to vote for him, which I don’t believe is the case.

Rather, people who don’t vote for him are more likely to watch Fox News. So, Fox News doesn’t cause people not to want to vote for him. It just provides news for people who don’t want to vote for him, much like how McDonald’s provides decent, consistent, expensive and fast food for people in a hurry.

So, yes, if Obama watched Fox News he wouldn’t vote for himself, either. But, it wasn’t because of Fox News.

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