Friday, April 20, 2007

Smartest Americans: "Stoned Slackers"

Editor and Publisher revealed the results of a Pew Survey that finds that the most informed viewers about current events are those who watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert. This is troublesome news for Bill O'Reilly and his Fox cronies, who like to refer to Stewart and Colbert's viewers as "stoned slackers...who can vote"—though hopefully not after Patriot Act 2.0, right Bill?

Here is the highlight:
"Among those surveyed...those who scored the highest were regular watchers of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They tied with regular readers of major newspapers. ...Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind."
And then this jewel:
"Virtually bringing up the rear were regular watchers of Fox News. ...Told that Shia was one group of Muslims struggling in Iraq, only 32% [of surveyed Fox viewers] could name 'Sunni' as the other key group."
There are a few different ways to interpret these results; first, Fox viewers need to hit the books (or at least start watching the other comedy channel from time to time) . Second, one can't watch shows like Stewart's and Colbert's and appreciate the politcal satire unless one already understands something about the topics being skewered.

Despite the high scores, and the fact that
a suprisingly amount young viewers gets its news from Comedy Central's two shows, Stewart and Colbert never portray themselves as anything but entertainment.

The aforementioned O'Reilly refuses to admit he's cut from the same cloth; instead, he preens himself as a commentator "inspired by Mike Wallace, Howard Cossell, and Tom Snyder." Such a lofty claim, however, is thrown into question by ridiculous heated exchanges, such as this one between him and Geraldo last week. You can almost see the handlers pumping the testosterone in the studio.

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