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"Daily Show" viewers Know More

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"Daily Show" viewers Know More

Postby BGbootha » Thu May 03, 2007 1:14 am

Pew Survey Finds Most Knowledgeable Americans Watch 'Daily Show' and 'Colbert'-- and Visit Newspaper Sites

By E&P Staff

Published: April 15, 2007 11:30 PM ET

NEW YORK A new survey of 1,502 adults released Sunday by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that despite the mass appeal of the Internet and cable news since a previous poll in 1989, Americans' knowledge of national affairs has slipped a little. For example, only 69% know that Dick Cheney is vice president, while 74% could identify Dan Quayle in that post in 1989.

Other details are equally eye-opening. Pew judged the levels of knowledgeability (correct answers) among those surveyed and found that 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 in the top spot -- with 54% of them getting 2 out of 3 questions correct. Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind.

Virtually bringing up the rear were regular watchers of Fox News. Only 1 in 3 could answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly. Fox topped only network morning show viewers.

Told that Shia was one group of Muslims struggling in Iraq, only 32% of the total sample could name "Sunni" as the other key group.

The percentage of those who knew their state's governor dropped to 2 in 3. Almost half know that Rep. Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House and 2 in 3 know that Condi Rice is secretary of state. But just 29% can identify Scooter Libby, 21% know Robert Gates and 15% can name Sen. Harry Reid.

But nearly 9 in 10 knew about President Bush's troop escalation in Iraq.

Men scored higher than women, and older Americans did better than younger, on average. Democrats and Republicans were about equally represented in the most knowledgeable group but there were more Democrats in the least aware group.


I don't know what part I like more, the fact that Stewart and Colbert make you smarter or that Fox News came in just behind 'The View'.
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Postby RugbyD » Thu May 03, 2007 7:59 am

It sounds like the study places high value on sound bite info. A survey that got into just broad-level policy detail and the framing of an issue would probably show Daliy Show and Colbert viewers' results falling off a cliff compared to those who watch Lehrer or read.
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Re: "Daily Show" viewers Know More

Postby Art Vandelay » Thu May 03, 2007 8:24 am

BGbootha wrote:I don't know what part I like more, the fact that Stewart and Colbert make you smarter or that Fox News came in just behind 'The View'.


I realize you're probably joking, but this doesn't show that Daily Show and Colbert viewers are more informed because they watch those two programs. It seems that people who get their news online and from newspapers are slightly more informed, and those people turn to the Daily Show and the Colbert Report to be entertained.
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Postby josebach » Thu May 03, 2007 8:25 am

The humor on those shows is a little more highbrow than most shows. Wouldn't it only stand to reason that people that appreciate this type of humor would be a little smarter? Besides, I don't think they were really saying the show made them smarter, they were saying smarter people like the show.
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Postby Coppermine » Thu May 03, 2007 8:43 am

josebach wrote:The humor on those shows is a little more highbrow than most shows. Wouldn't it only stand to reason that people that appreciate this type of humor would be a little smarter? Besides, I don't think they were really saying the show made them smarter, they were saying smarter people like the show.


I'm willing to bet that unless you already have a general understanding of politics and current events, you wouldn't "get" half the jokes on Stewart/Colbert anyway, so yeah, I do thinking viewers supplement their news intake elsewhere. I realize that it's a left-leaning show, but I don't think that's a factor in this study.

For instance, I used to watch them but I just can't stay up late enough anymore, but I do listen to NPR every morning and afternoon which I would equate to be at least similar to Lehrer.

I once heard a statistic that over 80% of people who get their news from Fox News believe that Saddam Hussein was a major cause of 9/11, but I'm not sure if that's true.
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Postby Mookie4ever » Thu May 03, 2007 9:36 am

What does it say about people who get most of their info from a fantasy baseball forum? :-L (that's lobotomy drool)
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Postby Coppermine » Thu May 03, 2007 9:49 am

Mookie4ever wrote:What does it say about people who get most of their info from a fantasy baseball forum? :-L (that's lobotomy drool)


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Postby BGbootha » Thu May 03, 2007 10:44 am

Mookie4ever wrote:What does it say about people who get most of their info from a fantasy baseball forum? :-L (that's lobotomy drool)

Its OK, your Canadian
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Postby 5 » Thu May 03, 2007 1:53 pm

Colbert is great.
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Postby Coppermine » Thu May 03, 2007 2:01 pm

5 wrote:Colbert is great.


You know what else is great?

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