Well, as many of you know, I delight in nothing more than the myriad ways we on the left have devised to keep from taking a shotgun to our heads during the current administration’s reign.
A regular liberal-angst-sublimating favorite of mine is The Daily Show on Comedy Central. John Stewart and the TDS staff do an incredible job of hilariously showcasing much of the bad behavior currently displayed by our governing officials.
Not that I need to tell you nice people this. The Daily Show has more than 1.5 million viewers nightly on average. In fact, people have begun to argue more and more recently that TDS is a valid news source – at times providing coverage of issues our major news networks fail to cover or fail to cover accurately. The more I watch the show, the more I’m inclined to agree.
Interestingly enough, a National Annenberg Election Survey in 2004 found that fans of The Daily Show weremore likely to have greater knowledge of the facts of the presidential campaign than folks who relied on other tv news sources , even newspapers. Also…
“People who watch The Daily Show are more interested in the presidential campaign, more educated, younger, and more liberal than the average American or than Leno or Letterman viewers,” said Dannagal Goldthwaite Young, a senior analyst at the Annenberg Public Policy Center , who conducted the research for this report. “However, these factors do not explain the difference in levels of campaign knowledge between people who watch The Daily Show and people who do not. In fact, Daily Show viewers have higher campaign knowledge than national news viewers and newspaper readers – even when education, party identification, following politics, watching cable news, receiving campaign information online, age, and gender are taken into consideration.”
Now, of course, as the article continues, this doesn’t necessarily mean that folks who watch The Daily Show are receiving allof their info from the show. People who are drawn to the show are probably more likely to seek out political info from other sources as well. I do know, though, that I personally have seen facts and video presented on The Daily Show that I likely would have never seen on a traditional news show and the information is often presented in a way that highlights hypocrisies and outright lies from certain elected officials (such as the video clip of Bush saying he absolutely never said he was unconcerned about Osama bin Ladin juxtaposed with the earlier clip of him saying just that). And I have most certainly seen TDS segments that have caused me to look further into the facts of a particular news story.
Regardless of whether or not The Daily Show provides us with new information, the Annenberg Election Survey does provide an argument against the scorn directed at TDS viewers along the lines of ‘kids today are getting dumber about politics by only relying on a self-proclaimed fake news-show as their source of information’.
Speaking of fake news, those of you familiar with Robert Greenwald’s movie OutFoxed (documentary/expose of the Fox news channel) will remember the frightening facts it presented regarding how regular Fox viewers scored on some basic news facts. Just in case you forgot…
• Fox News viewers were three times more likely to think that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq than people who watch NPR or PBS
• Fox News viewers were seven times more likely to think world opinion favored the U.S. invasion of Iraq than viewers of NPR or PBS
• Fox News viewers are four times more likely to believe in 2004 that the U.S. had found links between Iraq and al-Qaeda
And again I say EGAD!
Alright, before I get too long-winded on this subject (too late), I must do what I set out to do when I started this post and that is, to share this hilarious & frustrating summation of the Foley page scandal. It seems like at least once a week that I see a Daily Show segment I feel like everyone should watch. Don’t worry! I promise not to load the blog with TDS clips but I wouldurge you to check out YouTube with the search words ‘The Daily Show’ on a regular basis if you’re not already a devoted fan (I know many of you already are and might I add, good for you).
In other news on things-that-keep-me-from-slitting-my-wrists-while-Bush-is-president I give you the Bush Speech Writercontributed by the much-beloved Turadg Aleahmad from far away in Pittsburgh. Enjoy!