Thursday, April 19, 2007

The march to idiocracy

survey respondents who seemed to know the most about what’s going on — who were able to identify major public figures, for example — were likely to be viewers of fake news programs like Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report”; those who knew the least watched network morning news programs, Fox News or local television news.

Only 69 percent of people in the latest survey could come up with Dick Cheney when asked to name the vice president; in 1989, 74 percent could name Dan Quayle. Fewer could name the governor of their state (66 percent now compared with 74 percent in 1989) and fewer could name the president of Russia (36 percent now compared with 47 percent before).

In 1989, fully 81 percent of people knew that the United States had a trade deficit; today, only 68 percent knew.

5 Comments:

Blogger spiiderweb™ said...

It must be time to celebrate the intelligent and informed citizenry of the US.

We must all be proud.

6:47 AM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

As a teacher, this disgusts me, but I'm happy about the Jon Stewart part. We're more likely to get actual information there, anyway.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Maya's Granny said...

I agree with united we lay. As an ex-teacher, this is very disturbing. And I like the Jon Stewart part.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous HPM said...

Bhc, i looked his over the other day and something doesn't jive. here's my problem, the o'reilly factor came in just behind the daily show and the colbert report, some 20 points ahead of the fox "news" average. not a chance in hell. also, NPR and rush were neck in neck.

first, i can't remember the last time o'reilly even covered a news story. second, when he does it is almost, without exception, pure propaganda.

the only thing that might explain it is that the questions tended along the pure memory type. who is the vp? who is your governor? one can imagine fox watchers doing fine with these. it's questions like was al qaeda working with saddam before 9/11 that gives them fits. actually, it might be fun to devise a bunch of questions i know the average fox viewer would get wrong. i'm on it.

4:30 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

hpm,

I confess I didn't look this over closely and I agree, if O'Reilly watcher are anywhere near knowing anything, it would have to be the simplest of stuff. Names does look like that was about all that was asked. And that is hardly indicative of actually knowing what the people with those names are actually doing.

Fox Newsies are wholly misinformed. We know this from a study that was done a couple of years ago. NPR listeners ranked highest on questions like WMD and al Qaeda. Fox viewers, of course, were swirling around the drain of enforced ignorance.

10:30 AM  

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