Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Must Watch TV

There is one show that is not to be missed each day. That is, The Daily Show with John Stewart on Comedy Central. And if you watch it, you are smart, regardless what Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly says.

Stewart may be the saavyiest political observer out there. His dismantling of Dan Rather, then juxtaposing this with the outrage from people wanting Rather's head because Rather used questionable evidence and refused to admit his mistake was just brilliant.

O'Reilly went after Stewart in an interview in which O'Reilly's said that the audience for The Daily Show was composed of "stoned slackers." Well, Comedy Central has research to show the exact opposite. Data from Nielsen Media Research indicates that Daily Show host Jon Stewart's viewers are more likely to have completed college than O'Reilly's.

Additionally, a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey suggested that Daily Show watchers are much more in tune with political news. Almost 20,000 young adults were surveyed and asked six questions about the presidential candidates' stands on various issues. Those who watched no late-night comedy shows answered 2.62 questions correctly. David Letterman's viewers answered 2.91; Jay Leno,'s 2.95; and Jon Stewart's 3.59. The poll noted that Stewart's viewers "have higher campaign knowledge than national news viewers and newspaper readers."

Not surprising at all. People who know the news are not going to O'Rielly. They already have an opinion. That they also want humor intended for an informed audience should not be surprising whatsoever.

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