Monday, September 27, 2004

Daily Show viewers are smarter?!

Proving that fake news is getting credibility (no, I’m not talking about Dan Rather, thank you very much), the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey shows that viewers of The Daily Show are more aware of candidates’ positions on issues than those who don’t watch late-night TV.

Polling conducted between July 15 and Sept. 19 among 19,013 adults showed that on a six-item political knowledge test people who did not watch any late-night comedy programs in the past week answered 2.62 items correctly, while viewers of Late Night with David Letterman on CBS answered 2.91, viewers of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno answered 2.95, and viewers of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart answered 3.59 items correctly. That meant there was a difference of 16 percentage points between Daily Show viewers and people who did not watch any late-night programming.

There’s more interesting nuggets from the study, which is summarized here. Most surprising to me? Jay Leno is the most partisan of all late night hosts, making fun of Bush in more jokes than Kerry. Oddly, Republicans surveyed preferred Leno (33%) to Letterman (27%) or Stewart (15%). (Stewart was the favorite of both Democrats and Independents.)


  1. Since you can't really "get" a joke unless you know the allusion and context, it's not really surprising that the fans of a politically-oriented comedy show would be knowledgeable about the issues and candidates. [Of course, being more knowledgeable than the rest of the public is not a very high standard.]

  2. It's all about the moment of zen.

  3. Of course Bill O'reilly says that 87% of all Daily Show viewers are intoxicated when watching the show of course I have always found being inebriated to the point of lack of memory helpful in my discernment when watching any TV news show.

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