Monday, November 28, 2011

And, once again, does anyone seriously wonder why American news consumers are so woefully uninformed?

In 2005, PIPA survey research indicated that people who “get their news” from The Daily Show (The Colbert Report didn't exist yet) were better informed than Fox News viewers. This was at the time when, as Jon Stewart memorably pointed out, TDS was scheduled after a show about puppets making prank phone calls.

And recently, of course, has come survey evidence that Fox News viewers were less informed than people who watched no news at all.

(Fox News Channel, as of this week, is the top-rated cable news channel.)

But it's not just Fox News that's the problem. It's also the dumbing down pretty much across the board of the top middle-brow news sources for their American audiences. (Why? Possibly ideology, but certainly in large part because these for-profit institutions have determined that that's where the money is.) For example:

Compare the European English-language edition of CNN to what we get here in the states. And of course the way that Time and Newsweek dumb down their domestic-edition cover stories so that American readers won't fwy their widdle bwains.

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