Stoned Slackers My Ass

Recently, Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” appeared with Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly. “You know what’s really frightening?” O’Reilly teased Stewart. “You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it’s true. You’ve got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote.”
A recent Annenberg survey finds that some of the best-informed voters are those that watch late-night comedy. While Leno and Letterman viewers scored slightly higher than average on Annenberg’s election-season quiz, the runaway winners were those who watched “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. While part of the explanation for their high score is that the show’s audience tends to be “more educated, younger, and more liberal than the Average American or than Leno or Letterman viewers,” the study’s director found that the program itself had an unambiguously educational impact. According to the study’s director, “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.”

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