‘Stoned slackers’ watch Jon Stewart?
Bill O’Reilly's viewers are actually less educated than Stewart's
The Associated Press Updated: 1:45 p.m. ET Sept. 28, 2004
NEW YORK - The folks at Comedy Central were annoyed when Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly kept referring to The Daily Show audience as "stoned slackers." O’Reilly’s teasing came when Stewart appeared on his show earlier this month. "You know what’s really frightening?" O’Reilly said. "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."
Comedy Central executives realized, and O’Reilly acknowledged, that he was poking fun. But they said they didn’t want a misconception to persist. So they did a little research.
Guess whose audience is more educated?
"If the head of General Motors was watching O’Reilly’s show, that could be very important to us," said Doug Herzog, Comedy Central president. "If you listen to O’Reilly, you get the sense that it was crazy longhairs behind the show," he said. "And it’s not. It’s great, smart television that attracts a well-compensated audience, most of whom are voting age."
Viewers of Jon Stewart’s show are more likely to have completed four years of college than people who watch "The O’Reilly Factor," according to Nielsen Media Research. Comedy Central also touted a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey, which said young viewers of The Daily show were more likely to answer questions about politics correctly than those who don’t. Comedy Central had no statistics on how many people watch The Daily show stoned.
Bill O’Reilly is scheduled to appear Oct. 7 on The Daily Show.
If I could stand the thought of watching Bill O'Reilly on Stewart's show, I might break down and get cable. But somehow, I think I'm too smart for that - one soon learns that the pain ceases when one stops bashing one's head against stone skulls.
I found this snap poll on the same MSNBC page as the linked story to be very interesting:
MSNBC Live Vote - Who do you trust for news on campaign 2004?
* 12273 responses
46% Jon Stewart (The Daily show)
18% Tom Brokaw (NBC Nightly News)
9% Dennis Miller (FAUX)
8% Peter Jennings (ABC World News Tonight)
7% Dan Rather (CBS Evening News)
7% Aaron Brown (CNN)
3% Jay Leno (NBC Tonight Show)
3% David Letterman (CBS)
It's a sad commentary when a cable TV commedian is more trusted for accurate news information than the network clowns he competes against - and most of them are on much earlier!
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