When John Stewart, host of The Daily Show on the Comedy Network, appeared on Fox News Sunday, he boldly proclaimed that polls show that Fox News viewers are consistently ill informed. Stewart actually based his claim on one poll reportedly run by a George Soros organization worldpublicopinion.org.
The poll, conducted in 2010, asked some good factual questions, but they were few in number compared to the politically loaded questions that were asked in the survey. The Baltimore Sun’s television critic, David Zurawik, hardly a conservative, wrote an entire column criticizing the poll. He noted that a person was considered informed by the poll if they agreed with the conclusion of a government agency expert. One of the questions in the poll asked if the respondent agreed that global warming was a real problem. If you disagreed, you were considered ill informed. That sounds more to me like a survey to gauge a person’s opinion and not factual knowledge.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning website PolitiFact, operated by the St. Petersburg Times, noted that there are several other national polls that rate Fox viewers as well-informed as most viewers of other major news networks. These polls, conducted by the Pew Organization, actually show that viewers of Fox News’ two most popular shows, the O’Reilly Factor and Hannity rank consistently higher than viewers of just about every show, including Stewart’s own show. In last year’s Pew Poll, Fox News viewers scored better, not worse, than MSNBC, CNN, the network evening news and the network morning news.
Jon Stewart consistently points out that his first priority is comedy, and liberal advocacy is secondary. However, he was very serious when he used the skewed poll to denounce Fox News viewers.
I have many liberal friends, and, fortunately, none of them are anywhere near as arrogant and condescending as Jon Stewart and other liberal advocates in the media. These liberal media personalities consistently talk about their intellectual superiority and belittle and berate anyone who disagrees with them. When you find out the facts, however, you can’t help but laugh at their self-proclaimed superior intellect.