Monday, April 16, 2007

Rabbits in Dresses

Check out this newsbit from Salon today:

One can learn a lot from "fake" news: Daily Show viewers best informed on current events, Fox News viewers finish at the bottom - NYT:

"Americans may have more news outlets today than two decades ago, but they still don't know much more about current events than they did then, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. But here's one big difference: the survey respondents who seemed to know the most about what's going on -- who were able to identify major public figures, for example -- were likely to be viewers of fake news programs like Jon Stewart's 'The Daily Show' and 'The Colbert Report'; those who knew the least watched network morning news programs, Fox News or local television news.

No surprise, huh? In order to appreciate a satirical news show, you have to know what the hell is being satirized, otherwise it just isn't funny. The grimaces, doofy grins and pauses are not inherently entertaining. Totally unlike Bugs Bunny, which is hilarious whether you get the references or not. I'm sure I had no idea that I was watching a spoof of The Barber of Seville when Bugs threw Elmer into a barber chair and cranked him up to the rafters, or that Bugs was playing Carmen when he donned the red dress and batted his fake lashes. I just thought a rabbit in drag was funny.

This is no commentary whatsoever on the intelligence and/or civic engagement levels of Fox News watchers.

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