Republicans Better Informed
A new Pew survey shows a rather steep “Partisan Knowledge Gap,” with Republicans and Independents generally better informed than Democrats.
Mary Katharine Ham finds this quite amusing and also notes that, “if the polling had gone the other way, the NYT would shout it from the rooftops.” She provides examples of the mainstream press doing just that on previous occasions.
We’d need a more wide-ranging set of questions and more replication over time to make any definitive conclusions about the relative knowledge of various partisans. This does, however, seem to belie the recent White House-approved meme that Fox News and its ilk aren’t really news outlets. The fact of the matter is — and this has been borne out over time — that people who listen to Rush Limbaugh or watch Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity are among the best informed people out there. It’s not that those hosts are unbiased — Lord knows, they are — but because they draw an audience that’s much more interested in the news than most Americans.
CNN’s current business model is straight news, with the opinion shows pushed to their sister HLN. But people actually watch Fox.