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Monday, March 9, 2009

So, 4th Place Is Better Than 1st?

Pew Research recently polled adults 18 and over about "politics" and here's their findings:

The survey, conducted April 30-June 1 among 3,612 adults ages 18 and over, found that about half of Americans (53%) knew that the Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, while 42% could identify the secretary of state (Condoleezza Rice). Fewer than three-in-ten (28%) could name the prime minister of Great Britain (Gordon Brown). Just 18% of the public answered all three questions correctly.

While majorities in most news audiences knew that the Democrats have a majority in the House, regular viewers of Hannity & Colmes (84%), and listeners of Rush Limbaugh's radio program (83%) scored best on this question...

The later paragraph is all it took for Right-Wing bloggers to claim - en masse - that Hannity and Limbaugh viewers had "more informed" than any other program.

Ed Morrissey at HOTAIR chimed in on this story and even attempts to show that this somehow vindicated John Zeigler:

This follows on John Ziegler’s work at How Obama Got Elected, although in a less partisan manner. Ziegler also conducted his surveys of Obama and McCain voters to demonstrate the fecklessness of media coverage, a theme he put together as a documentary in Media Malpractice. Pew essentially finds the same problem working from the other direction — most of the mainstream media outlets fail to inform their audiences properly for political discourse.

Then there's Erik Erickson's "Morning Briefing" at REDSTATE:

Now what to make of all this? Rush and Hannity get bragging rights of a sort.

At best, this poll only shows that Hannity and Limbaugh audiences complain so much about the Democratic majority in the House that they were bound to at least get that question correctly.

That being said, they are still in an overall 4th-place position. Hardball, NPR, and The New Yorker / Atlantic come ahead of them.

My question is this: how can PEW even consider a person's ability - or lack thereof - to answer 3 relatively simple questions about politicians ( and not important issues ) proof positive that they are "more informed"?

The answer - they can't.

Regardless of where you stand on the reliability of polls, it's extremely easy to see that this one serves little to no use - other than for Hannity and Limbaugh to brag about something that they think they provide, but don't

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