Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rush vs the MSM

The Pew Research Center released a survey that has been reported as showing Rush Limbaugh’s audience limited to a narrow overwhelmingly male wingnut cohort. As is often the case, the survey offers up some interesting findings that don’t quite conform to the conventional wisdom it was meant to support.

In this case it appears to show that Dittoheads are among the most informed of news consumers . . . more aware of current events than Jim Lehrer NewsHour watchers, Daily Show enthusiasts, CSPAN drones, BBC snobs and just about anyone else except for readers of The Atlantic.

Granted, the measure of “informed” is a bit dodgy. If you can name the Secretary of State, the majority party in Congress, and Her Majesty’s Prime Minister, you’re officially “highly informed.”

Rush Limbaugh listeners were able to name all three correctly 36% of the time, which sadly, is far better than most new consumers including highly self-esteemed CNBC viewers (17%).

What about CBS News, the Tiffany Network, home of the legendary Edward R. Murrow, (peace be upon him)? Their audience scores on par with AccessHollywood viewers (10%) and below the erudite cognoscenti at the Weather Channel (11%), and far below the abysmal national average of 18%.

What does this tell us?

Well, the fact that the headline from Pew reads, “Limbaugh Holds onto his Niche: Conservative Males,” and not, “In a Nation of Idiots, Conservatives Are King,” leads me to believe that Pew is so unnerved by this admittedly flawed survey finding that they would rather whistle past what they think is a graveyard full of the barely restrainable undead rather than report something counterintuitive and interesting.

Wouldn’t want to take Limbaugh seriously, would we?

(Rush Limbaugh and some uninformed, parochial, white male listeners)