According to the latest Pew Research survey, the most knowledgeable Americans are regular viewers of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” and avid newspaper readers. At the other end of the spectrum are viewers of Fox News and morning shows.
Jon Stewart frequently protests that his goal is to be funny rather than purely informative, yet people who watch his show, according to Pew, are more knowledgeable than viewers of the Lehrer “NewsHour” on PBS.
Other details are equally eye-opening. Pew judged the levels of knowledgeability (correct answers) among those surveyed and found that those who scored the highest were regular watchers of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They tied with regular readers of major newspapers in the top spot—with 54% of them getting 2 out of 3 questions correct. Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind.
Virtually bringing up the rear were regular watchers of Fox News. Only 1 in 3 could answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly. Fox topped only network morning show viewers.
Told that Shia was one group of Muslims struggling in Iraq, only 32% of the total sample could name “Sunni” as the other key group.