Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mallard the duck

The Mallard Fillmore strip in today's Gazette caught my eye. Not only was it a remarkable finding, but it seemed to contradict other evidence.

The problem: This is production day, so I don't have time for in-depth research, but I have been unable in a quick search to verify that this claim is true. The closest I have found is this, but it doesn't quite support Mallard's conclusion.

Anybody else find anything?


Chuck Rightmire said...

The only survey I found in the June 24, 2008, on line news report was one from Pew citing a survey of religious attitudes; nothing about Dumbaugh or NPR. And the Pew Survey you linked to indicates that NPR listenders outrank Limbaugh's listeners in overall knowledge. So, who believes anything that's in Mallard Fillmore, a comic strip which is never funny and seldom correct on anything.

Jay Stevens said...

I found the reference in the NYMagazine's profile of Rush Limbaugh. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/06/magazine/06Limbaugh-t.html?sq=rush%20limbaugh&st=cse&scp=2&pagewanted=all)

To wit:

'Limbaugh�s audience is often underestimated by critics who don�t listen to the show (only 3 percent of his audience identify themselves as �liberal,� according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People and the Press). Recently, Pew reported that, on a series of �news knowledge questions,� Limbaugh�s �Dittoheads� � the defiantly self-mocking term for his faithful, supposedly brainwashed, audience � scored higher than NPR listeners. The study found that �readers of newsmagazines, political magazines and business magazines, listeners of Rush Limbaugh and NPR and viewers of the Daily Show and C-SPAN are also much more likely than the average person to have a college degree.�'

The article is obviously referring to report that you found. If you look on the table "Knowledge levels by News Source," you'll see that if you add up the first two columns -- "High" and "Med" -- indeed, Rush outscourse NPR 59-88.

A couple of things.

First, the poll equates name recognition with knowledge. So, while it's likely, say, that Rush's listeners know who Barack Obama is, it's probably likley they don't know where Obama actually stands on the issues.

Second, if you, like me, are surprised at the difference between the actual poll result and what was written in the Magazine, don't worry, you're not alone. The author, Cavets, is a right-wing neocon journalist known for his biased attacks on Democrat politicians.

In short, the piece is a stinker, Mallard Fillmore is a stinker, and the Times should hang its head in shame.

6 Generations said...

Perhaps the New Yorks Times' article got its information from this article, "Online Papers Moderately Boost Newspaper Readership," dated July 30, 2006, on the Pew Research Center website: http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1068. (Scroll down to the section titled "Knowledgeable News Audiences.") If so, Mallard massages the facts a bit.

6 Generations said...

Oh, and this might be the NYT source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/06/magazine/06Limbaugh-t.html?pagewanted=6 ("Late-Period Limbaugh," by Zev Chafets, New York Times, July 6, 2008)

Jay Stevens said...

Great minds, 6 gen!

And Dave. Blogger sucks. I want to hyperlink! Switch to Wordpress already! It's free, it looks better, it has more features, and you can preserve your archive.

Make the switch!

Anonymous said...

Check out the actual Pew Survey here. . My experience with Rush listeners is that they are very well informed, but narrow in outlook and not able to grasp differencing views – i.e. – they see what they see very clearly, but see very little. How many times has one of them walked away from a debate mumbling about how stupid we are?