When the truth stings

Dittoheads are better informed than NPRniks:

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.”

I don’t know why this comes as such a surprise to people. No one actually listens to NPR for information, they listen to NPR in order to FEEL smart. Tuning out while someone blathers on and on about hand-woven dolls made from dried out swamp weeds in Zambia or some forgotten jazz artist that no one has listened to in forty years doesn’t actually teach you anything, but it does let you pretend that you’ve learned something. For all that his political analysis is often imperfect, Rush does at least expect his listeners to pay attention to what he’s saying.

I would love to see the results of an NPR audience tested one week after listening to their favorite shows. I’ll bet they couldn’t even name most of the general subjects to which they supposedly listened, much less recall any of the details. It’s designed to go in one ear and out the other, much like most modern college educations.