The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Monday, September 27, 2004

FROM THE 'I COULDA TOLD YOU THAT' DEPARTMENT
The folks at Comedy Central were annoyed when Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly kept referring to “The Daily Show” audience as “stoned slackers.”

So they did a little research. And guess whose audience is more educated?

Viewers of Jon Stewart’s show are more likely to have completed four years of college than people who watch “The O’Reilly Factor,” according to Nielsen Media Research.

O’Reilly’s teasing came when Stewart appeared on his show earlier this month.

“You know what’s really frightening?” O’Reilly said. “You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it’s true. You’ve got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote.”

Comedy Central executives realized, and O’Reilly acknowledged, that he was poking fun. But they said they didn’t want a misconception to persist.

“If the head of General Motors was watching O’Reilly’s show, that could be very important to us,” said Doug Herzog, Comedy Central president.

“If you listen to O’Reilly, you get the sense that it was crazy longhairs behind the show,” he said. “And it’s not. It’s great, smart television that attracts a well-compensated audience, most of whom are voting age.” (full story)
I should know; I watch The Daily Show, and I'm on my sixth year of college! So there!

(explanation: I took two years off from college from 2000-2002, so even though it'll have taken me just over 5 years to graduate, I was only at UCSB for 9 academic quarters, so I'm actually getting out pretty fast... but enough excuse-making!)

One extra nice touch:
Comedy Central had no statistics on how many people watch “The Daily Show” stoned.
No, we save that for Chappelle's Show, and then we flip over to Cartoon Network.

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