Saturday, June 24, 2006

East Carolina, part II

Matt Stoller gets it right in response to this pearl-clutching nonsense from the WaPo interpreting the "study" from two researchers at East Carolina University finding that "Daily Show" viewers are more cynical than non-viewers.

As Matt points out, WaPo columnist Richard Morin (the next Richard Cohen, perhaps?) projects his entire anxiety closet of fears into a trivial and meaningless study about the effects of watching Jon Stewart.

Regular readers will recall that this story is old news here at Blue Meme Central. I took the East Carolina study apart more than a month ago. Please go ahead and read the linked post now. Go ahead, we'll wait for you.


Now here's a funny extra: I got an email a few days after the first post from someone who claimed to be a student of one of the "researchers" (echoed in one of the comments) claiming that said prof, Dr. Morris, is a liberal "Daily Show" fan. Said student objected to my guess as to the motives behind the study, but could offer no counter to my substantive criticism. I have no idea what Morris' peronal beliefs are. All I can say is that if Dr. Morris could not see how his study would be used by media and politicans who are, to put it mildly, not fans, he is clueless to a degree even academicians rarely achieve.

Or perhaps Morris is coldly cynical himself -- using a highly misleading but media-friendly fluff piece to advance his own career at the expense of larger truths. Which, when you think about it, is a lot like what Cohen Morin accuses Stewart of doing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wanna read something interesting about how certain types of TV shows can affect you? Here's one:

Bill O'Reilly's Fractious Factor

It's a Psychotherapist's take on Bill O'Reilly's show and the effect it has on civil discourse. A very good little article. I'd like to see some "studies" done on this type of show to understand better why people watch them. This article helped me to understand it a little better.

I found this article via this Newshounds post.

11:19 AM  

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