2014

Bill O'Reilly Calls Viewers of 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart' A Bunch of 'Stoned Slackers' and 'Dopey Kids' During Interview With Jon Stewart on 'The O'Reilly Factor' With an Audience Less Educated and Less Affluent Than 'The Daily Show,'

Perhaps O'Reilly Should Share Some of What He's Been Smoking



'Daily Show' Viewers Are Younger, Smarter and More Affluent Than

'The O'Reilly Factor'



National Annenberg Election Survey Concludes That 'Daily Show' Viewers Are

More Educated and More Interested in the Presidential Campaign Than The

Average American and Have Higher Campaign Knowledge

Than National News Viewers and Newspaper Readers



    NEW YORK, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Ever the gracious host, Bill O'Reilly
 continually referred to viewers of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" as
 "stoned slackers" and "dopey kids" during an interview with "Daily Show" host
 Jon Stewart when the anchor of the news satire was a guest on Fox News
 Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" on Friday, September 17.
     O'Reilly opened his interview with the 5-time Emmy Award-winning Stewart
 with the following statement: "You know what's really frightening?  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."  O'Reilly sprinkled the "stoned slackers" reference
 throughout the 7-minute interview adding a "dopey kids" in once for good
 measure (for a copy of this interview or a transcript please contact Bill
 O'Reilly c/o "The O'Reilly Factor" at Fox News Channel).
     What should be truly frightening to O'Reilly is how the audience for "The
 O'Reilly Factor" stacks up against that of "The Daily Show."  Far from being a
 bunch of stoned slackers, viewers of "The Daily Show" are actually smarter and
 more affluent than those of "The Factor."
     Research conducted by COMEDY CENTRAL reveals that the viewers of "The
 Daily Show" are 78% more likely than the average adult to have four or more
 years of college education and 74% more likely than the average adult to have
 a household income of greater than $75,000 and an occupation of "professional,
 owner or manager."  With respect to "The O'Reilly Factor," viewers of the Fox
 News Channel's signature show are only 24% more likely than the average adult
 to have four or more years of college education and, amazingly, are 15% less
 likely than the average adult to have a household income of greater than
 $75,000 and an occupation of "professional, owner or manager."
     In fact, the full magnitude of O'Reilly's ignorant and ill-timed comments
 was revealed only three days later with the release of data collected during a
 National Annenberg Election Survey** conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy
 Center of the University of Pennsylvania.  The survey, made public on
 September 21, shows that "viewers of late-night comedy programs, especially
 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' on Comedy Central, are more likely to know
 the issue positions and backgrounds of presidential candidates than people who
 do not watch late-night comedy."
     According to Dannagal Goldthwaite Young, a senior research analyst at The
 Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, who
 developed the research for the survey, "In recent years traditional
 journalists have been voicing increasing concern that if young people are
 receiving political information from late-night comedy shows like 'The Daily
 Show,' they may not be adequately informed on the issues of the day.  This
 data suggests that these fears may be unsubstantiated."
     Young continued, "People who watch 'The Daily Show' are more interested in
 the presidential campaign, more educated, younger, and more liberal than the
 average American or than Leno or Letterman viewers."  She added, "'Daily Show'
 viewers have higher campaign knowledge than national news viewers and
 newspaper readers -- even when education, party identification, following
 politics, watching cable news, receiving campaign information online, age, and
 gender are taken into consideration."
 
     ** Polling conducted between July 15 and September 19 among 19,013 adults
 showed that on a six-item political knowledge test people who did not watch
 any late-night comedy programs in the past week answered 2.62 items correctly,
 while viewers of Letterman answered 2.91, viewers of Leno answered 2.95, and
 viewers of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" answered 3.59 items correctly,
 resulting in a difference of 16 percentage points between "Daily Show" viewers
 and people who did not watch any late-night programming.  For more information
 on the survey including tables and methodology, please visit the National
 Annenberg Election Survey web site at http://www.naes04.org.  For more
 information on the Annenberg Public Policy Center please visit
 http://www.AnnenbergPublicPolicyCenter.org.
 
     In response to Bill O'Reilly's "stoned slackers" and "dopey kids" comments
 during his September 17 interview of Jon Stewart on Fox News Channel's "The
 O'Reilly Factor":
 
     * The median age of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" 11:00 p.m.
       (premiere) airing is 35, while its median income is $67,000.
 
     * The median age of "The O'Reilly Factor" 8:00 p.m. (premiere) airing is
       63, while its median income is $54,000.
 
 
     * Viewers of "The Daily Show" are 78% more likely than the average adult
       to have four or more years of college education.
 
     * Viewers of "The O'Reilly Factor" are only 24% more likely than the
       average adult to have four or more years of college education.
 
 
     * Viewers of "The Daily Show" are 42% more likely than the average adult
       to have a household income of $75,000+.
 
     * Viewers of "The O'Reilly Factor" are only 6% more likely the average
       adult to have a household income of $75,000+.
 
 
     * Viewers of "The Daily Show" are 26% more likely than the average adult
       to have a household income of $100,000+.
 
     * Viewers of "The O'Reilly Factor" are only 11% more likely than the
       average adult to have a household income of $100,000+.
 
 
     * Viewers of "The Daily Show" are 74% more likely than the average adult
       to have a household income of $75,000+ and an occupation of
       "professional, owner or manager."
 
     * Viewers of "The O'Reilly Factor" are 15% less likely than the average
       adult to have a household income of $75,000+ and an occupation of
       "professional, owner or manager."
 
 
     * Viewers of "The Daily Show" are 37% more likely than the average adult
       to be in a "white collar" profession.
 
     * Viewers of "The O'Reilly Factor" are 15% less likely the average adult
       to be in a "white collar" profession.
 
 
      Source: Nielsen Media Research
      NPower - median age & income of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" (11:00
      p.m.), "The O'Reilly Factor" (8:00 p.m.)
      Marketbreaks - "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" 7:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m.
      airings; "The O'Reilly Factor" 8:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m. airings.  Indexed
      to total US population, 18+.
 
 
         Daily Show Viewers Knowledgeable About Presidential Campaign,
                    National Annenberg Election Survey Shows
 
     Viewers of late-night comedy programs, especially The Daily Show with Jon
 Stewart on Comedy Central, are more likely to know the issue positions and
 backgrounds of presidential candidates than people who do not watch late-night
 comedy, the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey
 shows.
     Polling conducted between July 15 and September 19 among 19,013 adults
 showed that on a six-item political knowledge test people who did not watch
 any late-night comedy programs in the past week answered 2.62 items correctly,
 while viewers of Letterman answered 2.91, viewers of Leno answered 2.95, and
 viewers of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart answered 3.59 items correctly.
 That meant there was a difference of 16 percentage points between Daily Show
 viewers and people who did not watch any late-night programming.
     The campaign knowledge test covered such topics as which candidate favors
 allowing workers to invest some of their Social Security contributions in the
 stock market, the income range at which John Kerry would eliminate the Bush
 tax cut, and which candidate is a former prosecutor.
     "People who watch The Daily Show are more interested in the presidential
 campaign, more educated, younger, and more liberal than the average American
 or than Leno or Letterman viewers," said Dannagal Goldthwaite Young, a senior
 analyst at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, who conducted the research for
 this report.  "However, these factors do not explain the difference in levels
 of campaign knowledge between people who watch The Daily Show and people who
 do not.  In fact, Daily Show viewers have higher campaign knowledge than
 national news viewers and newspaper readers -- even when education, party
 identification, following politics, watching cable news, receiving campaign
 information online, age, and gender are taken into consideration."
     "These findings do not show that The Daily Show is itself responsible for
 the higher knowledge among its viewers," said Young. "The Daily Show assumes a
 fairly high level of political knowledge on the part of its audience -- more
 so than Leno or Letterman.  At the same time, because The Daily Show does deal
 with campaign events and issues, viewers might certainly pick up information
 while watching.  It is probably a bit of both."
     "In recent years," Young said, "traditional journalists have been voicing
 increasing concern that if young people are receiving political information
 from late-night comedy shows like The Daily Show, they may not be adequately
 informed on the issues of the day.  This data suggests that these fears may be
 unsubstantiated.  We find no differences in campaign knowledge between young
 people who watch Leno and Letterman -- programs with a lot of political humor
 in their opening monologues -- and those who do not watch late-night.  But
 when looking at young people who watch The Daily Show, we find they score
 higher on campaign knowledge than young people who do not watch the show, even
 when education, following politics, party identification, gender, viewing
 network news, reading the newspaper, watching cable news and getting campaign
 information on-line are taken into account."
     During the mid-July to mid-September time period included in these
 analyses, Daily Show host Jon Stewart interviewed such political figures as
 Senator John Kerry, Senator John McCain, Former President Bill Clinton,
 Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie, and White House
 Communications Director Dan Bartlett. In addition to the interviews, The Daily
 Show's programs dealt with political news and issues of the day, from "Mess
 O'Potamia" (ongoing coverage of the Iraq War), to the controversial anti-Kerry
 swift boat advertisements, to the value of "objectivity" in news reporting.
     Young people who watched The Daily Show scored 48 percent correct on the
 campaign knowledge test while young people who did not watch any late-night
 comedy scored 39 percent correct.  Meanwhile, young people who watched four of
 more days of network news scored 40 percent correct, equally frequent cable
 news viewers 48 percent correct and newspaper readers 46 percent correct.
     The interviewing period used in these analyses included The Daily Show's
 coverage of both party conventions.  On six of the eight nights of the
 conventions, Nielsen ratings indicate, The Daily Show drew more 18-34 year
 olds (during its 11:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. time slot) than the cable news
 channels such as Fox, MSNBC, CNBC and CNN.
     The Annenberg data indicate that of those people who watched late-night
 comedy programming at least once in the previous week, 37 percent report
 watching Leno most often, 34 percent report Letterman, and 15 percent report
 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  When looking just at people 18-29 years old,
 we find 30 percent report watching Leno most often, 25 percent Letterman, and
 22 percent Stewart.
     A content analysis of late-night comedy content conducted on Leno,
 Letterman, and Stewart monologues and headlines from July 15 through September
 16, 2004 indicates that 33 percent of jokes made by Stewart during the show's
 "Headlines" mentioned at least one policy issue, compared to 24 percent of
 Leno's monologue jokes and 21 percent of Letterman's.  Other topics covered in
 late-night monologues included candidates' personalities, their chances of
 winning as well as events and blunders that occurred on the campaign trail.
     Of the 83 political jokes made by Stewart, only 9 specifically targeted
 Bush. That was 11 percent of his political jokes. The same number targeted
 Kerry.
     "The Daily Show segments are less likely than a Leno or Letterman joke to
 use a quick punch-line to make fun of a candidate," said Young.  "Instead,
 Stewart's lengthier segments employ irony to explore policy issues, news
 events, and even the media's coverage of the campaign."
     Leno and Letterman's monologue jokes were more likely than the Daily
 Show's "Headlines" to take aim specifically at Bush or Kerry.  Of Leno's 315
 political jokes, 97 (31 percent) targeted Bush and 76 (24 percent) targeted
 Kerry.  Of Letterman's 136 political jokes, 20 (15 percent) targeted Bush and
 21 (15 percent) targeted Kerry.
     Of Leno's 97 Bush jokes, 38 percent focused on the idea that he lacked
 intelligence.  About 10 percent of Leno's jokes about Bush fell into each of
 the following categories: he is not technically president (lost in 2000), he
 shirked responsibility with the National Guard, and he is responsible for the
 poor state of the economy.  Letterman's 20 Bush jokes followed a similar
 pattern with 45 percent focusing on Bush's intelligence and 10 percent falling
 into each of the following categories: he is not technically president (lost
 in 2000), the charge that he shirked his duties with the Texas Air National
 Guard, and his alleged dishonesty.
     Leno and Letterman's jokes about Kerry fell into various categories.
 While Letterman's jokes were more likely to portray Kerry as losing the
 election (24 percent of Letterman's 21 Kerry jokes), Leno was more likely to
 mock Kerry's wealth and rich wife (20 percent of Leno's 76 Kerry jokes).
 Letterman was also likely to tell jokes about Kerry in relation to his service
 in Vietnam (19 percent), his physical appearance (14 percent), and his alleged
 flip-flopping on the issues (10 percent).  Leno's jokes about Kerry also
 focused on his alleged flip-flopping (18 percent), his losing the election (12
 percent) and his service in Vietnam (11 percent).
     Dannagal Goldthwaite Young, a senior research analyst at The Annenberg
 Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, developed the research
 for this report.  The National Annenberg Election Survey, the largest academic
 election poll, is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center
 (http://www.AnnenbergPublicPolicyCenter.org).  It has been tracking the
 presidential campaign since October 7, and interviewing will continue until
 after Election Day. Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the director of the survey.
 Ken Winneg is the managing director of the survey.  Adam Clymer is the
 political director of the survey.
 
     For up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit
 COMEDY CENTRAL's press-only website at http://press.comedycentral.com
 
 

SOURCE Comedy Central

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

 

PR Newswire Membership

Fill out a PR Newswire membership form or contact us at (888) 776-0942.

Learn about PR Newswire services

Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.