Tags: Stephen Colbert | super PAC | media

Study: Stephen Colbert's Audience More Informed Than News Media's

Image: Study: Stephen Colbert's Audience More Informed Than News Media's

Tuesday, 03 Jun 2014 01:31 PM

Talk show host Stephen Colbert is better at informing viewers about political issues than traditional news outlets, according to a new survey.

The study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center tested Colbert’s audience against those of CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, network nightly news shows, talk radio, and newspapers to see who knew more about campaign finance issues.

The study, "Stephen Colbert’s Civic Lessons," found that people who watched his show launch a super PAC in 2011, called "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow," were more informed about the role of money in politics compared to other news sources, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The survey found that his audience became engrossed in his super PAC, which was allowed to accept unlimited corporate donations. Colbert also created a 501(c)(4) shell corporation, which allowed donations to be given to his political action committee anonymously.

He made the point that this allowed him "to get money from my (c)(4), use that for political purposes, and nobody knows anything about it until six months after the elections."

Bruce W. Hardy, the study’s lead author, said, "Colbert did better than any other news source at teaching. There were two reasons. First was his narrative structure. He walked us through creating a super PAC, and every episode was a continuation of that story. And second was the use of humor and satire."

The researchers said that watching Colbert’s show on Comedy Central served as "an extended civics lesson."

They added, "The show not only increased people’s perceptions that they knew more about political financing, but significantly increased their actual knowledge, and did so at a greater rate than other news sources."

Colbert, who has hosted his show since 2005, will replace David Letterman on "The Late Show" when the legendary host retires next year.

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Talk show host Stephen Colbert is better at informing viewers about political issues than traditional news outlets, according to a new survey.
Stephen Colbert, super PAC, media
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2014-31-03
Tuesday, 03 Jun 2014 01:31 PM
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