Monday, September 13, 2010

Enjoying the news

Here's an interesting little factoid from a recent Pew poll about people's viewing habits. Liberal Democrats just aren't enjoying the news as much these days as they did back in 2008.
In 2008, when the force was flowing for presidential candidate Barack Obama and other Democrats running for office, 67 percent of liberal Democrats said they enjoyed the news "a lot," a number that now has fallen to 45 percent, according to a Pew Research Center survey on the media based on data collected in June. Fifty-eight percent of self-described conservative and moderate Democrats said they enjoyed the news in 2008, a number that is now down to 46 percent.
Well, the news has been discouraging lately, especially if you had bought into the media fantasy created around the Obama campaign about his mythical powers to heal our wounded nation. Reality has set in along with truly dismal economic news.

It could be that the liberals don't like to listen to the news when they keep hearing about the poor electoral prospects that Democrats face in this year's election. Interestingly, Pew didn't find the same attitude among Republican viewers. If the theory is correct that enjoyment in the news falls when your side is doing poorly, you would expect that more Republicans to watch the news now than they did in 2008 when every analyst knew that they were heading for a shellacking in the election. Yet Republican enjoyment of the news seems to be holding steady.
Maybe it is something in the make-up of Democrats compared to Republicans, because the percentage of conservatives who say they enjoy the news was about the same in 2008 (56 percent) when their side took its drubbing as it is today (57 percent).
The survey also shows the continuing decline of all news outlets on cable or the networks. Except for Fox News, which leads the pack. And we continue to be an ideologically divided nation in our choice of news sources. The only ones who seem to be truly mixing it up in where they get their news from our libertarians who seem to listen to or read both conservative outlets like the WSJ and Glenn Beck as well as liberal comedy shows like Colbert and the Daily Show.