Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 2 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/27/09

Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     (# of views)   5 comments
Author 53
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Schmookler
Become a Fan
  (31 fans)
- Advertisement -
<em>I follow this piece with a comment of my own:  to my mind, the author of this piece presents some interesting information but misses the mark.  He presents uncertainty where I think there isn't any (or not much), and he skips over the crucial clue that he presents.


******************

Why Do Conservatives Like Stephen Colbert?

Colbert has built a career mocking the right-wing. So why does new research suggest that the comedian is popular with Conservatives?
Tools</em>

- Advertisement -
By Lee Drutman, Miller-McCune.com.
Alter-Net, April 23, 2009.

So ... Stephen Colbert doesn't really mean all those wacky liberal-bashing things he says, does he? Comedy Central's The Colbert Report is obviously a parody of a wing-nut right-wing talk show. Right?

Or ... is it? (Cut to devilishly quizzical chin-grabbing stare.)

- Advertisement -
He can't be serious.

Or ... can he sort of be? (Cut to screeching bald eagle.)

Well, apparently Colbert is just that good. His character is so pitch-perfectly ambiguous that, according to a new study, what it is you see in him is whatever it is you want to see in him. If you are liberal, he is a liberal, too. If you are a conservative, he is a conservative, just like you.

And if you are a bear, well, good luck.

Colbert is, it would appear, a fun-house mirror to the deepest recesses of your political soul.

In order to test this scientifically, Heather L. LaMarre, along with Kristen D. Landreville and Michael A. Beam (all communications doctoral students at The Ohio State University), subjected 322 participants with a mix of political ideologies to a three-minute 2006 video clip of Stephen Colbert discussing media coverage of the Iraq war with "super liberal lefty" radio host Amy Goodman.

- Advertisement -
They then asked participants to evaluate Colbert's ideology and his attitude towards liberalism. What they found was that the more liberal participants reported their own ideology to be, the more liberal they thought Colbert was. And the more conservative they reported their own ideology to be, the more conservative they thought Colbert was. Both, however, found him equally funny. The results are published in the April edition of the International Journal of Press/Politics.

"Liberals will see him as an over-the-top satire of Bill O'Reilly-type pundit and think that he is making fun of a conservative pundit," LaMarre explained. "But conservatives will say, yes, he is an over-the-top satire of Bill O'Reilly, but by being funny he gets to make really good points and make fun of liberals. So they think the joke is on liberals."

How can this be? Are they really both watching the same Stephen Colbert? Actually, the reason is pretty simple. It is a phenomenon that has been familiar to social psychologists for a long time: confirmation bias. "When you look at social psychology and you see how people process information, people see what they want to see," said study co-author Landreville. "They take whatever they want out of that message. So if I'm a liberal, I'll have my liberal goggles on when I'm watching The Colbert Report and I'll think he's a liberal."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

Andrew Schmookler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique

Mel Gibson's Rant as Profound Clue

To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right

How Important is the Loss of Friendship?

# 8 Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

The Mystery of Obama's Relationship with Power