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September 28, 2004 10:56 AM   Subscribe

The folks at Comedy Central were annoyed when Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly kept referring to "The Daily Show" audience as "stoned slackers." So they did a little research. And guess whose audience is more educated?
posted by ae4rv (57 comments total)

 
Although I do admit that having an education and being stoned are not mutually exclusive.
posted by ae4rv at 11:01 AM on September 28, 2004


I wonder what percentage of o'reilly viewers polish their hunting rifles while the factor's on?
posted by mcsweetie at 11:11 AM on September 28, 2004


I take the most umbrage with the "slacker" part. I'd do something but there's a rerun of Good Times just starting, I'll get to it later.
posted by fenriq at 11:11 AM on September 28, 2004


stoned slackers vs besotted fucktards
posted by nofundy at 11:16 AM on September 28, 2004


I wonder what percentage of o'reilly viewers polish their hunting rifles while the factor's on?
I think they mostly "polish their hunting rifles" when Ann Coulter is on.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:18 AM on September 28, 2004


Stoned Slackers For Truth
posted by ElvisJesus at 11:26 AM on September 28, 2004


Stoned Slackers For Truth

"I was there that day when...uhmm...what were we talking about again?"
posted by stifford at 11:52 AM on September 28, 2004


Isn't it possible to be extraordinarily perceptive while also occasionally enjoying a sticky, tightly-rolled joint and a good slack?

Wasn't there a group lobbying to shoot O'Reilly into the sun? What ever happened with that?
posted by dhoyt at 11:53 AM on September 28, 2004


this agression will not stand, man.
posted by whatnot at 11:54 AM on September 28, 2004


p.s. O'Reilly will be on TDS October 7. If the ratings are higher than they were for the Kerry appearance, look for O'Reilly to brag about it for weeks.
posted by whatnot at 11:57 AM on September 28, 2004


Maybe he meant it as a compliment, he is for de-criminalization. You can hear him say so in his Fresh Air interview if you don't trust the Wikipedia.
posted by revgeorge at 12:01 PM on September 28, 2004


Viewers of Jon Stewart's show are more likely to have completed four years of college than people who watch "The O'Reilly Factor," according to Nielsen Media Research.

Yeah, but since when does having more education mean you're more educated? I mean, c'mon....

/sarcasm
posted by junkbox at 12:06 PM on September 28, 2004


Because of my schedule, I'm nearly 100% more likely to watch the O'Reilly Factor stoned.

Wait, what were we talking about?
posted by car_bomb at 12:12 PM on September 28, 2004


I wonder what percentage of o'reilly viewers polish their hunting rifles while the factor's on?

Dear God, please tell me that's not a euphemism.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 12:18 PM on September 28, 2004


the suppression of vascular endothelial growth factor by cannabinoids could help in brain-cancer treatment.

yet awfully quiet in the U.S. ...
posted by mrgrimm at 12:22 PM on September 28, 2004


Rifle polishing is the new masturbation!
posted by fenriq at 12:30 PM on September 28, 2004


sonofsamiam won this one many comments back.
posted by quonsar at 12:44 PM on September 28, 2004


Yeah, the thread wasn't that damn long, folks, and almost every comment was just one or two lines - not that hard to read all of them...

What are you, a bunch of stoned slackers?
posted by soyjoy at 1:23 PM on September 28, 2004


So if Stewart's audience is comprised of stoned slackers, how would Herzog describe O'Reilly's audience?

"I'm not getting into that game," he said.


Hmm.

Portly mouth-breathers in off-colored work shirts with a thin blue grid pattern, crusted brown ties and sweat-stained wife-beaters clearly outlined underneath. Security-moustaches, with bristly hair dipped like the end of a brush nightly in pork chop fat and the butter from reheated corn. In their dim beady eyes a secret fear of the baffling world. They have a constant, frantic insecurity which manifests publically as righteous certainty, yet they spend a lot of time alone in the garage, crying, or working out their middle-age sexual frustration on hand-built pine furniture. The thing they fantasize about most is shooting a burglar, and sometimes they unwrap the gun in their dresser drawer and spend up to three minutes just staring at it.
posted by Hildago at 1:26 PM on September 28, 2004


Nice to see you don't believe in cheap stereotypes, hildago. I could cook up one of, say, NPR listeners, but I like to think I'm above that.

NTM, being educated is mutually exclusive of assholedom, nor vice versa. While some of the best people I've met have been highly educated, so have many of the most insufferable, pompous know-it-alls. And don't get me started on people who've been to grad school, they get so fucking smart they that nobody's good enough to talk to them, and more to the point, they don't have to listen to you.
posted by jonmc at 1:43 PM on September 28, 2004


Something tells me O'Reilly isn't really looking for an educated audience, anyway. So everyone wins.
posted by turaho at 1:53 PM on September 28, 2004


I could cook up one of, say, NPR listeners, but I like to think I'm above that.

Don't hold back....here's mine:

NPR Listeners: Commercial-avoiding, corporate-news-mouthpiece-distrusting, eclectic-music-liking, good-coffee-drinking, hype-hating, Volvo drivers?
posted by ae4rv at 1:58 PM on September 28, 2004


or guilt-ridden, soy-milk lapping, free weekly reading, lily-white, trendy, suzanne vega listening, gentrifying know-it-alls.

You asked.

Not that I'm a huge fan of O'Reilley and his ilk either, but if these are the only two choices on the buffett, yech.
posted by jonmc at 2:02 PM on September 28, 2004


heh. yes, I did.
posted by ae4rv at 2:05 PM on September 28, 2004


And don't get me started on people who've been to grad school, they get so fucking smart they that nobody's good enough to talk to them, and more to the point, they don't have to listen to you.

Nice to see you don't believe in cheap stereotypes. Ladies and gentlemen: jonmc, mefi's Hypocrite Laureate!
posted by jpoulos at 2:22 PM on September 28, 2004


Languagehat should take his records back.
posted by kenko at 2:24 PM on September 28, 2004


And don't get me started on people who've been to grad school, they get so fucking smart they that nobody's good enough to talk to them, and more to the point, they don't have to listen to you.

Ooooo, bitter.

If that were true I'd be in grad school in a heartbeat. Ahh, to float above the great unwashed....Heaven, I tell you. Sadly, my bachelor's from a mediocre PAC-10 school only entitles me to ignore children and the elderly.
posted by jalexei at 2:31 PM on September 28, 2004


I listen to NPR. Why didn't someone give me a Volvo, dammit?
posted by adampsyche at 2:38 PM on September 28, 2004


Isn't it time we all drop these stereotypes?
Everyone I know personally (not net.life) who is voting Bush are either small business owners who have done pretty well under this administration, or strict pro-lifers who feel they are morally obliged to vote Bush, despite his many other flaws.

Everyone I know personally who is voting Kerry is voting against Bush.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:54 PM on September 28, 2004


"Your "revolution" is over, Mr. Lebowski! Condolences! The bums lost!"
posted by ColdChef at 3:19 PM on September 28, 2004


Nice to see you don't believe in cheap stereotypes. Ladies and gentlemen: jonmc, mefi's Hypocrite Laureate!

Sterotypes backed up by experience, and it's a rare person who broken from 'em in my presence. But that's beside the point. For all their education, they seem mystified as to why anyone might resent them.

Besides, I didn't see you jumping up to pick apart Hildago's cheap stereotype.
posted by jonmc at 3:23 PM on September 28, 2004


jesus christ, jonmc, i can't take even another word of your anti-intellectual crap. every single time anyone so much as mentions the word "education", you're first out of the gate to tell everyone how smart people are all assholes.

for all their education, they seem mystified as to why anyone might resent them.

now this part might be true, at least for me. i have no idea why you have an overwhelming need to slander anyone who thinks they know anything. if it's missed opportunity, you can stop taking it out on everybody right now, because it isn't our fault. otherwise, maybe you can tell me why people who went to grad school are automatically elitist bastards.

besides which, if this is all about hidalgo's (clearly exaggerated) character sketch of The Typical Bill O'Reilly fan, i'd like to point out that at least his wasn't the typical screed against right-wingers. it wasn't the usual one-off "flag-waving suv-driving greedy sons of bitches" comment - he put some creativity into it.

also, it was obviously so over the top that i don't know how you could take it so seriously. i mean, come on, "Security-moustaches, with bristly hair dipped like the end of a brush nightly in pork chop fat and the butter from reheated corn"? that doesn't strike you as a joke?

as a side note, i honestly have NO IDEA who the typical o'reilly viewer is (except that, apparently, they aren't high enough). i know that a lot of people rely on fox news, but who are these people who fucking can't get enough of bill o'reilly? i live in a really liberal part of the country (portland, or) and i can't imagine anyone having the balls to admit they actually liked him.** is it different elsewhere?

** note that i don't say "i can't imagine anyone having the balls to be conservative"; i know many conservatives and they are Just Fine With Me. but bill o'reilly? really?
posted by pikachulolita at 3:47 PM on September 28, 2004



Sterotypes backed up by experience, and it's a rare person who broken from 'em in my presence. But that's beside the point. For all their education, they seem mystified as to why anyone might resent them.


So Hildago would simply have to say "I've seen a lot of O'Reilly viewers who..." and it would all be cool with you?
posted by Space Coyote at 3:48 PM on September 28, 2004


Since my point seemed to get lost in my anger at Hildago's comment, I shall rephrase.

As I said before, education is no guarantee of either good sense of moral fiber, nor is lack thereof a guarantee of the opposite.

And resentment of educated people is not always rooted in superstition or fear. Remember that up until fairly recently higher education was a privilege of a tiny minority of the population, and also that to a lot of people, the people in a position to screw you (your boss, your banker, the CEO of the company you work for, etc.) are often educated people as well. Our psycho president and his cronies and the boys at Enron are degree holders too.

on preview: I am not anti-intellectual. I am anti people who think formal education always makes their opinion more valuable. And usually I like hildago's stuff, even when I don't agree with it. But smugness is a hot button for me, which is off course, my fault.
posted by jonmc at 3:57 PM on September 28, 2004


Because of my schedule, I'm nearly 100% more likely to watch the O'Reilly Factor stoned.

Woah, a stoned slacker with a schedule.

You just blew my mind, man.
posted by tapeguy at 5:39 PM on September 28, 2004


Viewers of Jon Stewart's show are more likely to have completed four years of college than people who watch "The O'Reilly Factor," according to Nielsen Media Research.

But have they graduated?
posted by Pockets at 5:42 PM on September 28, 2004


Oh, mercy. Jon, it was a joke. It was an over the top response to the "stoned slacker" stereotype Bill O'Reilly was using. It was supposed to be what the Comedy Central executive (quoted above my text) would have said if he hadn't chosen to be the bigger man.
posted by Hildago at 6:52 PM on September 28, 2004


Having an (higher) edumucation != smugness.
posted by adampsyche at 7:25 PM on September 28, 2004


for all their education, they seem mystified as to why anyone might resent them.

I can see lots of reasons to resent graduate students: after all, they do make more than minimum wage (which is itself disgusingly low), though still less than just about any job they could have found following their BA. I mean, the luckiest live off $15 - 20,000 a year, with or without children.* Never mind the unlikely ones who have to scramble for teaching jobs (a few thousand per course), work other jobs (possibly at minimum wage), and go further into debt.

And the way they lord it over you the fact that their work just bleeds into the rest of their life - instead of going home at 5pm, they are up late reading for orals, preparing for the section they need to teach (which may or may not be in their field). The way the universities treat them like some strange creature the cat dragged in - not faculty, but not really students - and god forbid you need access to a classroom in one of the undergraduate colleges to do something like teach your class - you can't have a key to the gate, you might be dangerous!

And that's just the humanities - those science students are worse: bragging about their 10-12 hours days in the lab, working as techinicians for their supervisor for years before they are allowed to work on their own research, but not even the basic rights of an employee (no overtime, no compensation for working holidays, no way to appeal abuse), despite the fact that they are patently working for someone else's benefit. And after as many years of training as a doctor - twice as many as a lawyer - they don't even have to join those well-paid, respected professions, but get to scramble for post-doc positions, or contract lecturing jobs, being paid just about what a graduate student is.

Those damn lazy know it all graduate students - just don't realise how lucky they are.

Sorry for the rant, but comments like that make me even want to run out and join that annoying union! So you've maybe met a few annoying Foucault-quoting, "way more intellectual than thee" grads - so have the rest of us, and we have to be in class with them. Grads have worked bloody hard through the entirety of university to get where they are - when the rest of the undergrads were at the pub, we were studying. And it doesn't get easier in grad school - maybe you meet grads lazing about in coffee shops, but, frankly, I mostly see them in counseling for depression and stress. And before anyone starts thinking that grads are all lucky upper middle class wasters - I'll tell you that your average grad at a good American university is more likely to have come from the lower class than any of the undergrads - we come from single parent families, have lived on welfare, have parents who are as likely to be truckers as doctors - many of us are the first in our families to even graduate with a B.A. We could have all done something else, but we did this - and we accept the numerous trade-offs - to do something we love, and that seemed most worthwhile to us (I know I would be a bad anything else). I respect people working in other jobs and professions - just asking for a little of the respecting back.

* If they are American they can probably get state help for their kid's health care, but international students are out of luck.

posted by jb at 7:25 PM on September 28, 2004


Furthermore, I think you'd have a hard time finding evidence of me ever saying formal education makes you better than anyone else. Maybe I come off like that, I don't know, but education or lack thereof is insignificant to me compared to the larger and more or less unrelated problem of ignorance.
posted by Hildago at 7:37 PM on September 28, 2004


thanks for your comments jb. after struggling through three degrees as a family, living below the poverty level for a few years, and now paying for it for the next 20 or so, it can be a little frustrating to be lumped into some arbitrary insta-snob category. now through my work at a university, i've seen plenty of suicidal students, families at risk, and stressed-out faculty. and i'm just a webmaster fer chrissakes.
posted by whatnot at 7:45 PM on September 28, 2004


stoned slackers vs besotted fucktards

I'm gonna go with 'sloshed simpletons'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:59 PM on September 28, 2004


OK, fair enough.

Mrs. jonmc has an MFA, so I'm no stranger to the fact that graduate students often have to struggle to get what they want. That's also where I gained my distaste for many of the hyper-educated but that's a whole other story. But, you presnted your perspective in a way that makes me understand, which I obviously failed to do.

But, try this on for size: pinning a nametag to your shirt for $8/hr and saying "how can I help you" and having that stretch before you for eternity* while you percieve (correctly or not) other people going off to explore the frontiers of the higher mind, becoming respected for their intellects, etc. And when you try to engage in conversation, being made to feel like a simpleton (purposely or not). I'm not saying any of the people in this thread have done it, but it happens. A lot. Here and elsewhere. The rolled eyes when you venture something people have heard before. The aarent-you-cute dismissal of what you say if it dosen't meet some standard. That's where my frustration at trying to communicate comes from.

*whether from bad luck, personal limitations, or lack of opportunity. It dosen't diminish the value of the perspective.

Oh, mercy. Jon, it was a joke.

Yeah, but as someone who's been forced to wear off-color work shirts (with logos on them) and who enjoys pork chops, it hit a little close to home for comfort.
posted by jonmc at 8:24 PM on September 28, 2004


Metafilter: stoned slackers vs besotted fucktards
posted by wdpeck at 8:36 PM on September 28, 2004


But, try this on for size ...

I hear you jon, I just wonder how much of it has to do with being in the northeast. I've taken plenty of ribbing from my nor'easter friends, some of whom feel obliged to put on airs, almost as if each conversation were a competition. Apparently I speak too slowly and don't read the new york times enough. the horror!
posted by whatnot at 9:04 PM on September 28, 2004


I used to wear off-colored work shirts that smelled like pork chops, because I worked at the meat counter at Fred Meyer. I've worked in food service proper also, flipping burgers and making pizzas. And telemarketing. My dad's a truck driver and my mom is a secretary. I can to some extent see the whole board. Anyway, Bill O'Reilly is a dick, and in our hearts we all know that.

Not that I wasn't trying to be offensive. I'm always trying to be offensive.
posted by Hildago at 9:22 PM on September 28, 2004


I bet the Daily Show audience is a far more interesting and willing to interact group than any people actually listening to Bill O'Reilly for, gasp, information. Of course, that may be because I love the Daily Show and only watch O'Reilly to make fun of him.

And really, the best part about stereotypes is that they work for shit when you try and apply them to an individual.
posted by fenriq at 10:25 PM on September 28, 2004


That's why I like you Hildago, even when I don't like you.
posted by The God Complex at 10:26 PM on September 28, 2004


I never did have a logo - the places I worked weren't fancy enough. Was a cook briefly when I was 18, then served behind the counter in a donut shop for 2 years, (for $7/hour CND), before going back to school. I know how lucky I am -my brother worked for several years at a fast food franchise, where even assistant managers make only $8/hour, and now drives a forklift, but the tedium drives him batty. I'm mostly just glad he is employed again, though it would be better if he could move into a skilled (and more enjoyable) trade.

Actually, I don't find the uppity graduate students so bad - they aren't half so annoying as the ones who want to cast themselves as the struggling academic prolitariate - struggling they are (most of all those with families), but prolitariate they aren't, and those who were aren't any more. There are just so many things - the autonomy (at least outside the labs), the hope for a change in the future, the ability to advocate very effectively, to negotiate systems - that make the experience of poverty for a graduate student very different from the working class. (Yes, I do actually study class on the side, which is why I'm getting all theretical about it. )

And now I've fully derailed the thread - I think the original point in the article was to try to belie O'Reilly's implication that Stewart's viewers were uninformed stoners. Of course, higher average levels of education might have no effect on how stoned they are or are not, but it is interesting that viewers of Stewart's comedy program are apparently more well-informed, regardless of education.
posted by jb at 12:21 AM on September 29, 2004


jonmc - I realise you made the point about the difference in future expectations above.

I did just think about one reason some people in academics may give off a superior attitude, without even meaning to - it has to do with just being so involved in something, you forget what it's like to have a lay perspective. So (to grab my too often used example), if someone started talking people marrying young in 16th century England (they married about the same age we do), I might start rolling my eyes without even thinking. It's not that I think the person isn't bright, but it's such a basic thing that I've forgotten that people not studying history might not have heard it (when, of course, 6 years ago it was news to me). It's like when I haven't heard of a hit band, or don't know which bit of a car a carborator is (or indeed if it is a bit of a car) -everyone has the sort of thing they know specifically, and forget that it is specific.
posted by jb at 1:37 AM on September 29, 2004


jb: exactly. that's where the eye-rolling comes in - grad students aren't more intellectual, we just know more about a specific field. it's not that we're condescending, we just have a hard time hearing someone venture an uninformed opinion that has been repeatedly proven wrong through careful research. excuse the analogy, but it's like talking to kids - some people are very good at remembering what it's like not having any kind of life experience for background, and some people just treat kids like intellectual inferiors because they either can't remember what it's like to not know, or they can't be bothered to waste their precious time talking to one of the uninitiated.

i try to shoot for the former. hell, my little brother is a pot-smoking semi-homeless factory worker. i can hang out with him and his friends just fine. i don't make him feel bad about his level of education. i have met some snotty grads who probably would spend all day making him feel inferior. it's a crapshoot.

i'd think that as grad school becomes more affordable (hell, anyone who pays for a masters/phd in hard science is getting screwed - i teach, and the university pays my tuition plus a pittance in return), this idea that graduate school students are more intellectual than others ought to be debunked. we're just ordinary people willing to do an extraordinary amount of work (and put up with a lot of annoying shit like poor wages and putting our professional / personal lives on hold, for years, while we watch our non-grad school buddies get jobs paying five times what we earn, start families, etc.) just because we care about adding to the general bulk of knowledge out there.

i do think that having an advanced degree makes your opinion worth more. but only within your field of expertise, and only based on your level of experience and knowledge of the field. if you've spent 10 years of your life learning about something, the idea that you don't have a more informed outlook on issues pertaining to your specific field is asinine. it is though decidedly not cool to automatically assume that anyone without said experience/education is incapable of fully understanding the issues. so as an example, my pothead brother may not know as much as i do about biology, but that doesn't mean his opinions on human cloning are invalid - just that i'm better prepared than he is to discuss the implications and debunk some of the misperceptions.

and bill o'reilly is not my idea of good entertainment - jon stewart i'll stay up to watch, even if i'm drifting off 'cause i've been in the lab since 7:30 AM.

oddly enough i don't think my brother watches the daily show...
posted by caution live frogs at 6:17 AM on September 29, 2004


I appreciate that despite my temper tantrum (yes, I will call it what it was), an interesting dicussion ensued. And what caution live frogs and jb said is very true: yes, somebody with a degree in say, microbiology does probably know more about microbiology than I do.

Other subjects, I don't think should neccessarily require credentials to discuss, but sometimes the heavy duty jargon and assumptions about background knowledge can be intimidating and confusing, especially when it comes to subjects like social issues, politics, and even philosophy, which I think just about anybody should feel OK about chiming in on.

Maybe what I'm trying to say in a roundabout way, is to remember that even though we're generally fairly intelligent people here (maybe i'm the class dunce, I dunno), MeFi is still a general audience site. Clarity is important. Or as a bumper sticker I once saw said "Thou Shalt Forsake Obfuscation."

And for what it's worth, I prefer Jon Stewart to O'Reilley, too.

Thanks for listening.
posted by jonmc at 7:12 AM on September 29, 2004


clf (who still has one of the best online handles ever), that's a good point about the area of expertise.

Sometimes, the media or others will get opinions from academics willy-nilly - and some academics claim expertise where none is warented. (A friend of mine who studies Iranian history was annoyed recently when a professor of American military history presented themselves as expert in the Middle East, when he could see the flaws in their point - but it's fashionable for anyone even remotely connected to contemporary security studies to give their two cents worth, whether they have ever really studied the region or not.)

But I've also been in the situation where people will just dismiss experts as "appeal to authority" - I'm all for questioning authority in a constructive manner, but I would take very seriously the opinons of someone, for example, who studies public health and epidemiology when they are talking about what is effective in health care (since they run studies on that sort of thing).

And jonmc - you made good points about the way we all need to remember the diversity of people we talk to in a day. Keep calling out the jargon : )

(Actually, I just went to an interesting talk that was unfortunately very jargonful. I'm not in the field, but a related one, and I had difficulty following it. But I did learn a new word: prosopography - the study of individuals (putting their lives together from numerous historical records). (Yes, I did have to copy that letter for letter from the handout - maybe next week I'll have figured out how to pronouce it.)
posted by jb at 11:16 AM on September 29, 2004


There's also something to be said about how people who "work for a living" try to make us poor grad students feel useless and inferior. Can't we all shed a tear for each other? Can't we all strive to make that rainbow connection?
posted by Hildago at 11:51 AM on September 29, 2004


*hugs hildago and jb, weeps like a little girl*

You caught me in a sentimental mood. My favorite disc jockey died last night.

Bummer.
posted by jonmc at 12:15 PM on September 29, 2004


I'm so sorry - I felt similarly when Clive Gilmour of the CBC died, just when I was starting to really appreciate him (before he had just been this ubiquitous voice in my childhood).
posted by jb at 5:21 PM on September 29, 2004


Thanks.

Muni had been around so long he was NYC radio to a lot of people. He also had one of the great DJ voices. Once i was driving through new york with my Dad and I asked if I could put my station on. Sure, he said.

"Who's that DJ?" he asked "Sounds familiar."

"Scott Muni."

"Scott Muni?? That guy was old when I was a kid."

My dad had listened to him on WABC spinning Elvis & doo-wop in the fifties & sixties. He was one of the last people around who was there for the initial explosions.
posted by jonmc at 5:59 PM on September 29, 2004


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