A new report warns just how much this country stands to lose when Stephen Colbert shutters his Comedy Central late-night show to take over for David Letterman at CBS. According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, viewers of The Colbert Report who watched Colbert set up a super PAC and 501(c)(4) organization during the last presidential election cycle were better informed about campaign financing and the role of money in politics than viewers of actual news channels and other, actual-news shows.
“It’s the first study actually showing that Colbert is doing a better job than other news sources at teaching people about campaign financing,” crowed Bruce W. Hardy, lead author of the study and a senior researcher at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. “Consistently, we found that Colbert did better than every other news source we included in our model.”
The published study tested The Colbert Report against CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and broadcast nightly news — as well as talk radio and newspapers — as sources of political information. The study, appropriately called Stephen Colbert’s Civics Lesson, was based on phone survey data from 1,232 adults 18 years or older who were interviewed between December 13-23, 2012. (more…)