Study: Jon Stewart Bad for America?

Well, the site has relaunched as planned, and the redesign gives more headlines and video on the front page. But the main thing that catches our eye today is Andrew Ferguson‘s conserv-entary about a study that finds how harmful Jon Stewart is to American democracy. Says former Bush I speechwriter Ferguson:

Despite their lack of knowledge, “Daily Show” viewers “reported increased confidence in their ability to understand the complicated world of politics.” Stewart is raising their self-esteem at the same time he makes them dumber.

Now, this is a familiar phenomenon in the contemporary U.S. — rising ignorance accompanied by rising self-regard. We can’t blame Stewart for it all by himself, much as I might like to. But the study does raise the question: Who’s hurting the country now?

We won’t attempt to answer that one. You can see a PDF of the study, by Jody Baumgartner and Jonathan Morris of East Carolina University, here.

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