Pew: Who Has The Smartest Audience?

By Brian 

> Update: 2:21pm: “Bill O’Reilly has the ‘second-dumbest’ audience ranking (college grads) in the stats posted on your site,” an e-mailer responds. “And if you go to the link you cited, it’s even more apparent that O’Reilly’s audience is mid-level in the rankings at best — below The Daily Show, CNN, and even Larry King, for chrissakes.”

Bill O’Reilly has one of the oldest audiences in television, but he also has one of the most knowledgeable. That’s according to the latest Pew news consumption survey, which used a three-question quiz to determine if respondents had “high knowledge.” They were asked which party has a majority in the U.S. House, who the current U.S. Secretary of State is, and who the current president of Russia is. Here are some of the results, ranked by percentage of high knowledge viewers:

> 27 percent of O’Reilly Factor viewers have a college degree, identical to the national average. 58 percent are age 50+. 42 percent have high knowledge. Only three audiences in the Pew survey scored higher on high knowledge: Regular readers of New Yorker/Atlantic, regular Rush Limbaugh listeners, and regular Weekly Standard/New Republic readers.

> The Daily Show: 37 percent college grads, 23 percent age 50+, 38 percent high knowledge.

> CNN: 28 percent college grads, 43 percent age 50+, 31 percent high knowledge.

> Evening newscasts: 26 percent college grads, 54 percent age 50+, 30 percent high knowledge.

> Larry King’s audience: 30 percent college grads, 56 percent age 50+, 30 percent high knowledge.

> FNC: 27 percent college grads, 50 percent age 50+, 28 percent high knowledge.

> CNBC: 30 percent college grads, 38 percent age 50+, 23 percent high knowledge.

> MSNBC: 31 percent college grads, 42 percent age 50+, 21 percent high knowledge.

> Morning news: 26 percent college grads, 44 percent age 50+, 20 percent high knowledge.