If you are a conservative, Jon Stewart wants you to know you are a moron. Last weekend on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked the comedian-cum-political commentator who the most consistently misinformed media viewers are. “The most consistently misinformed?” Mr. Stewart said, “Fox, Fox viewers, consistently, every poll.” This is a prevalent opinion on the left; they tend to think that those who don’t agree with them must not be bright enough to understand the complexities of the world, or willfully believe in things that are demonstrably untrue. But when the fact-checking website PolitiFact scored Mr. Stewart’s comments it turned out that he was the one who was misinformed. Their review “found three Pew studies that ranked Fox viewers low on the well-informed list, but other general-interest media outlets — such as network news shows, network morning shows and even the other cable news networks — often scored similarly low.
Meanwhile, viewers of particular Fox shows — such as The O’Reilly Factor and Sean Hannity’s show — scored consistently well, occasionally even outpacing Stewart’s own audience.” The notion that O’Reilly viewers are better informed that his own must simply be too much for Mr. Stewart to bear. No wonder he blotted it out of his mind. And it is worth remembering the April 2010 New York Times/CBS News poll that found that Tea Party supporters tended to be better educated and have higher incomes than most Americans. This is at odds with the stereotyped view portrayed on “The Daily Show” and other liberal-leaning outlets of conservative activists as angry, ignorant, redneck buffoons. But if it makes the left happy to live in their safe, self-affirming fantasy world then so be it. We don’t have to watch.