Duh of the Day and the Fox News Grump

Conservatives are more belligerently closed-minded than liberals, even when it comes to their entertainment:

Conservatives were the most "likely to watch only two channels out of the 24 highest-rated networks: Fox and Fox News."

– "Fox News wins the prize for the most politically divisive TV channel (70% of conservatives watch it daily and only 3% of liberals)."

– "While 22% of conservatives said they 'never' enjoy entertainment that reflects values other than their own, just 7% of liberals felt the same way. … In other words, Limbaugh's potential audience is larger than that of liberal competitors because more liberals say they will listen to conservatives than vice versa."

Conservatives think "fictional TV shows and movies are politically biased" and "overwhelmingly (76%) believe that TV shows and movies 'very often' contain political messages, but they are the least likely to learn anything about political issues from them. Just 4% say they learn lessons from movies."
Anecdotally, I've found these conclusions to be totally true. I have conservative family members who refuse to watch films with Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, George Clooney, Sean Penn, et al, but I'll watch films with Gary Sinise or Clint Eastwood or Bruce Willis or whomever, and I haven't thrown Conan the Barbarian out of my DVD collection (though it was only there for ironic purposes in the first place, but you get my point).

I've discussed this with a bunch of friends who also have a parent (or parents—oy) who've fallen into the Fox hole, and they say the same thing. Something else we've collectively noticed is what I call the "Fox News Grump," which is that aging parents (especially retired parents) who sit around watching Fox News all day turn into grumpy, sourpuss, get-off-my-porch assholes, constantly moaning about how the world sucks. In the couple of cases where said parents have, for one reason or another, gone off Fox News (one of my best friends actually blocked Fox from his step-dad's cable and replaced it in his "favorites" list with PBS), the parents have returned to their former selves like magic. It's so stunning that those of us with recovering parents are deeply envied by the rest—and we've all commented that someone should really do a study on the phenomenon.

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