April 29, 2009

The Irony of Satire

Several political blogs have noted an Ohio State University study about the TV show, The Colbert Report. The study has found, in essence, that Republicans lack a sense of humor:

...we found that individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions of Colbert's political ideology. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups [liberals and conservatives] in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert's political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion. (Emphasis mine.)

Of course, the fact that Republicans do indeed lack a sense of humor was seen in the unlamented Faux News program The 1/2 Hour News Hour.

But seriously, I'm not that surprised that conservatives might find programs like The Colbert Report difficult to understand. Two years ago, I commented about a Psychology Today article, The Ideological Animal, which reported, among other things, that "...conservatives have less tolerance for ambiguity..." Is it, then, that conservatives live in an alternate reality (as Crooks & Liars suggests) or that they are unable to fully understand the world they live in?

1 comment:

JDsg said...

Update: I'm pleased to say that someone at The Colbert Report stopped by a few days ago to look at this post. Woot! :)