Where Do You Get Your Political News? It Probably Isn’t From Television

Entertainment Features
02.07.12 45 Comments

PREFACE: This is not a political post. Not really, anyway.

TRUE STORY: The other day, a much older gentleman asked me what television news shows I watch, and I explained to him that I don’t watch any of them. He then proceeded to chastise me for being a lousy citizen before I could inform him that I don’t watch television news because I get most of my news coverage on the Internet (save for “The Daily Show”). He didn’t quite understand that because he’s still rocking an AOL account, and he’s a Newt Gingrich supporter, so he’s probably a little soft in the brain anyhow.

Truth be told, I don’t like television news because they yell a lot, and if I wanted someone to yell at me, I’d post something on WarmingGlow that made our readers miss Matt. Television news contains very little substance, and even the opinion is obscured by the volume. Frankly, it’s boring. I listen to NPR in the morning, and the rest of the day I stay informed through the Associated Press app on my phone and The New York Times, because I’m a pinko commie liberal hippy.

According to the Pew Research Center, I’m not alone, as fewer and fewer people turn to television news to stay informed.

Only 69% of adults turned to the tube first for election news last month, the lowest percentage in at least 20 years, according to the weekly surveys taken for the Pew Research Center’s News Interest Index. The latest figure is down from 72% four years ago, 78% in 2004, and 86% in 2000. Broadcasters are seeing the biggest losses. Just 32% of adults cited local TV news as their primary source for election news, down from 40% four years ago. The national nightly newscasts were down to 26% from 32%. Cable news channels held relatively steady at 36%, down from 38%. As you might imagine, a lot of people now are turning to the Internet for their political news fix. It passed newspapers to become the No. 2 source of election news, with 34% turning first to the Web vs 26% in the 2008 campaign and 13%.

I’m actually surprised that 32 percent of people use local news to stay informed because local news is garbage in every single region of the country. It’s basically good for one thing, and that’s embarrassing verbal gaffes, like this one:

Or the best one in recent memory:

Of course, even local news is better than Fox News and MSNBC. If I wanted to watch petulant children scream at each other, I’d hang out in more playgrounds … I mean … er … you know what I mean.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Where do you folks get the majority of your political news?

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