Po­lit­i­cal lean­ings have a lot to do with what you watch

The Washington Times Weekly - - From Page One - By Jen­nifer Harper

It’s not imag­i­nary: Po­lit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy strongly shapes our pref­er­ences in television and leisure time.

“Red-taste” conser va­tives love Fox News, are sus­pi­cious of Hol­ly­wood and ig­nore arty pro­gram­ming, while “blue-taste” lib­er­als adore NBC, em­brace com­men­tary and flock to Hol­ly­wood movies, ac­cord­ing to new re­search.

“The dif­fer­ence be­tween conser va­tives and lib­er­als goes much deeper than pol­i­tics, in­volv­ing much deeper pat­terns of think­ing and be­hav­ior,” said a sur­vey of close to 4,000 adults re­leased Nov. 12 by Zogby In­ter­na­tional and the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia (USC).

“It’s quite likely that if con­ser­va­tives like it, lib­er­als hate it,” the sur­vey said.

Eight out of 10 lib­eral re­spon­dents, for in­stance, ad­mit that they are en­ter­tained by ma­te­rial that is in “bad taste.” Among con­ser­va­tives, 40 per­cent em­phat­i­cally said they were “never” en­ter­tained by such things.

And while more than three­quar­ters of con­ser­va­tives said TV pro­gram­ming and movies “very of­ten” con­tain po­lit­i­cal mes­sages, just 4 per­cent said they take away any mean­ing­ful lessons. They also get ter­ri­to­rial over po­lit­i­cally charged con­tent: Twenty-two per­cent of con­ser­va­tives said they never en­joy en­ter­tain­ment that re­flects val­ues other than their own; 7 per­cent of lib­er­als agreed.

Sixty-eight per­cent of lib­er­als seek out en­ter­tain­ment that con­tains po­lit­i­cal themes and com­men­tary. Half of them also fa­vor arts pro­gram­ming, com­pared with 17 per­cent of con­ser­va­tives.

Seventy per­cent of con­ser­va­tives watch Fox News daily, com­pared with just 3 per­cent of lib­er­als. NBC is their broad­cast net­work of choice, watched by 70 per­cent of them.

Like their pol­i­tics, the two groups have “po­lar­ized” en­ter­tain­ment tastes, the sur vey found.

“Lib­er­als say they like en­ter­tain­ment with a po­lit­i­cal fla­vor, while con­ser­va­tives es­chew such pro­gram­ming out of sus­pi­cion that it is tainted with a lib­eral bias. In­stead, they fa­vor news or re­al­ity television. Con­ser­va­tives love spor ts pro­gram­ming, in part be­cause there’s no way to in­ject lib­er­al­ism into a foot­ball game,” the sur­vey said.

The two groups are in con­cert in some ar­eas, though.

Ma­jori­ties on both sides agree they can spot that ide­ol­ogy: Sixty-six per­cent of con­ser­va­tives and 55 per­cent of lib­er­als said if they know a per­son’s taste in en­ter­tain­ment, they can ac­cu­rately pre­dict their po­lit­i­cal lean­ings.

“Tell me what you watch and lis­ten to and read, and I’ll tell you how you vote,” noted Martin Ka­plan, di­rec­tor of the Norman Lear Cen­ter at USC, where an­a­lysts spent five months por­ing over the find­ings.

In ad­di­tion, more than 70 per­cent of re­spon­dents from both sides watch the news of their choice daily.

In gen­eral, conser va­tives fa­vor live sport­ing events over movie the­aters, theater, mu­se­ums or art gal­leries. In fact, 21 per­cent said they never go to the movies, com­pared with 8 per­cent of lib­er­als.

In mu­sic, con­ser­va­tives fa­vor classical, coun­try and rock in that or­der — but more than 90 per­cent ar­dently shun reg­gae, Latin, world beat or punk fare. Rock rules the lib­er­als, fa­vored by more than two thirds — fol­lowed by an om­niv­o­rous mix of “al­most ever y other mu­sic genre,” in­clud­ing rap, folk, Latin and other styles.

The sur­vey of 3,939 adults in 48 states was con­ducted on­line from June 26 to June 29 and has a mar­gin of er­ror of 1.6 per­cent­age points.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.