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Friday, August 10, 2007

TV addicts are liberals

Love TV? Then, you’re probably a liberal, according to a recent study from the Culture and Media Institute.

Viewers who watch more than four hours of TV a night are considered “heavy” TV viewers, in the study. When asked their opinions on topics such as abortion, retirement benefits, religion, and government, the “heavy” TV viewers skewed toward liberal responses. In other words, they were more likely to be pro-choice, back a government-based health system, and not attend church weekly.

In contrast, those who watch one hour per night or less of television, gave drastically more conservative responses to the aforementioned questions. The “light” TV viewers also were more likely to volunteer for causes and give to charity. (Well, sure, with all that free time spent not watching TV, they have to do something with their time.)

More than 2,000 Americans aged 18 and above were polled in the study.

I’m not surprised that TV addicts tend to have liberal political ideals and values. Just spend a day reading TV-related blogs and Web sites, and it’s clear that the writers on many popular sites endorse gay marriage, abortion and Bush bashing.

The real onus of this study for me is similar to the chicken-and-the-egg conundrum. Do hours and hours in front of the television lead to liberal values because the shows we watch espouse liberal ideals, or are TV addicts already liberal-minded thinkers before they settle down in front of the tube?

Do liberally geared shows such as Will and Grace, The West Wing, and Boston Legal change the way we view homosexuality and the government, respectively? Or are only liberals tuning in to those shows to reinforce their beliefs?

Now that’s a study I'd really like to read.


Anonymous said...

I am surprised at this conclusion. While I have never pondered the question before, when I read this, I thought pretty much that a TV addict is just that. A TV addict. My parents are as conservative as it gets and they watch well more than 4 hours of TV per night. I would have assumed that a hardcore liberal would avoid TV in favor of books, poetry readings, and a bit more partying. I'm not trying to be funny or insulting to either the left or the right as I do not consider myself one or the other when I say that, but the more I reflect, the stranger it is to digest.

sherri said...

Hey Anonymous, thanks for your comments. I'm baffled as well by this study. :)

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