Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Worst Death Scene Ever

This scene, from a Turkish martial arts movie from the mid-1970s, “Karate Girl,” is considered the worst movie death scene ever. Watch it, and know that this scene cannot possibly be unseated from its throne.

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The Not So Common Knowledge of the Masses

The Pew Research Center asked people four questions to determine their knowledge of current events:

  1. Which party controls the House of Representatives?
  2. What’s the current unemployment rate?
  3. What nation does Angela Merkel lead?
  4. Which presidential candidate favors taxing higher-income Americans?

Seem like pretty basic, easy questions to me. However:

  • Only 14% of the general public got all four questions right. (Seriously? Those are easy questions.)
  • About 17% got all four questions wrong.
  • Rachel Maddow’s audience did the best: 38% got all four right.
  • Readers of the New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the Economist all placed above 30%.
  • MSNBC viewers did better (21%) than the audiences of Rush Limbaugh (19%), CNN (17%), and Fox News (16%). This affirms other studies I’ve heard which show that Fox News viewers tend to be ill informed (try this, this, this, this, and this for example). But note to MSNBC: 21% ain’t nothin’ to brag about.
  • USA Today readers and viewers of the network evening news coming in last at 15%. That kind of surprises me. I only read USA Today when I’m traveling, so I picture USA Today readers as well-traveled folk. But maybe they just read the entertainment section.

So how did people answer the questions?

  • 54% knew that Republicans controlled the House.
  • 52% knew the unemployment rate was about 8%.
  • 22% knew Angela Merkel led Germany.
  • 66% knew that Obama was more supportive of increasing taxes on the wealthy.

And these are the people who will be–yes, ever so, uh, thoughtfully–electing our next president.

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