Is Jon Stewart Right? Are Americans Dumb When It Comes to News?




Do you care about the spiraling economic crisis in Europe?

On Tuesday, Jon Stewart on the Daily Show criticized — in typical Jon Stewart fashion — Americans and their taste for fluffy news consumption. He pointed out that the recent cover of all global editions of Time Magazine dealt with the critical issue of Europe’s debt and possible slide into recession. The American edition cover, though, featured a more light-hearted cover story about pets.

Jon Stewart actually ripped off his analysis from The Society Pages, which published the same report in early December.

Their report showed global editions of Time focusing on issues like the Arab Spring, Burmese democracy, and climate change. In contrast, the American editions focused on both lighter and more domestic topics like Glenn Beck, marriage, and “What Makes School Great.”

The Society Pages reports: “Americans are notorious for their ignorance of global issues and international news.  This may be because Americans aren’t interested or it may be that our news outlets feed us fluff and focus us only on the U.S.  Probably it’s a vicious cycle.”

There is, of course, a clear parallel. Over the last week, hot trending topics have included New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover girl Kate Upton, and Stephen Colbert.

Topics that have been marginalized have included Syria’s escalating civil war, Egypt’s souring relations with the U.S., and the euro zone debt deal with Greece.

What do you think: Why is American news the lowest-common denominator? Are international readers more sophisticated than their American counterparts? Why?

Photo Credit: Anonymous9000