Friday, May 7, 2010

Knowing Glenn Beck (and others)

Those who occupy the chattering class, the political and media junkies of the world, have no problem generating an opinion about talkmeisters like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and my personal favorite -- Glenn Beck (a Time magazine 100 most influential person, with bio written by Sarah Palin).

But what about real people?  Below, some survey results that focus not on whether have favorable or unfavorable views of talking heads, but rather on the responses that essentially say "I have no clue who this schmuck is."
  • Glenn Beck: 47 percent didn't know who he was in April 2010.  Forty-two percent didn't know back in 2009, so is he slipping?  Nah.  Not Beck.
  • Rush Limbaugh: Back in 1993, a quarter of Americans didn't know the king of talk radio. Now only about 10 percent haven't heard of him.
  • Pat Robertson: Okay, he's kinda a TV talk guy (watch his morning show, The 700 Club) and he's run for president (like everyone on Fox News) and his "never heard of him" numbers are modest, about one-fifth of folks never hearing of the guy.
  • Oprah Winfrey: You know this, only 1 percent say they've never heard of her.  Not sure exactly who these people are, but I suspect they spend a lot of time in padded cells.
And that's all I can easily get, though I will point out that another favorite of mine -- Bill O'Reilly -- was back in 2008 both the most and least favorite "journalist" listed by a U.S. sample of Americans who also do not know what a journalist actually is. Sean Hannity was the third most favorite, and sixth least favorite.

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