This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

So, it turns out Americans are boneheads. Luckily for us it’s not simply a case of gross stupidity, however. While it’s true, as Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation (the group who commissioned the poll), put it:

“[P]eople are very busy just getting through the day and they don’t have a lot of time to sort through news reports about the policymaking process. They see the word “repeal” in the local paper or hear it on TV and think the law has been repealed. Second, there may be some partisan wishful thinking going on; 30 percent of Republicans think the law has been repealed while only 12 percent of Democrats do. But overall, it is obvious that the knowledge of basic civics is pretty low.”

Well, duh. But, as is pointed out in the linked article, a large part of the failing is on the mostly useless media’s part. They’ve reported on Republican attention-grabbing in the house as well as the two federal judges who have ruled against the PPACA as is they were the second coming. But the benefits of the law or the three federal judges who have ruled in favor of the law? Nary a peep or simply buried on page B14 (this refers to pages in an actual newspaper, for you youngsters). Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has this nifty chart to show you exactly which side the media is on. Hint: it’s not the side of the PPACA.

Drew Altman is correct. It seems every American needs the box set of Schoolhouse Rocks for Christmas this year because we’re woefully ignorant of our own government and how it operates. But Steve Benen’s point stands strong too: the corporate owned, vanity obsessed, mostly useless mainstream media is doing its damnedest to keep us stupid.


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