Video of Susan Jacoby on The Colbert Report
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
The Center for Inquiry's Susan Jacoby, author of the NYTimes bestseller The Age of American Unreason, appeared last night on The Colbert Report.
As Colbert remarked, he prefers emotion over reason and when Jacoby noted that few Americans can correctly identify the nature of DNA, Colbert answered: "A fraud perpetuated by science in order to make us not believe in God!" The segment is classic satire.
But Jacoby's appearance on Colbert does prompt the serious question: to what degree do shows such as the Daily Show and The Colbert Report contribute to the age of unreason, with younger viewers displacing traditional news consumption with regular viewing of late night satirical comedy? In other words, can young audiences have their satire and their knowledge too?
It's a favorite topic for students in my Political Communication seminar. As it turns out, researchers are divided on the issue. Some note that audiences for the Daily Show are actually just as informed as other regular news consumers (see Pew poll results below) while other research shows that in contrast to broadcast television, Daily Show viewing breeds cynicism among younger viewers. In a special section of a recent issue of Critical Studies in Media Communication, leading scholars debated the topic.
The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?
- History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
- In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
- Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.
- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
- The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
- Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
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