CNN’s Jack Cafferty, who recently thinly-disguised his support for the impeachment of President Bush, couldn’t resist talking about the recent AP/Ipsos poll that claimed that liberals read more than conservatives. (See Matthew Sheffield's post debunking the poll.) His question during his "Cafferty File" segment during the 4 pm EDT hour of Wednesday’s "The Situation Room" took this apparent "fact" for granted. "Liberals read more books than conservatives. Why?"
The full transcript of Jack Cafferty’s segment:
I have nothing that pertains to the weather, but here is an interesting little factoid. Liberals read more books than conservatives. An AP/Ipsos poll found that while 22% of liberals and moderates say they have not read a single book in the last year, the number jumps up to 34% for conservatives. Perhaps more troubling is the fact that 1 in 4 Americans say they haven't read any books in the last year, but that's not what we're here to discuss. The poll found that among people who read at least one book a year, liberals typically read nine books; conservatives eight; moderates, five.
The head of a book publishing industry trade group offers this explanation. Pat Schroeder says, 'The Karl Roves of the world have built a generation that just wants a few slogans. Things like no new taxes.' No surprise here. Pat Schroeder was a formerly liberal member - a former member of Congress who is a liberal. She says liberals can't say anything is less than a whole paragraph. Mary Matalin, who is a Republican strategist, says that conservatives don't read less. They just get their information from different places, such as magazines or the Internet.
So here's the question. Liberals read more books than conservatives. Why?
I guess Cafferty should be given credit for giving both sides of the spin surrounding this poll.
Interestingly enough, the e-mail answers to his question that Cafferty read at the end of the 4 pm hour were mostly from conservatives. Hugh in Vero Beach, Florida responded, "Speaking as a conservative, can you really believe a conclusion that was most likely researched and concluded by liberals?" Paul from Toledo Ohio wrote, "Liberals read more books because they read fiction only. Conservatives are too busy reading lengthy non-fiction dealing in facts!" A viewer named Brian opined, "Because conservatives are out working for a living while liberals are living off the dole in one form or another and have plenty of time to read."
The only really wacko left-wing response that Cafferty read came, as you might expect, from San Francisco. Ron from that liberal enclave claimed, "Unlike conservatives, liberals tend to get all the information we can to make up our own minds, and yes, that includes reading books. I can't imagine having Rush "Windbag," Ann Coulter, and/or the rest of the residents of 'Wingnutia' telling me what to think. The idea of blindly buying ideology and not challenging what you're told is disgusting."