Conservatives Take Colbert Seriously


Stephen Colbert plays a character on The Colbert Report in which he satarizes conservatives such as Bill O’Reilly. While most liberals realize this, a study at Ohio State University found that many conservatives take him seriously and think he is only pretending to to be joking. From the abstract:

This study investigated biased message processing of political satire in The Colbert Report and the influence of political ideology on perceptions of Stephen Colbert. Results indicate that political ideology influences biased processing of ambiguous political messages and source in late-night comedy. Using data from an experiment (N = 332), we found that individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions of Colbert’s political ideology. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert’s political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.

If John McCain Had Won The Election

What would things be like if John McCain had won the 2008 election? Walter Shapiro takes a look back at the imaginary first 100 days of the McCain presidency:

Asked about his testy relations with Congress during his lone prime-time press conference (which scored near-record low ratings) in late February, McCain retrieved one of his musty jokes from mothballs as he cracked, “To quote Chairman Mao, `It’s always darkest before it’s totally black.'” The beleaguered McCain congressional relations team printed up T-shirts, which they still periodically display on trips to Capitol Hill, with the inscription, “Is it totally black yet?” It is ironic that McCain, the first president elected directly from the Senate in 48 years and a legislator known for his willingness to work with Democrats in the quest for compromise, is well on his way to becoming the most veto-prone president since Harry Truman, casting 13 during his first 14 weeks in office.

Even if McCain had won the White House with a clear majority –– instead of becoming the second successive Republican president to take office after losing the popular vote –– he probably would have been hard-pressed to find common ground with congressional Democrats on the economy. The ideological fault lines have been deep, from the size of the economic stimulus package (McCain’s original $420 billion proposal prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to brand him “President McCheap”) to the administration’s laissez-faire attitude toward a looming General Motors bankruptcy and the almost certain dismemberment of Chrysler (the Detroit Free Press headlined, “McCain to City: Drop Dead”).

There’s a lot more, including what became of Sarah Palin and Meghan McCain:

Sarah Palin was, in theory, supposed to be McCain’s emissary to the Republican right. Instead, the Tina Fey lookalike spent most of her time negotiating with the tabloids, as the breakup of Bristol Palin’s engagement to Levi Johnston made OctoMom seem publicity-shy. In contrast, Meghan McCain has played against type, avoiding any unplanned appearances in the gossip columns, limiting herself to tweeting about visiting Girl Scout troops at the White House and announcing plans to write a book (all the proceeds will go to charity) about how young voters naturally gravitate toward grandfatherly presidents.

Warning: Do Not Buy From

Ever wonder how online sites like are able to sell merchandise for a few dollars less than other sites? It looks like has a simple formula to make money. From complaints I’ve seen about this company it appears they make money by failing to give refunds for returned products and sometimes charging for products which are never shipped. After my experience with them I find all these on line complaints credible. I returned a defective item to them. (I have two other units of the same item so there is no doubt that the one was not functioning.) Their web sites states their policy is to refund the full purchase price for defective items along with shipping both ways. They have not honored this policy.

It is not unexpected for companies to make mistakes from time to time, but the real problem with is that they do nothing to correct their mistakes. They have not responded to any of my emails (other than with automated responses that they will be getting back to me). They don’t even list a telephone number. (Incidentally, I received a charge back from my credit card company for the disputed money, but now I notice on my statement that reentered the charge.  I’ll be contacting my credit card again.)

In contrast, last month I had some questions regarding a purchase received through one of those small independent sellers that sells through Amazon. Amazon’s site had a link to send a message to the seller. The seller quickly responded and the problem was solved.

At least the internet does give some small satisfaction out of the hope that posting things like this on line will wind up costing crooked companies like more than they ripped me off for. Last year I had another post on a crooked online dealer. I mentioned at the time that I wound up canceling an order and ordering an item from Newegg, knowing that they were reputable, even if charging a few dollars more. I intended to do a follow up but in the heat of the election year never got around to it. The camera received worked fine but while on vacation I found that one of the SD cards I also ordered was defective. I emailed Newegg’s customer service while on vacation, mentioning I found this while traveling. They said that since I was traveling I didn’t even need to return the defective item and they quickly shipped out a replacement. It certainly is worthwhile (and in the long run more economical) to deal with more reputable companies on line as opposed to going with the ones which charge slightly less by taking shortcuts.

Update: I found yet another site with lots of negative reviews of This one is convenient as multiple reviews can be found from a single page.

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