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Thursday, August 05, 2004

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 Farenheit 9/11 vs. Limbaugh

Fahrenheit 9/11 Viewers and listeners of the Rush Limbaugh show are about equal in size even though they perceive two different nations. This is the conclusion of the National Annenberg Election Survey. Annenberg data show that Michael Moore’s movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, has attracted about as many people as Rush Limbaugh’s radio broadcasts, but the election-year film appears to have hardly changed any minds.

"What Limbaugh and Moore have done is find the hard-core partisan audience," said Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the survey and of its parent Annenberg Public Policy Center. "One-sided partisan communication tends to attract an audience of believers and reinforces their beliefs rather than change their minds. Even when such communication attracts people who know they will disagree but want to see what the other side is saying, it tends to reinforce their partisanship because they develop counter arguments."

In view of the huge differences of opinion between the two audiences for political messages, it is hardly surprising that there was barely any overlap. Twelve people, or about one quarter of one percent of all respondents said they both listened to Limbaugh and had seen Fahrenheit 9/11.

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