The stupidification of all media

I saw that Doonesbury made a joke of it, so I had to look it up. It's true. Americans were surveyed to see which presidential candidate they thought would handle a UFO invasion best.

The channel surveyed 1,114 Americans in late May to get their thoughts on all things alien in anticipation of the channel's upcoming series "Chasing UFOs." It even asked which superhero Americans would turn to first in the event of an alien invasion. (It's the Hulk.)

Obama was particularly strong on the issue with women, with 68% saying they favor the president when it comes to dealing with flying saucers. And 61% of male respondents agreed. Obama also did well among Americans older than 65, with fully half of those surveyed casting their lot with him.

I really don't give a damn which candidate won, any more than I care which comic book character they think would best fight little green men.

No, what made my eyebrows rise was the perpetrator of this idiocy.

National Geographic Channel found that nearly 65% of Americans surveyed said they believed that Obama was better able to handle an alien onslaught than the Republican presidential candidate.

The National Geographic Society is not synonymous with the National Geographic Channel, which is largely owned by News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch's sinister organization. But still…National Geographic has their good name attached to this garbage? For shame.

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A little late to the party on this one, aren't you? :)

By John Salerno (not verified) on 26 Aug 2012 #permalink

ah yes NG a channel that once showcased such riveting and relevant documentaries, such as Vampire forensics, Finding Atlantis and diving into Noah's flood. Oh wait, how is this shocking again?

Pfft. I doubt either of them has played a single X-COM campaign. Leave it to the pros.

By Angry Sam (not verified) on 27 Aug 2012 #permalink

eh, they believed there could be an invasion from outer space. o.k. I hope the space cadet country manages to do o.k. with things like the economy, health, etc.

According to the movies, black presidents are also a good choice for asteroids. Just saying.

It happens to every single educational channel. They all start out vowing not to make the same mistakes that their predecessors made. They're going to really listen to their audience. For a while they do a very good job. Then they show one or two genuinely skeptical shows about ghosts, or UFO's, or Bigfoot in an off-prime-time slot and the audience seems to love it. Everyone praises the science and the skepticism. As they show more and more of those they get higher and higher ratings, and always the audience praises the science and skepticism. They're still listening to their audience which doesn't appear at a glance to have changed too much. They mostly still hear from educated, articulate individuals who praise the science content and just love the skeptical aspects of it, so they feel comfortable adding more of those shows. The trap is that the shows have slowly transitioned from skepticism about the claims to skepticism about the science and the audience has transitioned from science lovers to pseudo-science lovers, and it was so easy to miss because they sound so alike. That is after all the whole point of pseudo-science. Science and skepticism, that was the goal and they were continually reassured that that's exactly what they were doing. By the time they realize their mistake, they're doing so well that they can be like "Screw you, scientists. Get your own damn channel." Nevermind that this was supposed to be exactly that. And the whole process begins again.

By Venture Free (not verified) on 27 Aug 2012 #permalink

Most of the world have lost 10% or more of their GDP after a "black swan" event which occurred at about the time of the last US presidential election.

The ability of any political candidate to deal with "black swan" events is now paramount in the mind of the people, and more importantly, in the mind of the markets. What more canonical "black swan" event than an fleet of technologically advanced but quite stupid aliens rushing to bring us "the blessings of democracy"?

By Ian Kemmish (not verified) on 27 Aug 2012 #permalink

It isn't all that bad as far as polls go. An "alien invasion" is a fairly content-neutral stand-in for an unspecified global threat. You could substitute a global outbreak of an unspecified plague but that gets in the weeds pretty quick when people associate it with the politics of vaccination and possible imposition of martial law depicted in so many movies. A vaguely penciled in "alien invasion" avoids many of the most evocative associations that would quickly skew the polling.

Isn't the answer to this question obvious? The best person to handle an alien invasion would obviously be President Thomas J. Whitmore. President James Dale would be the worst, I think.

By Green Eagle (not verified) on 28 Aug 2012 #permalink

Why did they waste their time with alien invasions? We all know that a zombie holocaust is far more likely. Who would be a more suitable leader of the free world if that happened?