Informative might not be the first description that comes to mind when mentioning Stephen Colbert, but a new study suggests his activism during the 2012 presidential cycle trumped TV news.
Apparently, Colbert’s satirical super PAC and faux 2012 presidential campaign did more to inform viewers on campaign finance laws than major news outlets.
According to the authors of a University of Pennsylvania study, watching “The Colbert Report” served as “an extended civics lesson” compared to CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, broadcast evening news, talk radio, and newspapers.
“Colbert did better than any other news source at teaching,” Bruce W. Hardy, the lead author of the study, said. “There were two reasons. First was the narrative structure. He walked us through creating a super PAC and every episode was a continuation of that story. And second was the use of humor and satire.”
1,232 adults over 18 were surveyed over the phone for the study, which took place between December 13, 2012 and December 23, 2012.