A recent poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos found that ‘newscasters’ Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were the favorite among viewers regardless of political affiliation.
About 40 percent of Republicans say Jon Stewart shares their world view, at least some of the time. That’s just about 10 percentage points less than the country as a whole.
But beyond Stewart and Colbert, the former Comedy Central host, punditry largely appeals to the expected audience.
Consider [Bill] O’Reilly. In some ways, he has been Stewart’s foil in recent years. His Fox News program The O’Reilly Factor is among the top-rated shows on television. And he is largely admired by Republicans. But beyond the GOP, only a third admire him.
The poll tracked 10 pundits in total; in addition to Stewart and Colbert, it tracked Bill Maher, John Oliver, Rachel Maddow, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, and O’Reily.
Among those, unsurprisingly, the Right-leaning pundits had a harder time garnering support from those across the aisle.
“O’Reilly’s ‘admiration’ rating, at 36 percent, was fifth-highest but tops among conservatives. Among the liberal crowd, only Rachel Maddow, at 32 percent, was lower. At the bottom, Rush Limbaugh’s score was just 25 percent, though he scored 52 percent among Republicans.
As Reuters noted, all of those tracked on the Left are comedians at heart except for Maddow. Oliver, Colbert, Stewart, and Maher have all had successful careers outside of political television, which definitely helps pull in a wider audience.
And while those on the Right definitely say some things that make us laugh, it’s not on purpose. It’s more of “laughing at them” rather than “laughing with them.”