October 01, 2004

LinkNews Digest [10/01/2004]

Daily Show Refutes "Stoned Slackers" Comment

NEW YORK (AP) -- The folks at Comedy Central were annoyed when Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly kept referring to "The Daily Show" audience as "stoned slackers." So they did a little research. And guess whose audience is more educated?

Viewers of Jon Stewart's show are more likely to have completed four years of college than people who watch "The O'Reilly Factor," according to Nielsen Media Research.

O'Reilly's teasing came when Stewart appeared on his show earlier this month.

"You know what's really frightening?" O'Reilly said. "You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it's true. You've got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote."

Although seemingly taken aback by repeated "stoned slackers" references while talking with O'Reilly, Stewart was ready with a joke. "This election is going to rely on the undecided," he said. "And who is more undecided than stoned slackers? Ice cream or pretzels? Ice cream or pretzels? What's it going to be?

Comedy Central also touted a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey, which said young viewers of "The Daily Show" were more likely to answer questions about politics correctly than those who don't.

Comedy Central had no statistics on how many people watch "The Daily Show" stoned.
Link (CNN)

Coming Soon: The 10-Mile-High Club

Just a short time after SpaceShipOne completed the world's first civilian spaceflight, Super-conglomerate Virgin has purchaed the rights for flights.
Today at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London’s West End, Sir Richard Branson and Burt Rutan made their announcement to the world’s media that Virgin Galactic was now in a position to commence a programme of work that would result in the world’s first affordable space tourist flights in 2 to 3 years time.

Sir Richard said: "Virgin has been in talks with Paul Allen and Burt throughout this year and in the early hours of Saturday morning signed a historical deal to license SpaceShipOne's technology to build the world's first private spaceship to go into commercial operating service.“
Link

Florida Database "Glitch" Blocks 28,000 Blacks from Voting Register

Short version: Felons are not allowed to vote in Florida, and last July, after a protracted battle by the state, a federal judge forced Florida election officials to make their newly created felon list public. Surprise! It turned out the list had lots of blacks (who mostly vote Democratic) but virtually no Hispanics (who mostly vote Republican). After a public outcry, the list was scrapped.

Fine. But why were there no Hispanics on the list? Was it just an unforeseen computer glitch or was it deliberate hanky panky? The bottom line is that the evidence seems to indicate that it probably wasn't just a glitch.

The technical reason that Hispanics were excluded from the list is that Florida officials insisted that no one be purged from voting rolls unless their voter registration record matched perfectly with a prison record. This is a good idea, but it turns out that Hispanics are listed as "white" in the prison database and as "Hispanic" in the voter registration database. Thus, none of them matched perfectly.
Link

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