In case you missed it — What’s the difference between being educated and being informed? Well, it’s a consequential difference if you were watching “The O’Reilly Factor” last week. Host Bill O’Reilly claimed, just out of the blue, that we have the most uninformed electorate in the past 100 years. Data relating to such a claim exists: According to the American National Election Study, educational attainment among U.S. voters has gone gangbusters over the past 60 years. The percentage of the electorate with college or post-grad degrees, for instance, went from 6 in 1954 to to 28 in 2008. So the question is: As the electorate gets more educated, is it getting less informed? That’s the leg that O’Reilly is standing on.
*An interesting tidbit about the Pat Buchanan-MSNBC split: In a New York Times piece, Brian Stelter notes that it was Buchanan’s book, “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”, that precipitated the breakup. Both Buchanan and MSNBC honcho Phil Griffin came up with the same line when questioned about their positions/interpretations of the book:
In explaining their points of view, Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Griffin found themselves saying the same thing, “Read the book.”
*Never let it be said that News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch doesn’t know how to present things. Last week, he said he’d be happy if he moved upward of 2 million editions of his new Sunday tabloid, the Sun on Sunday. And then he announces via Twitter: “Reports early, but new Sun edition sold 3m!”
More stuff on the Sun: A ranking police official told the Leveson inquiry that paying off informants was rampant at the News Corp. operation:
“The cases we are investigating are not ones involving the odd drink, or meal, to police officers or other public officials,” [said the official]. “Instead, these are cases in which arrests have been made involving the delivery of regular, frequent and sometimes significant sums of money to small numbers of public officials by journalists.”
“A network of corrupted officials” was providing the Sun with stories that were mostly “salacious gossip”, [said the official].
And CNN reports that the company has paid nearly a million bucks to settle charges that it hacked the phone of singer Charlotte Church.
*WikiLeaks is back in the news, publishing e-mails from Strategic Forecasting Inc., an organization described as a “shadow” CIA. Reuters:
The emails, snatched by hackers, could unmask sensitive sources and throw light on the murky world of intelligence-gathering by the company known as Stratfor, which counts Fortune 500 companies among its subscribers.
Stratfor in a statement shortly after midnight EST (0500 GMT) said the release of its stolen emails was an attempt to silence and intimidate it.
*Jeff Sonderman of Poynter takes an in-depth look at the Washington Post’s iPad app for politics, noting that the move puts the paper in pay-for-web-content territory. It’s mostly a free thing but there’s a $2.99 charge, including for print subscribers, to get to the app’s premium sections.
The Post’s app joins a few others dedicated to national political coverage. It should compare favorably with Politico’s iPad app, which does a fine job of delivering stories but does not have extra interactive features and deep-dive sections like the Post’s app.
But one thing the Post’s app does not have is aggregated content from other sources. The New York Times’ Election 2012 iPhone app bundles related top stories from multiple sources. The popular newsreading app Flipboard has a curated Election 2012 section.
*Catch Kathleen Parker calling Mitt Romney a “dork.”