Uninformed People Play Pretend

Jimmy Kimmel went out on the street last week the day of the second debate and interviewed people to ask them who won the debate the night before — the problem is that this was done before the debate had actually taken place. Watch as people say they watched the whole thing and spell out, vaguely, what they liked about the format and the moderator. One guy does seem to know that there was no debate the night before — but he doesn’t know who’s actually running for president. And remember, all of these people are eligible to vote.


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  • dingojack

    Hey Ed, watch it! I resemble that headline.

    :) Dingo

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Are you sure they weren’t interpreting “last night” to mean “the night of the last debate?” (I can’t get sound from here.) Maybe a lot of people are fuzzy on “last night,” like we’re fuzzy on what “the other night” means.

  • eric

    I’ve seen other gotcha things like this. They are amusing, but anecdotal. Does this 3 minutes of interviews represent 10 minutes of actual interviews? 30 minutes? 3 hours? Would your opinion of the US public change if you sat through 3 hours of Kimmel interviews (vs. 3 minutes) and these were the only folks who got it wrong? Probably so, right?

  • blf

    I don’t have sound here either but point out Ed wrote the question was “who won the debate the night before” (emphasis added). Of course, that could be Ed’s phrasing.

  • sumdum

    When you hear it with sound, it’s very clear they’re talking about the second debate.

  • valhar2000

    It would be nice to know how many people they had to sift through before they found these gems.

  • andrewjohnston

    Geez, Ed, you thought this was worth posting? Really? Taking a handful of isolated, cherry-picked examples from a comedy show and implying that some people are unworthy of the right to vote – it’s the kind of thing you’d see on a teenager’s blog.

  • Nemo

    You think that’s bad — did you see the one about the “First Ladies’ Debate”?


  • anteprepro

    implying that some people are unworthy of the right to vote

    I’m sure that was the implication. Rather than simply lamenting at how stupid people are and how that contributes our fucked up politics. Nah, it was all about restricting people’s right to vote.

  • http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Oh. My. God. Edbrayton and Egnorance have something in common.

    We’re through the Looking Glass here, people.

  • brucegee1962

    I think that these events aren’t mainly indicators of ignorance. I’ll bet the thought running through these peoples’ heads was “I didn’t think there was a debate last night, but…” Trying to put myself into their shoes, I’m guessing these two factors were in play:

    1) It never occurs to us that a journalist who walks up to us with a microphone and a cameraman is going to flat-out lie to us. We still actually tend to trust the media, probably far too much.

    2) If we say “I didn’t watch the debate” or “That debate hasn’t happened yet” or “That debate doesn’t exist,” then WE WON’T GET TO BE ON TV! Perhaps being on TV and looking like an idiot is better than not being on TV at all.

  • nimsudo

    This is why children should be allowed to vote. Sure, they might be vapid, ignorant, and ill-informed, but so are plenty of adults.

  • footface

    I agree that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people, but this one doesn’t seem fair. When the interviewer asks, “What did you think of the ‘town hall’ format?” and the interviewee says, “I thought it was good,” what am I supposed to be laughing at? That they are referring to the last, but not last night’s, debate?

    Not too enlightening.

  • Uncle Glenny

    What brucegee1962 said.

    There have been psych tests done on stuff like this, and many people will change answers from what they know is correct when they see everyone around them (i.e. cheating) giving incorrect answers.

    My vague memory (which may stimulate someone else’s) is that it involved answering things like “which of these two lines is longer”.

  • bmiller

    There’s an implicit assumption here that the debates are important and matter. I think Chris Floyd has the better analysis:

    “I understand there is some kind of event scheduled for this evening that will feature two known and proven liars mouthing pious rhetoric, brazen falsehoods and scripted zingers in a process carefully crafted by their paid handlers to exclude any substantive examination of genuine issues of vital concern to the citizens whom the two known liars purportedly wish to “serve.” I understand this will be followed by an outpouring of fetid gas emitted by a series of third-rate intellects and clueless goobers in various media who will examine the body language and facial expressions of the two proven liars to determine which of the liars might have gained the most political benefit from their lying and zinging and pious posing.The end result of this process will be that one of the two known and proven liars will become the temporary manager of a world-spanning, treasury-bleeding war machine which they will use to kill many innocent people over the next four years while continuing to degrade the lives and liberties of their own citizens on behalf of a brutal, stupid and rapacious elite.”