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Old 03-01-2006, 08:46 AM   #1
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Americans Know More About The Simpsons Than They Do About The First Amendment

By ANNA JOHNSON, Associated Press WriterWed Mar 1, 1:02 AM ET

Americans apparently know more about "The Simpsons" than they do about the First Amendment.

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey.

The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just one in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.

Joe Madeira, director of exhibitions at the museum, said he was surprised by the results.

"Part of the survey really shows there are misconceptions, and part of our mission is to clear up these misconceptions," said Madeira, whose museum will be dedicated to helping visitors understand the First Amendment when it opens in April. "It means we have our job cut out for us."

The survey found more people could name the three "American Idol" judges than identify three First Amendment rights. They were also more likely to remember popular advertising slogans.

It also showed that people misidentified First Amendment rights. About one in five people thought the right to own a pet was protected, and 38 percent said they believed the right against self-incrimination contained in the Fifth Amendment was a First Amendment right, the survey found.

The telephone survey of 1,000 adults was conducted Jan. 20-22 by the research firm Synovate and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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Old 03-01-2006, 09:20 AM   #2
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watch more tv.
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:04 PM   #3
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But the media has no influence on us.


Actually, I am not surprised at all by this. I bet more people can name the Simpson's hometown than their own state capital.
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:08 PM   #4
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I don't know anything about the Simpsons - have never watched it...but I do know my 1st Amendment as I do exercise my freedom of expression quite often
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:21 PM   #5
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I have never watched the Simpsons, either. But this doesn't surprise me at all.
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:29 PM   #6
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the simpsons

i watch the simpsons all the time and could tell you plenty more than just the family members names but i wouldn't have been able to tell you all 5 freedoms in the 1st ammendment (i would've gotten 3 correct i think)

<---bad american?



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Old 03-01-2006, 12:39 PM   #7
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The problem is, when people know their rights, they tend to want to exercise them.

Keep the peace. Watch the Simpsons.
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by AliEnvy
The problem is, when people know their rights, they tend to want to exercise them.

Keep the peace. Watch the Simpsons.
rubbish
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by MsGiggles

rubbish
garbage!
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:27 PM   #10
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Of course the solution is simple.

Have a Simpsons episode focusing on the First Amendment.

I don't whatch the Simpsons (couldn't get the channel it was on for years, and didn't care that much either). Still can name two characters (Marge and Bart).
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra
Have a Simpsons episode focusing on the First Amendment.


ah, but they did that ...

[q]kid: Hey! Who left all this garbage on the steps of Congress?

rolled up amendment: I'm not garbage.
(singing)
I'm an amendment to be, yes an amendment to be,
and I'm hopin' that they'll ratify me.
There's a lot of flag burners who have got too much freedom.
I wanna make it legal for policemen to beat 'em,
cause there's limits to our liberties.
'Least I hope and pray that there are,
cause those liberal freaks go too far.

kid: Well why can't we just make a law against flag burning?

Amendment: Because that law would be unconstitutional.
But if we changed the Constitution...

kid: Then we could make all sorts of crazy laws!

Amendment: Now you're catching on!

---

Bart: What the hell is this?

Lisa: It's one of those campy 70's throwbacks that appeals to Generation-X'ers.

Bart: We need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks a little.

---

Kid: What if people say you're not good enough to be in the Constitution?

Amendment (singing):
Then I'll crush all opposition to me,
and I'll make Ted Kennedy pay.
If he fights back, I'll say that he's gay.

Congressman: Good news, Amendment! They ratified ya! You're in the U.S. Constitution.

Amendment: Oh yeah! Door's open, boys.

[/q]



in it's hey-day (early-to-mid 1990s) the Simpsons was, hands down, the smartest, fastest, funniest show on television, if not ever.

these days ... ugh, i can barely stand to watch.
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
But the media has no influence on us.


the Simpsons, if anything, actively promotes more responsible citizenship and political and social awareness.

i also think your comment is misplaced -- it's not that The Simpsons is teaching us to ignore our rights, but that things in mass media tend to be more popular than civics lessons.

i see no media influence; i see people choosing media over history.
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:13 PM   #13
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Don't high schoolers have to take American History anymore?
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Old 03-01-2006, 05:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511


ah, but they did that ...

Ah. ok. Then there's no excuse at all.

(I told ya I didn't watch the show -- I just don't watch much tv at all. )
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