Tuned In

Why Do Republicans Hate Cable?

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The evidently GOP-friendly V. / ABC

In the grand tradition of button-pushing pseudoscience, someone has done a study determining which TV programs are most popular among Republicans and Democrats. See here for the list, but the overall skew of the study seems to be that the shows with the higher proportion of GOP fans are high-rated mass hits; those with proportionally more blue fanbases are cult and critical favorites like Dexter.

Let the armchair sociology begin! You could extrapolate from this study, for instance, that: Republicans have their finger on the pulse of American culture and Democrats are smug elitists;  Republicans like to cheer for winners and glom onto things that are proven popular while Democrats love an underdog; V really is an anti-Obama parable; Mad Men really is a pinko critique of capitalism and patriarchy; Republicans actually love the gays (Modern Family); Democrats actually love law and order (SVU);  &c., &c.

Go nuts with that. There’s only one interesting takeaway that I want to point out here: Republicans seem to have something against cable.

Look at that list again: among Republicans, only one show—Glenn Beck, at number one—is on a cable channel. Every single other program is on a major broadcast network. On the other hand, Dems’ top four shows are on cable, and the remainder of the list tends to fall among cable series, smaller-network series (90210) and big-net series with, ahem, boutique-sized audiences (Community).

I could go into the possible reasons for that—that these cable shows are more likely to embody critiques of social norms—but that requires wading deep into B.S. sociology territory. And any such theory tends to break apart on the individual examples. (Why would the GOP find Desperate Housewives closer to its values than family-and-faith Friday Night Lights? Why don’t Dems embrace the internationalism and critical-elite-cred of The Amazing Race? And, um, Kourtney and Khloe? I can’t even begin.)

One thing’s for sure, though. If you have a friend or relative whom you’re trying to convert to your political views, buy them a deluxe satellite package, and/or cut their cable line.