Talk about an excruciating experience. The media research company Experian Simmons spent an entire year surveying diehard Republicans and Democrats regarding what they watch on TV, and the results are now in. The top non-auction Republican shows are "This Old House" on PBS, "The 700 Club," "Swamp Loggers" on the Discovery Channel, "Top Shot" on the History Channel, and "The Bachelor" on ABC.
The Democrats favored these: Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," "Masterpiece" on PBS, "30 Rock" and "Parks and Recreation" on NBC, and "The View" on ABC.
So let's break it down. Apparently conservatives enjoy fixing stuff and building things. "This Old House" is basically a repair program without Tim Allen. "Swamp Loggers" takes the viewer into the woods of North Carolina where trees are cut down and hauled away on camera. Please stop reading if the excitement is getting too much.
"The 700 Club" features spiritual guidance, "Top Shot" is about shooting guns and stuff, and "The Bachelor" is looking for love in all the wrong places (network TV). If we bring in an FBI profiler, the person who watches all these shows would likely pray before going out on a date with an armed lumberjack.
On the liberal side, the analysis is easier. Jon Stewart and Stevie Colbert are experts in bear-baiting conservatives and have developed half-hour faux news programs to mock people like Mitt Romney. Stoned college kids are a big part of their audience.
"Masterpiece" is very highbrow, as the people in Cambridge, Massachusetts apparently can't get enough of angst among the British aristocracy. "30 Rock" stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, and just thinking about them makes liberals warm all over. Same with "The View." When Whoopi and Joy let loose, there is true joy in San Francisco.
It is obvious that liberal Americans enjoy personalities that see the world the way they do. Conservatives, on the other hand, want action. Shooting, tree cutting, praying. All action verbs. In fact, the only two personalities on the extended Republican show list are Larry the Cable Guy and Jay Leno, who is most likely mortified. The number 12 show for right-wingers is "Swamp People" on the History Channel. Here we go again with the damp woods.
What is it about backwaters that Republicans like? I simply don't know. "Swamp People" are citizens who ride around in airboats fishing and dodging water moccasins. Talk about must-see TV.
On the extended liberal list we find "Cougar Town" on ABC. This is a Courtney Cox vehicle whereby aging ladies socialize with younger guys. If those men would only live in the swamps, perhaps we could finally have détente between the right and the left in this country.
In the end, the television choices that both liberals and conservatives are making really tell us just one relevant thing: they all have too much time on their hands.