Is America Getting Smarter?

Some years back, Lily  Tomlin did a clever one-woman Broadway show called “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.”

Well, here’s another sign: To my great surprise, the recent Arbitron ratings show that National Public Radio now has more than 20 million listeners a week, jumping nine percent over last year.

And here’s the big eyepopper: The flagship NPR program Morning Edition draws 7.6 million ears, or sets of ears, which is 60 percent larger than the audience for ABC’s Good Morning America and a third larger than the audience for the Today show on NBC.

I’m a longtime NPR listener and contributor, but as Johnny Carson used to say, I did not know that. Did not know that. More details here.

 I can feel a little faith in my fellow Americans trickling back.  Granted, these aren’t majority numbers by any means, and no doubt many morning folks are  listening to and watching stuff that makes Today seem like Ulysses by comparison, but still. . . when 7-minute pieces on the Brazilian economy win out over 30-second Britney blips, that deserves a round of applause.


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