If you have seen the "Jay Walking" segments on The Tonight Show, you know that when you stick a TV camera in a person's face they say some pretty stupid things.
This video is one of the scarier and more depressing things I have seen.
HOWEVER... The people on this video were not expecting to be asked questions. They never claimed to have any kind of knowledge of world geography and politics, and the video is edited so that we only see the wrong answers. This type of editing is VERY deceptive, and is the same thing that made David Blaine and "Miss Cleo" look so impressive on TV.
It is tempting to say that the producers could have talked to 1000 Americans to find 40 stupid ones. But the truth is that they didn't have to find stupid people, just people with one or more stupid answers.
Notice the one guy in the video who answered correctly (if inarticulately) that Al-Qaeda was a group of suicide bombers, before slipping to say that their leader was Yasser Arafat. (There are those who might argue for partial credit on that point, too!) Now, ask yourself: How many questions did they ask him? Did they also ask all of those other questions, like "A country that starts with 'U'?", or "How many sides does a triangle have?", or "What's the currency of the United Kingdom?" did he answer 90 or more percent of them right, before slipping ONCE?
Also notice how bewildered these people look, as they are accosted on the street with a camera and quizzed about foreign affairs. Notice that some of them are on the lookout for "Trick Questions", which makes them more hesitant to answer the "obvious". And in fact there are Trick Questions. To help them look stupid, they are given fake maps, with the continent of Australia intentionally mislabeled. (Yes, they should have recognized Australia anyway, but The point that I am making is that the deck was stacked against these unwitting participants from the start)
Now take a look at another video, of some "superior" European intellects in action. If Americans are so dumb, why are you copying our television shows, then?
Now my question is this: Is Copernicus spinning in his Grave, or is his Grave spinning around Him?
Actually, I think the culprit here may not be American Culture or European Culture, but Television Culture. Maybe what your momma told you was true, and TV does rot your brain!