Jersey Shore’ Good for Us? No Way

You’ve probably seen the recent stories claiming that MTV’s “Jersey Shore” may actually be helping the real Jersey Shore’s reputation. I don’t buy it.

According to the reports, Fairleigh Dickinson University conducted a PublicMind poll between March 21 and March 27. The results of the poll—which took into account the opinions of 711 adults—found “no statistical difference between those who have seen the show and those who haven’t.”

In an Associated Press article from July 18, the poll’s director, Peter Woolley, said, “The show isn’t hurting the nation’s view of the state…In fact, it may be promoting one of the state’s best features—not Snooki, but the Shore itself.”

The article goes on to say that 43 percent of those who have seen the show maintain a favorable opinion of the Garden State, while 41 percent of folks who have not seen the show think we Jerseyans have a pretty good thing going.

MTV’s show notwithstanding, the poll says 41 percent of Americans have a favorable view of New Jersey, 18 percent have an unfavorable view, and 40 percent have “mixed views or are unsure” (whatever that means). Oh, and 69 percent of those surveyed have never seen an episode of “Jersey Shore.” (They can change that when Season Four debuts on August 4—shot, by the way, in Florence, Italy.)

Poll aside, I can’t recall the last time I mentioned my home state to an out-of-towner without witnessing the requisite mock fist pump or fielding a few questions about Pauly D’s whereabouts during the off season.

I loathe the notion that, for some, MTV’s “Jersey Shore” represents the entirety of the Garden State’s coastal experience. As anyone who knows anything about New Jersey will tell you, Seaside Heights is as different from, say, Cape May, as Myrtle Beach is from the North Shore of Hawaii. This survey fails to recognize such nuances. It’s worth bupkis in my book.

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