A sobering thought: Thursday night, more people tuned to watch Snooki, Pauly D, The Situation, and the rest of the spray-tanned stars of "Jersey Shore" than Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum making their case for the 2012 election.

The second episode of season 4 of  "Jersey Shore" took in 7.4 million total viewers, beating out almost everything on the broadcast nets, and easily beating Fox News' coverage of the Republican candidates' presidential debate, which took in just over 5 million total viewers.

Newt, don't even think about lifting up your shirt...