Home > Uncategorized > Blog 9: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

Blog 9: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

Yes, I believe that shows such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are legitimate news programs. They deal with real issues, current political figures, and discuss topics and policies that are found in everyday news casts on big networks. However the difference found in The Daily Show and The Colbert Report is the way in which the reporting is delivered. These shows want to not only discuss current events, they want to provide entertainment. This satirical form of journalism often can be mistaken for “fake” or illegitimate news, however the humor does not replace fact or intelligence. In fact, I argue that this style of reporting creates advantages not seen in typical news broadcasts, creating a new style of modern journalism.

Mainstream journalism is often concerned with delivering an objective viewpoint. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are given more freedom in their shows to question and critique the political issues. Colbert addresses this stand by commenting on his encounters with “real reporters.”

The most common thing that [they] say to me is, ‘I wish I could say what you say.’ What I don’t understand is, why can’t they say what I say, even in their own way? Does that mean they want to be able to name certain bald contradictions or hypocrisies that politicians have?

One of the biggest elements of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are the mockeries made of mainstream journalism. Today’s journalists fear showing up on one of the shows broadcasts, their mistakes out for the world to see. NBC’s Brian Williams acknowledges this effect stating,

The fact that The Daily Show has no shortage of business and no shortage of raw materials with which to put together a broadcast every night shows that there’s no shortage of errors and people falling short in their jobs.”

In my opinion this is a modern form of watchdog journalism – only this time the journalist is the one being watched. The entertaining way Colbert and Stewart report the news has created excitement in the world of political reporting which can often seem overwhelming and boring. The excitement transfers to people wanting to become more involved and I think has increased political participation. An example would be the recent Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington D.C., where thousands of people gathered to support the two shows. Yes, there seems to be a bias in those who attended and how the two men report; however it does not effect the validity of their arguments or sources.

 

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