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In my opinion, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert do report political news. Is it how we are used to seeing political news? No. They portray political news in an unconventional way. Both men talk about real-world issues. They talk about current events that are going on in the political world. They also have guests on their shows from different parties and who represent different ideals and stances. The difference between these two shows and other news mediums such as Fox News, MSCNB, and CNN is that both Colbert and Stewart talk about political news in a satirical way. Their stories are loaded with humor and sarcasm. Within the jokes are facts. They report factual information in a non-traditional way.  Being non-traditional does not mean that it is not real news.

                One thing I like about these shows is that people can view politics in a more relaxing way. By relaxing I mean that people do not feel overwhelmed or pressured when watching these shows. Sometimes I think people are turned off by politics because of traditional news sources. There is so much information reported so fast during shows on channels like CNN and MSNBC. Sometimes it is hard to understand what is going on. When people feel like they can’t understand something they usually are quick to change it. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report give people a chance to understand politics. They are able to see politics in a lighter view. They can laugh about the political world and not take it too literally. Viewers get entertainment, and at the same time, gain information about what is going on around the country. Both shows have huge fan bases. This is a good thing for the American public because I think both Stewart and Colbert make people want to be active in politics. Their shows promote political participation. I do think it promotes political participation in younger viewers rather than older viewers. It is good that they hit a younger audience because younger people are less likely to vote.

                I also think 24 hour news stations blur the lines between what is really news. Since there aren’t news breaking stories at all 24 hours a day they tend to report things that in my eyes are not news worthy. There is a blur between news, advertisement, and entertainment. This clip from The Daily Show shows CNN in a bad light. It shows them talking about SNL as well as reporting incorrect facts.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/13/daily-show-destroys-cnn-f_n_318295.html I think people get caught up in “hard” news stations and believe everything they hear. People need to understand that not everything they hear is true no matter where it comes from. News can have humor in it, be serious, or contain bias in it. People still need to check their facts.

Many people think that The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are biased. I read an interesting article that says that the truthiness in The Colbert Report is in the eye of the beholder.

They then asked participants to evaluate Colbert’s ideology and his attitude towards liberalism. What they found was that the more liberal participants reported their own ideology to be, the more liberal they thought Colbert was. And the more conservative they reported their own ideology to be, the more conservative they thought Colbert was. Both, however, found him equally funny. 

This deals with biased assimilation. People pick out information that supports their views. I think the same idea applies to The Daily Show. People take the shows with a grain of salt and see what they want to see. This is why I think many people are attracted to these two shows. The article goes on to say,

Confirmation bias is likely to be especially pronounced in satire because one of the things about satire — especially the deadpan, bald-eagle satire of Colbert — is that it is chock-full of ambiguity and uncertainty. This leaves lots of opportunities for a viewer to fill in the blanks — a kind of choose-your-own-truthiness, if you will.

I agree 100% with this article. People get different messages from satire. Overall I like both of these shows. I think they promote political participation and that they can be biased like all political news.

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