Home > Uncategorized > Blog 8: Political News?

Blog 8: Political News?

In recent years, show’s like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report have changed the way that Americans receive political information. Now Americans are struggling with the question of how to classify these types of shows? Are they merely entertainment or do they also classify as a source of political news?

Although these shows do provide a source of political information, I do not believe that they should be classified as political news. In an interview with the hosts of CNN’S Crossfire , Stewart criticizes the show for comparing the news standards it is suppose to uphold to the standards that his show holds.  Stewart has also made the remark many times that his show is merely about the comedy more than the news.

So…why are these shows important if they do not provide political news?

Even though these shows may not be political news shows, I still believe that they hold a particular importance in our society. Countless studies have shown correlations between those who view these political satire shows and political awareness.  These types of shows use comedy to make society more aware of whats going on and encourage them to get active. Some researchers have even used the term “The Daily Show Effect” to show the link between young viewers and political knowledge.   One young voter told researchers:

“Yeah, I know Stewart says he is giving us fake news but he’s really just getting me interested in following up a story myself to see what else we are not being told. I love it when I can post a DS clip and watch my FB friends react to it. It’s not the news. It is a portal to more news. That’s The Daily Show Effect. It has turned my friends and I into wanting to know more and we know how to find more but it helps that he gives us a starting point.”

Unlike political news, these satirical shows do not claim to be fair and balanced. Stewart himself even admitted that conservatives tend to take the hit more than liberals. However, Stewart also claims that comedy is the number one priority of the show. They will crack a joke at which ever party deserves it.  In an interview with journalist Gary Young Stewart says :

“People’s sense of humor typically goes as far as their ideology,” he says, “but I don’t particularly think of ourselves as ideological here. I don’t mean in the sense that we’re equal opportunity offenders – we’re not. I think we consider those with power and influence targets and those without it, not. But we’re not a liberal organization, we are still clearly selfish observers. We do not have a dog in the race. And that is to our discredit, but to do what we’re doing, it’s also natural and necessary.”

Who can write a blog entry about Jon Stewart without throwing in some of his clips? Here are some clips of Stewart poking fun at both liberals and conservatives.


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