1. This article is an analysis of current public ratings of the republican and democrat candidates for the upcoming presidential election. I chose it because I want to know how many people are really considering Trump as a viable candidate and what type of people they are, which the article answered for me.
2. The articles states the research came from a “Post-ABC News poll” taken on Sept 7-10 “among a random national sample of 1,003 adults, including landline and cellphone respondents. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points”
3. How did they determine what was a random sampling of the population? Would people who answer phone calls and take surveys have different political viewpoints than those who don’t?
Ooohhhh The Colbert Report. Ahhhhh the The Daily Show. The Political Takeover has began. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (and their executives of course) have changed the way individuals receive political news as well as the audiences involved in this process.
So, IS IT POLITICAL NEWS?
Of course it is. Good Political News really has two jobs. The first is to present the facts. Of course this takes you into a WHOLE different discussion about left wing vs. right wing, political biases from network to network, or maybe even selective exposure in political awareness. The fact remains, the job of good political news is to present facts. The second job is to present sources to help the audiences do further research and form their own opinions.
Looking past the satirical approach to the news both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert do a fine job of these two jobs. And lets be honest – who doesn’t want entertaining news coverage (other than that straight faced guy three rows back with the glasses and the ascot on) – I’m just saying.
Is this presentation biased?
Of course it is. It is written and presented in a way that REGULAR people can understand and relate. (Probably wasn’t expecting that were you?) These satirical presentations are categorized as comedy to most. Comedy is an art form to where your average Joe (and Jane for the ladies) can comprehend. It is about time there is a presentation of news that doesn’t speak in the language of a specific people but in the language of people period.
These men want you to have just as much fun as they do. They want you to learn just as much as they do. If President Obama can joke with these men we can laugh – it is not un-American.
It is hard to answer to the question whether or not shows such as the Daily show with Jon Stewart or The Colbert Report are really political news. Although we have spent good amount of time discussing about this issue in class, answer is still not simple.
According to some researches and surveys from last year, when Americans were asked to name the journalist they most admired, showing up at No.4 on the list was a comedian. John Stewart, host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central and former master of ceremonies at Academy Award shows, tied in the rankings with anchormen Brian Williams, and Cable host Anderson Cooper. Also, as we’ve seen from the class blogs, even most of us prefer to get our political information from the shows like The Daily Show with John Stewart and The Colbert Report.My opinion is that they are and are not political news all in one.
In many ways the similarities between the comedy shows and the news media are as striking as the differences. They can be regarded as political news because both talk shows and press generally deal with the same topics for the year. For instance, U.S Foreign Affair policy was the top topic for both press and talk shows following with elections/politics.Also these talk shows keep “watchdog” role on the government officials by reporting scandals and latest issues.
However, overall range of topics on these talk shows is somewhat more limited than the mainstream press. For instance, the mainstream news media focused more on such matters as foreign events not associated with the United States, crime, disasters,health,business and economy. In contrast, for these talk shows news is usually restricted to their time limit and is “entertainment”. They are limited what they have time to present to the public and what they want their audience to hear. Stewart once described himself to the host of PBS “Bill Moyer’s Journal”
“We feel no obligation to follow the news cycle because we are not journalists”
There is no doubt that for many people Stewart and Colbert have not only become entertainment but also their political news. Indeed, on many occasions, the top news story in the national news media was quite different from the leading content on the shows like “The Daily Shows”. I believe that it is always the best not to rely too much on one source and make sure to verify from different sources too.
If news is simply defined as the reporting of current events, maybe shows like these can be defined as news shows. However, as a journalist I tend to believe that news should be held to higher standards than simply commenting on current events. Even if news is not completely objective, news sources should provide a complete, fact-based picture of a situation. And if the news source is openly opinionated, they should still present both sides of the argument. This is the kind of news provides audiences with comprehensive facts and information on current events, and provides them with the tools they need to become politically involved and educated citizens.
Does Comedy News Promote Political Participation?
I would argue that shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report do not promote this type of informed political participation. Although these shows do present a very strong opinion of various current events and political figures, this type of political information is not very valuable. Although viewers of these shows may feel that by watching these shows they become informed I think this is debatable. The stated purpose of these shows is entertainment and they information they present is extremely biased and does not give a complete picture of events. Based on these characteristics, I do not believe these shows promote intelligent constructive political participation. These comedy shows may cause viewers to turn to established news sources for less biased, fact-based information. However, if comedy shows are the only source of information for certain viewers then their political information will not be constructive to the democratic process.
The democratic process needs informed citizens to fuel political debate and hold public leaders accountable. However, if citizens are receiving their political information from a comedy-based, non-news source then the democratic process becomes the joke that comedy shows make it out to be.
So here’s the thing, right? As a Political Science student, the immediate assumption is that my inbox is overrun with political information. Surely, to be a good, well-educated, intelligent student of some caliber, the absorption of political information of some ungodly amount is a necessary to survival, kind of like breathing or watching the latest episode of Glee. I’m behind on Glee, but that’s not really the point.
The point is actually the opposite. Or maybe it’s just that political information is so disseminated these days that the fact that I don’t actually ever go out of my way to seek it and yet, somehow, still have a generally wholesome understanding of what is going on in politics–who let the House repeal the Health Care bill? I have a bone to pick with you, Reps–is just par for the course for Generation X. (Or are we the Millenials? I can never remember.)
I don’t actually watch CNN or MSNBC or, heaven forbid, Fox News (hey, I never claimed to be unbiased; that’s nearly impossible in this political atmosphere anyway). I don’t pick up The New York Times or The Economist. Foreign Policy occasionally sends newsletters to my inbox and I only click if there’s an interactive map for the world’s failing states involved. I have a moral aversion to Fox News (and Glenn Beck) and CNN’s transformation into what is, essentially, a glorified Twitter feed actually makes my skin crawl. Hey, I have strong opinions, but that’s what the internet is for, right?
So no, I don’t find political news, I let political news come to me.
It is potentially embarrassing to say that I get most of my political information from Twitter. Of course, then I remember how much BBC News and CNN Breaking News inundates my feed and I feel slightly less self-conscious. Bite-sized, 140-character news updates for the ADD, on-the-go, TV-obsessed college student is just what the political scientist prescribed!
Of course, there’s also The Washington Post breaking news updates, although the race between the Washington Post and CNN’s social media updating teams is almost too much for me to handle sometimes.
So is there a trend here? Other than a somewhat rational hatred for actual news media?
Perhaps. Maybe the trend is that social media is revolutionizing the entire news industry. I can read tweets from CNN or the BBC from almost anyway as long as I have my iPhone or my laptop. I don’t have to sit down with the TV and Glenn Beck and Wolf Blitzer can continue talking at an audience that is minus one unhappy college student. I never have to read full-length articles unless I really want to, but I can still keep current on events since 140 characters is all that is needed for a headline. Perhaps it is not the most in-depth source of news, but that is not to say the opportunity to read in-depth on those matters closest to my heart is not there. The opportunity is always there, it is simply that I can choose to indulge in it or not. Political news, meet the selective consumer. Thank you, social media.
But no discussion is complete without mentioning those two Kings of television, the two maestros of political satire, the only two men I will (still) willingly watch talk about politics (and the two men after my own politically cynical heart). Let me tell you, I was abroad at Oxford for a full semester and even more than Chipotle and cheap movies, I missed Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert’s The Colbert Report. It is, perhaps, not fair to say that most college students garner their daily political information from Stewart and Colbert (because I hear some still read the newspaper? Apparently those are still in circulation in some areas of the country?), but it is safe to say that this college student does (and when she’s done, she follows up on Twitter–you should really follow StephenAtHome or TheDailyShow for good laughs and political bites). I watch for the humor, stay for the critical (sarcastic) analysis, and leave only when my stomach hurts from laughing so much.
So hey, newspapers. Sorry we aren’t really friends anymore, but–on the bright side–if you open up a Twitter account, I’ll probably follow you. Extra points if you pretend to be Stewart or Colbert and actually succeed. xoxo!