One Man’s Comedy is Another Man’s Threat to Society

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Jon Stewart and the Daily Show are a threat to America. That very odd phrase is being bandied about in the wake of research showing that 18-24 year old viewers get most of their news there and as a result, have become cynical about politics.

I haven’t read the report, so I can’t comment on it. But, I have heard the talking heads pontificate about it and their logic seems a little flawed.

One guest on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country suggested that 18-24ers are cynical because of the Daily’s clear left wing bias. He contended that Jon is leading these young adults down the primrose path of anti-politics where people don’t vote, people don’t believe in politicians, and people view much of what they hear as just one more damnable pack of lies. Seems like a logical conclusion to me, but what do I know?

Somehow Stewart accomplishes this by conducting fake interviews and having good hair – a description that fits most of the mainstream anchorbots as well. Remember, Stewart has been a Time magazine coverboy (“eat my dust Anderson Cooper”), frequent target of Bill O’Reilly, and responsible for coaxing CNN to unload the walking bow tie that is Tucker Carlson. You can’t buy power like that!

One particular piece of oddball supporting evidence was CBS’s momentary flirtation with pairing Stewart along with someone else as Evening News co-anchors before they decided on Smilin’ Katie Couric. The talking head felt this would blur the line between news and “infotainment” so severely that these young, impressionable people would no longer be able to distinguish real news from faux news. I suppose there is some imperical evidence of this happening. Exhibit A – Fox News watchers.

Through the entire droning interview, the implications were clear. Most 18-24 year olds are incapable of telling fact from obvious fiction, they’ve become cynical because someone tells them a few jokes, and someone should be investigating what should be done about it – though he wasn’t stupid enough to suggest who or what.

Here’s my proposal. Jon tell more jokes. We need more cynicism. Young adults, remember Jon isn’t real. Goofy Scarborough guest, look at the actions of politicians and tell me with a straight face that you’re not cynical too.

Now, on to something important and non-cynical, the Flag Burning Amendment!

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11 thoughts on “One Man’s Comedy is Another Man’s Threat to Society

  1. Neil,
    We’re cynical too. You just don’t notice it as much because we’re all wrinkly.

    Dave,
    That is a sad state of affairs isn’t it? I’ve seen him put the fear of God into a few of the crackpots he’s had on.

    Sumo,
    Cynicism so becomes you.

    Dusty,
    You can lead a horse to the booth, but you can’t make him vote.

    Mary,
    Actually the guy had an answer for that. He said Jay Leno et al do just as many jokes, but theirs aren’t as “nasty”. Whatever, as long as his guys aren’t to blame, right?

    TJ,
    Good comedians always go over the heads of many people.

    Boudi,
    I think it’s an American thing.

    Sumo,
    Now be nice.

    Changeseeker,
    I think our case thatwould be the “Bastadille”.

  2. Let’s be realistic here. A 24-year-old United Statian (“American” includes everybody in the Western Hemisphere) has already lived through two Bushes, a Reagan, and a guy that was castigated for getting a blow job. That would be enough to turn Mother Theresa into a cynic. Jon Stewart may be the only thing that’s keeping these alienated youth from storming the…er…Bastille. heh heh.

  3. Jon Stewart isn’t even funny. HE’S JUST NOT FUNNY! Even I would ban people from watching that show. lol!

  4. What kind of idiots are these? It isn’t the actions of our politicians that are making young people cynical, its a comedy talk show????? What?

    I’m not convinced that young people are any more cynical now than they were 20, 50, or 100 years ago.

    100 years ago, Mark Twain wrote: “Imagine you were a complete idiot, and imagine you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” And I’m sure at the time, some newspaper op ed guy said: “That Mark Twain thinks he’s funny, but young people read his books, and that’s why they’re so cynical. We gotta do something.”

  5. Geeze, I’m a long, long way from 18-24 and I’m definitely cynical – actually pissed off would be more accurate. You don’t think it has anything to do with this sham of a government, illegal wars and congress diddling away that has the kids snearing? Nah, probably just some great poltical humorist doing it.

  6. Actually, my son is 25 and very cynical. He loves the Daily Show and Colbert..he turned me on to them actually. I do have to admit however, that since he started watching them, he is more knowledgeable about politics and world events than he ever was before.

    But I still can’t get the fucker to register to vote..this makes me cry and gnash my teeth. I think he does it to drive me crazy…and it works. He says I do enough voting and bitching about things for the both of us….
    So he pretty much fits the profile you mentioned..but he does know its a parody..he isn’t stupid..just jaded.

  7. I find it ironic that whenever I see someone asking hard questions on American media, it’s always Stewart (or his spin-off Colbert). Maybe if the MSM newsfolk were doing that, the 18-24ers might pay attention to them. But when it’s pretty obvious that the Daily Show contains no more fiction than the NBC news (and less than FOX), why not watch Stewart? He’s at least funny.

  8. Geez, you mean 18-24 year olds don’t give a shit? Gosh, there’s big news. So what explains the 25-106 year olds?

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