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!