Wednesday, September 29, 2004

One reason (among many) that I love Jon Stewart

How cool are these two news items? Everyone be sure to watch "The Daily Show" on October 7 so we can see Bill O'Reilly get a bit of comeuppance at the hands of the far more intelligent Stewart. Man, does O'Reilly make anyone else as mad as he makes me? At least Sean Hannity is just a shrill, admittedly right-wing loudmouth. O'Reilly pretends that his "no-spin zone" is the most objective media outlet on Earth. What a load of crap.

Comedy Central Unspins O'Reilly
Determined not to be caught up in a spin zone created by Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, Comedy Central on Monday refuted O'Reilly's assertion that the audience for the network's The Daily Show was composed of "stoned slackers." The channel extracted data from Nielsen Media Research to indicate that Daily Show host Jon Stewart's viewers are more likely to have completed college than O'Reilly's. O'Reilly made his remarks when Stewart appeared on his show a few weeks ago. "You know what's really frightening?" O'Reilly said. "You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it's true. You've got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote." O'Reilly is due to face the slackers directly when he appears on Stewart's show on Oct. 7.

'Daily Show' Viewers Among Best Informed Voters
Concerns that people who receive their political information from late-night comedy shows may not be adequately familiar with the issues in order to vote knowledgeably appeared to be laid to rest Monday by a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey. In a poll conducted between July 15 and Sept. 19, nearly 20,000 young adults were asked six questions about the presidential candidates' stands on various issues. Those who watched no late-night comedy shows answered 2.62 questions correctly. David Letterman's viewers answered 2.91; Jay Leno,'s 2.95; and Jon Stewart's (The Daily Show) 3.59. The results for Stewart appeared particularly striking to the pollsters, who noted that his viewers "have higher campaign knowledge than national news viewers and newspaper readers."


Blogger Jason Work said...

Wow. The grammar in the subject line of my post is truly terrible. I'm talking about remedial English communication here. That kind of hurts my credibility as a Jon Stewart watcher I guess.

9/29/2004 2:48 PM  
Blogger Izdatyel said...

Bill O'Reilly is a delusional baffoon. His entire approach consists of doing what I just did, trying to discredit by calling people and organizations names (i.e. "pinheads," "left-wing bomb-throwers"), along with telling people who disagree to "shut-up," assuming guilt by association, and accusing everyone one around him of propagandizing. No-Spin Zone? Please.

His show has single-handedly sucked away any substantive meaning that "no spin" used to have. This is similar to the way in which "alternative music" no longer has meaning. The record companies, promoters, and artists stole the meaning of "alternative." Can someone explain to me how mainstream music is "alternative" (or vice-versa). You can't, because if you try, you have to modify the meaning of one of the words/concepts.

Similarly, the term "no-spin" is, at least for now, inseperably connected to O'Reilly's show, the epitomy of spin. How could any self-respecting journalist be presumtuous enough to name his own show "The No-Spin Zone," basically endowing upon himself the most highly valued asset of journalism (objectivity). See, most journalists have to work their cans off for that kind of a reputation. Not O'Reilly, he just skipped all that nonsense and asserts emphatically that he's "independent" and "objective." Even better, if someone disagrees or challenges this notion, he just cuts their mic or tells them repeatedly to shut-up. All those other silly journalists/commentators just waste their time trying to make well-reasoned and factually supported arguments.

Unfortunately, empty rhetoric, labeling, and over-simplification seems to appeal to a lot of people.

Thank you John Stewart, for informing the nation while making us laugh. Also, thank you for making O'Reilly sound like an idiot on his own show. The whole transcript can be found here:

9/30/2004 5:55 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Dude... did it occur to you that U. Penn may be observing a correlation versus actual information sources? I LOVE Letterman, Connan and a few other brainless late night shows. Besides late night, however, I also watch and read my fair share of news. Being as fair as I can possibly be, I'd say I would attribute maybe 1% of my understanding of the latest presidential race developments or news in general to late night and other comedy oriented news, such as The Daily Show or Dennis Miller's show.

I'd be willing to bet that these same viewers, up watching late night, also spend a bit of time watching other things like the REAL news. ;)

10/07/2004 1:57 PM  
Blogger Izdatyel said...

I completely agree on this point. I think the study does reflect a correlation, not a cause. I don't think that "Daily Show" viewers are necessarily more politically informed because of his show. As you said, it is more likely that politically-informed people are attracted to the show. That still says plenty, though; and I do think his show, while not necessarily factually informative, very effectively uses ironic humor to reveal absurdity and smoke screens. Nonetheless, don't take my "Thank you John Stewart, for informing us while making us laugh" statement too seriously. :)

10/09/2004 1:23 AM  
Blogger Izdatyel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/09/2004 1:23 AM  

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