Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Liberals Bemoan Jon Stewart's Leaving The Daily Show

There are many liberals who believe that Jon Stewart was a powerful force in American politics; bringing millions of voters -- especially young voters -- to their political way of thinking.  They laud his use of humor in disparaging Republicans.  So, his announced retirement from the Daily Show has brought many a tear to a bunch of  liberal eyes.

Even, the left-leaning CNN felt compelled to write an opinion piece following his announced departure from his Comedy Central hit show.  In the piece titled "How Jon Stewart changed politics", the writer, Stephen Collinson, said this:
"The Daily Show" host's hordes of millennial fans and political junkies will soon find out what a sans-Stewart election is like as they pick their way through the spin, obfuscations and outrages of the 2016 race without him.
Reading that, you almost get the impression that, without Stewart, Republicans will indeed be able to spin, obfuscate and outrage their way to victory in 2016.  However, anyone who has honestly and unbiasedly watched the Daily Show knows that it is Stewart who is spinning, obfuscating, and outraging as he cherry picks and removes context from carefully selected video clips of certain Republicans and, then, follows them up with a humorous, but politically biased, punchline or slanted commentary.

Then, there's the reference to the "hordes of millennial fans" in the CNN story.  Well, hordes is a non-specific term.  But, the word gives the reader the impression that millions of young people tune-in to see Stewart.  As referenced by the writer, PEW Research found that 39% of Stewart's audience is between 18 and 29 years of age while, at the same time, that age group only makes up 23% of the population.  Collinson goes on to say "That is a demographic politicians kill for."  The problem with that statement is that 18-to-29 year-olds don't vote relative to their percentage of the population.  In 2012, the Census Bureau stated that of the 133 million who voted, only 20.5 million or 15% were ages 18-to-29. 

Also, lets chew on the following:

The Daily Show has an average audience of about 2.5 million each night.  If 39% are in that young demographic, only about one million are 18-to-29; or, less than eight-tenths of a percent of all the voters. We already know that their voting turnout is low.  Not a fact that supports the belief that Stewart has changed or is changing the political landscape. You also have to understand that 45% of the Daily Show's viewers are self-described liberals.  Therefore, Stewart, for the most part, is preaching to the choir.

Simply, the belief that Stewart has impacted the political landscape in ways beneficial to the Democratic party is pure myth.  His audience is too small and heavily biased.  And, the millennial group  that everyone talks about, and which was his largest audience demographic, is typically a no-show at the voting booth.  In reality Jon Stewart has not changed politics in any significant way.


How Jon Stewart changed politics: http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/10/politics/how-jon-stewart-changed-politics/

Demographics and Political Views of News Audiences: http://www.people-press.org/2012/09/27/section-4-demographics-and-political-views-of-news-audiences/

"The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" Finish 1Q 2013 as #1 and #2 Among Adults 18-49 and All Key Young Demos: http://www.thefutoncritic.com/ratings/2013/04/04/the-daily-show-and-the-colbert-report-finish-1q-2013-as-number-1-and-number-2-among-adults-18-49-and-all-key-young-demos-795303/20130404comedycentral01/

Young-Adult Voting: An Analysis of Presidential Elections, 1964–2012: http://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p20-573.pdf

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