This is fascinating and scary. The rise of Jon Stewart has been remarkable, a comedian in charge of faux news. He is also very influential among young people, many who only get their news from his show. Kingmaker? Hard to tell, influential? Definitely.
Jon Stewart is an unlikely player in national politics. He’s not a pundit, he’s a comedian. As unlikely a candidate for Democratic kingmaker as he may be, he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Ratings for The Daily Show’s coverage of the ‘06 elections were second only to The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News. 2.0 million Americans tuned into Comedy Central on Tuesday to follow election results. That’s right, more people were watching a comedian talk about the news than an anchor on CNN.
And just who is it that is tuning into The Daily Show? Young people. Lot’s of them.
In fact, in the 2004 election nearly as many young people cited The Daily Show as a source of news as any other source. And Jon Stewart’s Daily Show audience has only grown since then.
On the college campus where I teach, Jon Stewart’s is the first and last word on all things political. His is the only name that all recognize. It’s more than that: his views are the only views considered socially acceptable. When Jon Stewart believes something, students believe it. He who Jon Stewart hates, students hate. Read More.