Scoot: It may be time to take "comedy" news seriously
by Scoot,posted Jun 5 2014 9:58AM
Which of the following networks do you think did the best job of explaining the issue of campaign finance; Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC - or Comedy Central?
A new study shows that “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central did the best job of all the networks mentioned in explaining campaign finance to people. You may be appalled – shocked – you may think this must be a sign the world is coming to an end. But an honest assessment of the major news channels, especially the cable news channels, should put them all on the same level as any of the established cable news networks.
The study was conducted by The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Shows like “The Colbert Report” with Stephen Colbert and “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, both on Comedy Central, have consistently been gaining ground with younger audiences, and research shows that a growing number of younger voters are getting their daily news from Colbert and Stewart.
Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart present the top news stories of the day with qualified guests, often politicians and celebrities who join the discussion about the top issues trending in the news. Colbert and Stewart use humor and sarcasm while delivering the legitimate new stories of the day.
When you consider the narrow perspective of the news presented on Fox News and MSNBC, in particular, along with the bitter verbal battles that often erupt on the sets during the discussions about the top issues – should it be a surprise that younger generations are tuning into “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” as their source of news?
America is changing and that change is not easily accepted by the Establishment. Fox News and MSNBC have almost become satires of themselves. During a heated verbal debate, especially on Fox News, mute the sound and just watch – it is actually comical!
The sarcasm of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart while delivering the news is a statement that reflects the contempt young generations (under 45) have for the bitter tone of the political debate in America. The sarcasm of the news-oriented shows on Comedy Central mocks the serious, “we are right” mentality of the news networks of the Establishment.
“The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” stand out because the harsh partisan bickering on the other cable news channels has turned honest political debate into comedy – unless you are one of those so immersed in one side or the other.
In spite of the irreverence that defines Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, both deliver the news and actually delve deeply into meaningful discussions about the top news stories of the day, and their attitudes are no more distracting to news content than the pompous, self-righteous attitudes of many of the hosts on Fox News and MSNBC.
“The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” are not responsible for dumbing down America. Both shows present an honest view of the growing disgust with the political battlefields of Fox News and MSNBC. Colbert and Stewart are not changing America’s presentation of the news – they are reflecting a changing America.
This does not mean that news will evolve into comedy shows – but Colbert and Stewart are a reaction to what many Americans now think of the cable news channels that seem to be on a mission to set America straight and fulfill their goal of telling Americans how to think and feel.
The signs are everywhere. The results of the election of 2012 and the rapidly fading dominance of the far right on talk radio and cable news indicate change. Fox News is losing its coveted 25-54 audience.
Voters under 45 are beginning to have an impact on the political process and the Democrats, Republicans and all the cable news networks need to recognize that America is changing – and for the better!