“The Daily Show” is not real news

Story by Rita Fay, Staff Writer

According to a Pew Research study, the percentage of viewers of The Daily Show that are under 30 is 39 percent. And some young people say it is their only news source.

“The Daily Show” is a  late night satirical news show on Comedy Central that makes social, cultural and political commentary.

Unfortunately, watching Jon Stewart make a joke out of journalism, politics and the media isn’t helpful to themselves or their audience, even if what they say is true.

The problem isn’t that the show is not being funny. The show is funny because the commentary made about our culture, politics and media is often times based in reality and truth.

Stewart has said himself the show is meant to be funny and does not consider himself a journalist.

What I find humorous is that a very intelligent man can poke fun at the problems but do little to improve them.

The show informs people of the news but only if the news can fit into its humor agenda. The stories that make it into the show are major headlines or stories with a novelty aspect. Otherwise, all other news stories go unnoticed.

If this show is the only source of news for people they are missing out on many important stories not mentioned.

The show also lets people believe they need to do little to improve the damaging situations happening in the United States. Stewart allows his viewers to watch politicians and journalists make mistake after mistake.

Mistakes that are hurting our nation and makes it into a joke — a punchline that has no solution. The 30 minute comedy program can be turned off and we can go back to thinking that nothing can be done to solve problems hurting
our nation.

The worst part of it is Stewart could make a difference in our society. In some small cases he already has.

But, with few exceptions, he instead uses his intelligence, wit and acute observation skills to poke fun and make judgment calls.

When those politicians come on his show as guests he seems to become less upset about the mistakes those people have made. He does not consider himself to be a journalist but that does not mean he can’t have a discussion about what he is passionate about.

If he is so angry with how politics are running then he should be asking critical and difficult questions of the politicians that come on his show.

“The Daily Show” should be watched with the caveat that other action needs to be taken to solve problems. This show can be a good source of entertainment but beyond that it shouldn’t be taken as serious journalism and it shouldn’t be the only means of information
for people.

Sometimes Stewart can make it feel like everything is wrong with this world and nothing can be done and all we can do is make jokes and laugh at our troubles.

It’s nice to take a break from all the serious political talk but I also think Stewart needs to go beyond just making people laugh and inform his audience of action steps that can be taken.

I consider Stewart to be very intelligent and quite wise and unfortunately, he’s just not living up to his full potential.