Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My mind has been poisoned to be cynical about our political process

You may have heard on the news or in the paper how a study at Eastern Carolina University shows that Jon Stewart and his Daily Show are bad for democracy, poisoning young minds with cynicism and causing them to be less likely to become involved in the political system (especially through voting).

Yet another case of people missing the point and shooting the messenger. Are we cynical because Jon Stewart makes fun of a broken system, with corrupt politicians and a corrupt voting process? Are we cynical because the Daily Show points out the inanity of the mainstream news media (especially Fox News and CNN)? Or, are we cynical and less likely to vote because politicians and the media continually lie to each other and to us? Could it be that the Daily Show appeals to a group of people that are already fed up with so-called "Hard News?" Is there a possibility that Daily Show watchers get their news from other forms of media, such as actual newspapers and the internet (they could be readers, based upon his selection of guests).

Why are his viewers (I am one) cynical? Why do they have negative perceptions of the media and political process? Let us look at an example.

As we get closer to mid-term elections, Congress gets more and more useless. With the waste of time surrounding this exercise in futility and idiocy (the last refuge of the scoundrel is patriotism), this cynical attempt to get the Religious Right up in arms for something the Republican leadership des not really care about from earlier in the month and the ridiculously wasteful non-binding resolution to call the War in Iraq part of the War on Terror hoping to booster support for a war very few Americans want (do they think we are this stupid?) and hopefully get themselves reelected while voting for yet another congressional payraise (I am not mentioning their vote against raising the minimum wage which is based on pseudo math and lacking in compassion- Go Big Business), I wonder why we should be cynical. Actually I wonder why Stewart is the only newsperson going after these slobs.


Bob Robinson said...

I, too, am a loyal watcher of Jon. His "fake news show" has more news on it in a half hour than Fox News and CNN does in it's entire Prime Time line-up. I am grateful for his sarcastic and cynical news coverage (though I wish at times he was bit less vulgar).

Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann seem to be the only ones trying to call out silly people for their disgusting manipulation of their office and/or their media spotlight.

DLW said...

Hey, check out my "pragmatic prolife manifesto".


james said...

Good post man. Stewart actually allows me to feel a bit more "normal" at the end of the day than I would otherwise at the hand of CNN or FOXNews (is that last term an oxymoron?)