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Monday, September 27

Jon Stewart: My Hero

Story today in Newsday about Jon Stewart's Daily Show book.

Excerpt from article:
Bill O'Reilly, who recently interviewed Stewart on his show in connection with the book, expressed a perhaps-envious awe: "You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary" - though, O'Reilly said, Stewart's audience consists of "stoned slackers." Stewart, not mentioning the slipped-disc theory, denied any influence.

But young people, slackers or not, are big fans of the show (about half the viewers are 18 to 34, according to Nielsen, and the vast majority are younger than 50). And that should, indeed, translate into big book sales, says American Booksellers Association Vice President Suzanne Staubach, general books manager at the UConn Co-Op in Storrs, Conn.

O'Reilly must be jealous because he doesn't have the ratings that Stewart has. Randi Rhodes beats him in NY for ratings and she just got here! Honestly, if Bill O'Reilly has anything important to say, he should calm the hell down, quit lying and stop being a bully. He is so hung up on the fact that he wasn't rich growing up here on Long Island one block from my present home. It's quite lovely here. My house overlooks a golf course. So the hell what if he wasn't rich? Howard Stern and Eddie Murphy grew up in Roosevelt a few miles from here. Now that was and is still a very lower middle class and poor neighborhood with lousy schools. Billy O went to private schools. oy. Get over it! Did you see his house and dock on the north shore of Long Island on 60 minutes last night? He's doing fine. Grow up Billy O.

Everytime I read another story about the Daily Show audience of young stoned people, I write to the newspaper or author immediately. It seems that most of people I know, and a lot of them are in their 40's and 50's, watch the Daily Show regularly. It's not our only source of news but there is a lot more truth in analysis of the news at the Daily Show than on say CNN or Fox. If young people are only getting their news at the Daily Show, I don't think it's a bad thing at all. At least they are getting some and it's more balanced than Fox.

As a matter of fact, Daily Show and late night talk show viewers know more about the news than those who don't watch it among young people:

Polling conducted between July 15 and Sept. 19 among 19,013 adults showed that on a six-item political knowledge test people who did not watch any late-night comedy programs in the past week answered 2.62 items correctly, while viewers of Late Night with David Letterman on CBS answered 2.91, viewers of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno answered 2.95, and viewers of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart answered 3.59 items correctly. That meant there was a difference of 16 percentage points between Daily Show viewers and people who did not watch any late-night programming.

The campaign knowledge test covered such topics as which candidate favors allowing workers to invest some of their Social Security contributions in the stock market, the income range at which John Kerry would eliminate the Bush tax cut, and which candidate is a former prosecutor. read more
What was terrifically ironic is that a journalist who was talking to Stewart on the Daily Show recently told Stewart that he didn't ask hard enough questions to Kerry. How did Stewart respond? He said, "I'm a comedian!" Brilliant.

There's a Jon Stewart Webring!

Here's a link to the Daily Show website in case you are out of the loop or don't have cable.

This Thursday night, the Daily Show will cover the debates. oy. This should be good.

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