It would be nearly impossible for me to honestly report how my peers get news information without mention of Jon Stewart. This is how I and my friends find ourselves relating to each other when we’ve been out of touch- “did you see that bit on Jon Stewart about the war- hilarious, right?” War is not funny. It never has been. Until Jon Stewart.
Our generation needs entertainment. “the news” isn’t enough. We’re fed up with it. We’re tired of news stations thinking we will blindly subscribe to their framework and agenda-setting. So we watch something that blatantly advertises subjectivity. Hey- if its going to be subjective, why not be able to laugh at it?
The Daily Show is not news. It’s a blog. It is a blog in the sense that it is a commentary of the news that has already been reported. A lot of Jon’s Stewart’s shows are a rebut to statements made by anchors on Fox News. Most of Jon’s comments are more intelligible than the “typical” comment-er, but they mimic a blogger’s notion of commenting for the sake of self-publicity (or getting a laugh) instead of contributing to the interests of the public. Jon Stewart’s attacks on news reporters and Right-wingers are often on their appearance, their flubs in speech, their accents. When Jon Stewart points these sort of things out it is for a joke, not to convince the audience to consider a different political viewpoint. Sometimes he does both, but it’s very rare that the Daily Show will include any information without the frame of a giggle.
The Daily Show is entertaining, and kindof informational. Maybe my age group (myself included) is too young to care enough about the news to get it from boring sources. I mean sure, I believe that I should be an informed citizen and I should know what is going on in the world, but I certainly do not want to read MORE DULL PAGES (in addition to pages and pages of sociologists’ comments on new media) especially when I could relax in front of my laptop for a half an hour, be guaranteed a chuckle or two, and get a synopsis of the most important stuff that happened today. And let’s be serious, if I do get my news information online, I’m only skimming the headlines and reading a sentence or two from articles that sound interesting.
There’s plenty of forms of news out there makings moves to compete for my generation’s attention- by condensing headlines to be more scannable, adding interactivity and the like. My main motivation for gathering news is being able to discuss it with others, and I prefer to do so lightheartedly. So it’s the goofy salt and pepper haired Jewish guy on Comedy Central (err- hulu) that has me hooked.