Jon Stewart, Cynical Youth and Voting

A Washington Post columnist posted an article last Friday covering a bit of research claiming that Jon Stewart’s popular comedy/news show on the Comedy Channel may cause people to stop voting. The report’s title was not given, nor was there any link to the results. So we have no way to read the report for ourselves to judge the accuracy of the columnist’s claims and have to rely on the quotes from the report he gave us. Quotes like this one:

“Ultimately, negative perceptions of candidates could have participation implications by keeping more youth from the polls,” they wrote.

Maybe I’m just a bit cynical myself but I’d think there’s also the possibility these youth will start working the political scene to replace the loser candidates we have now with somebody who might actually represent their interests.

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All right. Let’s do a little thought experiment here. In two societies where everyone starts out nice, except:

in one of them folks (even celebrities) are allowed to (and do) make fun of idiocy whenever they see it practiced in politics, and
in the other society, many high-profile politicians make it their business to misquote, slander, and generally paint their running-opponents and critics as lying, America-hating, baby-eating bastards. Meanwhile, they **** on the Constitution and pass laws that are hurtful and harmful for their consitituency, for political gain.

Well, it seems the real world is a combination of those two worlds. And this columnist decides that the problem that will turn off voters, the big thing that needs working on here, is the one that makes too liberal a use of free speech?!

Yeah, okay. We’ll going to take you seriously really soon, mister columnist sir. Honest.

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