Friday, November 10, 2006


(That same Stewart photo Fox News had)

An article posted today by Rusty Shackleford on draws parallels between Rush Limbaugh's perceived influence over the 1994 Republican election victory, and Jon Stewart's role in this month's mid-term election. Read the article here.

Shackleford (I like saying that name in my head... sounds like he could be a wizard out of Harry Potter) made some good points. Shackleford states that Stewart's this year accomplished what Limbaugh's forceful opinion did to galvanize and energize the Republican base in 1994.

And Shackleford is probably right.

But then Shackleford goes on a somewhat long, redundant, repetitive, bitter?, angry little rant detailing Stewart's left-leaning show (no kidding) that made me think, "duh".

But back to Shackleford's argument... which raises maybe more questions than it answers.

1) The age old question - Are people (youth, in particular) drawn to Stewart because he is funny, and then fall for his charm and get converted, or are they initially drawn to Stewart because of their political proclivities to begin in the first place? Let's place that statement in another context:
Do lobbyists contribute to a party because it leans in their direction, or does a
politician lean toward the lobbyist that gives him or her its cash? Because this is the
argument that a lot of politicians and pundits - on both sides - use to defend lobbyists.
2) Second age old question - So Stewart is apparently bringing out scores of young voters (a good thing, though, all in all, right?), but these young voters are ostensibly voting because they are fans of the show, and maybe now feel they need to perform their civic duty, blah, blah, blah. How...ever - Let's take a look at and consider the Cult of Personality... is it even Stewart's politics that sways viewers? Just as likely, viewers fall into Stewart's camp because they love, adore and/or respect him. This would suggest that political beliefs, policy, knowledge, qualifications, etc. are thrown out the window when the ballot is cast. People to vote for the candidate they like. Given the adulation of Jon Stewart, that's exactly what his viewers did. Any role the Daily Show played in the success of Democrats at the polls didn't lie in its ability to present the facts skewed one way or the other. Rather, the Daily Show can be blamed for brainwashing its viewers - into liking Stewart, thus voting his party into office.
I mean... I could be wrong, but it's something to consider.
P.S. - What about 2002 & 2004? Democrats lost those elections badly, but Stewart had already won an Emmy by then.

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