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July 25, 2014

The Daily Show makes kids cynical about politics? OMG!

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 24th 2006 3:53PM
The Daily Show makes kids even more cynicalYou'd never imagine it by their behavior, but college students are very easily influenced by TV, the Internet, and the power of Everclear punch. So it's not a big surprise to hear that heavy doses of The Daily Show have made kids of that age cynical about politics and the media (heck, I was cynical about politics and the media years before TDS even existed).

But now, this outcome has been recorded in a study, conducted by two political scientists at East Carolina University. They showed a group of students TDS clips from the 2004 Presidential campaign and another group coverage from the CBS Evening News. They measured the groups' attitudes about both candidates and found that the TDS watchers had the more negative view. The concern is that the more cynical this group becomes, the less likely they'll vote (and they don't vote much now). My thinking? As they get older, they'll look for more news sources. Right now, they just want to laugh.

[via Romenesko]

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etana

I don't know about other young kids...(and, btw...is it right to call 18+ year olds "young kids") but the daily show is not the only "news" show that I watch. Nor does it make me cynical in the way that I view politics. The daily show only plays off of the cynicism that the public already has towards the government. Also, Jon Stewart, in a way, makes me more willing to vote, as I believe myself to have a broader view of politics. I think we should just be happy that there is someone talking politics to young voters, eventually they will grow up and learn to vote.

June 27 2006 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patrick R

"They measured the groups' attitudes about both candidates and found that the TDS watchers had the more negative view."

Um... Logically speaking, this article's conclusion is entirely backwards. How does this correlation prove that TDS "makes kids cynical"? I'd be more likely to suspect that it's the other way around: cynical kids are simply attracted to The Daily Show. Cynical "kids" like me.

What this article suggests is similar to saying that Star Trek turns people into sci-fi fans because studies show that a large portion of Star Trek fans also enjoy other sci-fi.

June 26 2006 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

TDS is what got me intrested in politics. I had zero intrest in anything politics until I watched TDS. Mad props to them.

June 26 2006 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
diana

if kids are watching the daily show and not reading the papers and not getting news elsewhere, then surely they are getting a skewed vision of what the world is about. is that the fault of jon stewart and the daily show's staff? i think not!

June 25 2006 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dumbstart

If people are getting their sole dose of news from The Daily Show then it is a crime, Jon Stewart himself said that, "The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls." Which is sad that these students are being lead to believe that he is reporting news when it would be better described as delivering editorial pieces.

Since most jokes on the show are made at the expense of someone else it would certainly direct viewers to find a more negative slant about the subject.

June 24 2006 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave Caolo

#5: Exactly right. If you aren't up on current events, TDS isn't funny.

June 24 2006 at 8:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stephen

seems wrong to me, it seems that getting "kids" interested and upset about the way our government is run seems to make them want to vote more! I'm glad I discovered the Daily Show just over a year ago. It got me very involved in politics and voting!
(I second #5...too many people see TDS as comedy, which it is, but it is also just a launching pad for the discussion!)

June 24 2006 at 6:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

I've never agreed with the theory that teens and twentysomethings get all of their news from TDS. Because you have to know the news, understand the news, to get the jokes.

June 24 2006 at 6:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jubilat

an unbiased study would not use language like "cynical" and "negative". who does these "studies" anyway?

June 24 2006 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave Caolo

They've almost got it right. Politicians make kids cynical about politics. TDS just points that out.

June 24 2006 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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