There is a new form of late night entertainment. Surprisingly enough, this new form of entertainment is a source of news for many Americans who have gotten tired of the traditional and sometimes depressing CNN, FOX and ABC News journalism.
Comedic news, in the past years, has been a huge hit with television viewers. It offers its viewers funny and almost ridiculing political insight.
Some believe people have simply tuned into comedians like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert because their material is hilarious, but that may be oversimplifying the real appeal of comedic news. Why do people really turn to comedic news as opposed to traditional, serious broadcast journalism? Do these shows have any benefits for their viewers? Are there downsides to indulging in these shows instead of traditional journalism?
The real appeal of comedic shows is the satire that is deeply embedded in them. Everyone tunes in to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert because they know that there is truth to what is being said. Since the show is not as serious as what conventional journalism shows tend to display, it is a form of entertainment while still accomplishing the general goal of informing their audience.
Comedic shows are for politics what satirical literature is for humanity. It is the same concept, just a different medium. Whether people accept the notion that these shows all have incredible significance in culture or they choose to deny it, none of these shows are mindless.
The biggest benefit for every viewer watching these shows is the ability to stay up-to-date on current events. Realistically, many television watchers have renounced watching or reading any kind of news.
“I think the comedy shows are a good way to get the news nowadays but without getting easily bored. You get a good laugh when you watch stuff like ‘The Daily Show’ and you get a general idea of what’s happening in politics,” sophomore Thalia Mercado said.
Unfortunately, television viewers should take caution in accepting everything they hear on “The Daily Show” and other satirical news programming at face value. It is imperative to watch television as a critical thinker; this applies to both comedic news and traditional broadcast journalism. News is subject to bias. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert may never admit to having a political agenda, or even belonging to a particular party, but they each have a stand on just about every issue. It is impossible to be completely objective. There would be no comedic news shows if objectivity was emphasized far and through.
“I think bias does exist in comedy shows,” Mercado said. “You never really think about it when you watch the shows because they’re so funny but when you think about it, it’s obvious because they make fun of the things they don’t agree with.”
Comedy shows have grown to massive popularity in the recent years. You can catch Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” poking fun at Obama, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party and Congress. It is a great watch for anyone who loves a good laugh. The most important thing to consider is not the joke, or the meaning of the joke, but why that particular joke even exists.
What is being discussed in politics today? Next time you indulge in a good laugh session as a result of a comedic news show, make sure to walk away having learned something.