Friday, June 23, 2006

Enemy of the State

I was wondering when mainstream media flaks would start their attacks on those who call them on their pathetic performances. Well, the effort has begun in earnest. While the mainstream media have somewhat engaged themselves on occasion in denigrating the blogosphere for its dogged criticisms of media darlings, there was another critic with whom news outlets had failed to come to terms.

WaPo's Richard Morin informs us today that someone -- something -- is "poisoning democracy." It is not, however, House Republicans who have blocked renewal of the Voting Rights Act; it is not secret voting data and unverifiable elections brought to you by Diebold; it is not Republicans and their efforts over the last several years to selectively disenfranchise oppositional voters. No, it is Jon Stewart, and Jon Stewart alone, who is the one poisoning American democracy.

As evidence, Richard Morin points to a study that indicates viewers of The Daily Show become disenchanted with the very things TDS ridicules, which include the media:
participants rated both candidates more negatively after watching Stewart's program. Participants also expressed less trust in the electoral system and more cynical views of the news media....
These are, of course, things of which Americans should be distrustful. Has there been evidence lately that the electoral system and the media deserve something other than cynicism? And how can any of us disagree with Stewart's assessment that the House of Representatives is "filled with insane jacksasses"? There is nothing trustworthy about the current state of the electoral system and the media are well known to have failed the American public in the last few years. However, the study and Morin jump to a completely unsupported conclusion that such mistrust could lead to voter apathy. There is nothing there to suggest anything such thing. Let's not forget that the United States has had a long, long stretch of voter apathy and this had been occurring in a period well before The Daily Show arrived on the scene. In fact, given that the 2004 election saw the largest turnout in history -- and the largest young voter turnout, despite efforts of the GOP to block them -- when The Daily Show was riding high on the vicious partisan campaigning then, the study's halting conclusion simply has no basis in fact and even appears contrary to recent experience.

But all such consideration is beyond the purview of media flaks and Morin further indicates to readers that the media rightly deserve the pummeling that Jon Stewart and everyone else has been giving them in the last few years. There are many threats to American democracy right now, but Jon Stewart is hardly one of them.

5 Comments:

Anonymous robb said...

As for increasing voter turnout, why don't we just give in and let the candidates on American Idol. On top of more voteers we may even get a more honest election. I would take rather my chances on one person voting 832 times than trusting a Diebold machine.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Kel said...

At a time when the President of the United States has decided he has the power to ignore 750 laws that he doesn't agree with, at a time when they are mining your phone records and your banking details, the mainstream media think the greatest challenge they should face is Jon Stewart?

I read recently that more and more people are turning to the blogs for their news.

I read this and I understand why.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Musclemouth said...

John Stewart for President! Hey, Jesse "The Body" Ventura did it; The Terminator did it; let John into the politics game!

12:37 PM  
Blogger PaulPaz said...

Hi,

There’s a site to register your support for Jon Stewart and outrage at the Post’s column. Please visit www.enemyofdemocracy.com today!

Thank you!

Paul

8:27 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

great Paul, i'll be there.

8:48 PM  

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