In Defense of Stewart-Colbert

A reader writes:

I cannot agree with your reader's comments about Stewart and Colbert regarding how they purportedly discourage participation in the political process. I am only 24, and I care immensely about politics.  I'm horrified at the direction of this country, and the willingness of our politicians (either through zeal or fear) to cast aside that which makes us American in the name of "saving" America.

It was pretty difficult to wake up the day after Election Day 2004, and it hasn't gotten much better since then.  But I take solace that, as I fall asleep every night, those two guys can make me laugh about it.  It keeps me sane.

Too many people who were too concerned about this country between 1965 and 1975 cast aside their dreams for cynicism, or strict adherence to right wing "Truth," or both.  (See Thomas, Clarence).  Colbert and Stewart prevent a whole generation from doing that.

Oh, and also, the idea that getting news from Stewart is somehow less legitimate than getting news from, say, Fox News Channel is ridiculous.  Both sources are jokes.  Only one of them makes me laugh.

Another writes:

You said:

"I am aware that my ilk is parodied relentlessly on the Daily Show. But somehow I think Jon Stewart will not be quite as exercised when we're shilling for Hillary."

I disagree for two reasons.  First, Stewart et. al. seem to me to be pragmatists before partisans.  I think they want sensible government, not liberal government.  More than the rich or the religious, they loathe hypocrites and people who put themselves before the country.

Second, and this is the big one, they are successful people who want to remain successful.  The moment they start pulling punches on the Dems, they simultaneously stop being as funny and lose a lot of credibility.  They stand to lose a lot of their audience, and that's bad business.  I think they have already had meetings on this, and I'm betting they came out saying "let's give 'em hell."  As a person who doubts he would ever vote republican, I can tell you that I'd lose interest if they don't.