Study: Viewers Get News From Daily Show... Not

Jokes funny only if audience is already up on current events

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 9, 2008 9:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Claims that young people get more news from Jon Stewart's Daily Show than from traditional sources are bunk, a journalism think-tank has concluded after examining a year's worth of episodes. The Project for Excellence in Journalism found that while the comedy show had much of the same content as new shows, the satire would sail over the heads of anybody not already up-to-date on current affairs.

"They're not making jokes that you could get if you don't read the news," said the director of the research project. "The jokes are designed to make you think more about the news."

Jon Stewart hosts a taping of Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, in this Aug. 22, 2007, file photo in New York.
Jon Stewart hosts a taping of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart", in this Aug. 22, 2007, file photo in New York.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, file)
Jon Stewart yuks it up during a taping of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in New York.
Jon Stewart yuks it up during a taping of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" in New York.   (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, laughs with host Jon Stewart at a taping of The Daily Show Wednesday, May 7, 2008 in New York.
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, laughs with host Jon Stewart at a taping of The Daily Show Wednesday, May 7, 2008 in New York.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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John McCain appears on 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.'   (Aquaflyer)

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