Jon Stewart had a really good May. So good, he blew just about every Fox News network show away in terms of viewership.
Stewart absolutely dominated every age group between 18 and 49, especially for men between the ages of 18 and 34. He and his pseudo-rival Stephen Colbert were the only two late night talk shows to show a gain in viewership consistently in recent years. This is telling because Fox News is generally watched by older viewers and viewers with very conservative beliefs. It isn’t exactly popular with young folks.
Fox News Network, on the other hand, actually lost viewers in May. While CNN’s viewership was up 60 percent and MSNBC was up 26 percent, Fox News went down 10 percent. Rupert Murdoch is not amused, and surely he’s looking for ways to topple Stewart’s dominance. Stewart had a total of 2.3 million viewers for May. The only show to beat him was The O’Reilly Factor, and Bill O’Reilly has at least had the guts to go one-on-one with Stewart. The only snag in O’Reilly’s ratings? His show dropped in popularity last month by 9 percent.
Other FNC casualties: Greta Van Susteren dropped 12 percent. Sean Hannity lost 6 percent. Glenn Beck, whose show has already been axed, dropped a whopping 17 percent. Only Shepard Smith, whose relatively reasonable and level-headed reporting achieved growth. His show Fox and Friends gained more viewers and has been the top morning cable show for 115 straight months.
Despite a few shining beacons in the foggy waters that is Fox News Network, Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show continues to grow and get the attention of younger viewers. This is extremely important, because the demographics he’s attracting are young voters who have the power to change the shape of our government. And Jon Stewart, along with Stephen Colbert, is showing his viewers how to see through the veil of deception that remains a staple of Fox News.
Of course, Stewart targets the hypocrisies of politicians and wanna-be politicians, like Donald Trump and his non-existent run for president. He encourages his viewers to laugh incredulously at things like Palin’s lack of intelligence and picks apart political lies told by both Democrats and Republicans. In short, Stewart is teaching his viewership to think critically quite effectively. And in this day and age, when public education is barreling downhill, that’s a critically important skill.
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