The most impressive byproduct of of TheDailyShow is that it actually appears to have woken the 18 to 29 demographic from its political slumber
hidings, as Stewart lampooned its polarising yellow journalism and caricature-like presenters. In 2011 he launched a scathing satire of loudhailer Glenn Beck, whose populist rants bore more than a passing resemblance to Howard Beale, the mad news anchor played by Peter Finch in the brilliant 1976 movie Network.
“These networks are geared towards catastrophe, towards a 9/11 – that’s when 24 hours of news serves a purpose,” Stewart later said. “But without that they turn the banal into the urgent, so they have to ratchet everything up.”
Stewart held a longstanding rivalry with Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly, with whom he regularly clashed on social and political issues. O’Reilly, whose show presents the news from a right-wing perspective, attacked Stewart and his viewers most scathingly during the 2004 presidential election, when he said: “You know what’s really frightening? You actually have an in uence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it’s true. You’ve got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote.” Nielsen Media Research quickly reported that The Daily Show’s audience was far more likely to have completed four years of college than O’Reilly’s fans.
“He’s either the funniest smart guy on TV, or the smartest funnyman,” said Cross re’s Belaga, in response to one of Stewart’s detractors’ biggest criticisms: that he puts forward meaty political points while simultaneously hiding behind his satirist’s pen. Nevertheless, The Daily Show raked in millions of followers from Stewart’s reign. Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, saw its shares drop to the tune of $350 million upon Stewart’s resignation announcement. The show pulls in around