Stoned but Smart

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Irked by Bill O'Reilly's jabs at the "stoned slackers" who watch The Daily Show, Comedy Central cites data indicating that Jon Stewart's fans are better-educated (and, by implication, smarter) than O'Reilly's. When Stewart appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, the Anti-Spinner remarked: "You know what's really frightening? You actually have an influence 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."

Stewart, who reportedly was taken aback (I didn't see the interview), himself often makes similar jokes about his audience, but I guess it's different when an outsider says it. Or maybe it was the way O'Reilly said it.

Stewart subsequently recovered his sense of humor. "This election is going to rely on the undecided," he told an A.P. reporter. "And who is more undecided than stoned slackers? Ice cream or pretzels? Ice cream or pretzels? What's it going to be?"

[Thanks to Jeff Patterson for the link.]

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  1. Alas, Stewart’s appealing cynicism about everyone involved in politics has, over the past months, morphed into something else. Not exactly support for Kerry, but certainly an ‘anybody but Bush’ stance.

    His initial take on the forged-memos story was fairly disappointing. One would think he’d love the chance to tweak Rather’s nose, but he initially spun it as an anti-Republican thing.

    I think I liked him better when I could count on him to sneer at everyone and everything. Lord knows the Democrats have done any number of sneer-worthy things in the past months. But instead, he echoes dubious Democrat positions uncritically, and the show is weaker for it.

    Still, perhaps I’m just a stoned slacker; I get all my news from TDS and, uh, Reason.

  2. Mmmmm, ice cream…

  3. Actually, isildur, I think Stewart does a remarkable job of balance, both in his guests and his humor.

    I think some people forget that the Republicans currently have the House, Senate, and White House, which means that they should both expect to be the butt of jokes (just as Clinton was), and at the same time be a little more thick-skinned about it.

    Or as Stewart himself said (paraphrasing) “The party that controls the entire government is proclaiming ‘We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore'”

  4. Stewart on Kerry: “Why is it that John Kerry sounds like more of a dick telling the truth than George Bush does when he’s lying?”

    Droning Kerry voice, “Noooo. Nooooo. Stop. Noooooo.”

  5. “The party that controls the entire government is proclaiming ‘We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore'”

    Of course, the republicans haven’t had enough time to change the effects of decades of democratic rule…therefore, there’s still plenty left for them to be mad as hell at.

    If the LP were voted into a majority in Congress in November, do you think they’d give up on their agenda to reform and reduce governmental influence just because they were suddenly in power?

  6. db,

    If their idea of undoing the effects of Democratic misrule is to run the deficit up to $400 billion and pass a bankrupting “prescription drug benefit” for the rich, I hate to think what they’ll have accomplished when they get done.

    And their interventionist foreign policy agenda was *created* by Democrats like FDR and Truman. Foreign policy activism is something the New Right inherited from Cold War Liberals.

    I hate to break it to you, but the circles around Bush are what Irving Kristol proudly calls “big government conservatives.” Pierce the veil of their “free market” rhetoric, and what you’ll find is corporate welfare and crony capitalism.

  7. Of course, the republicans haven’t had enough time to change the effects of decades of democratic rule…therefore, there’s still plenty left for them to be mad as hell at.

    They let the ’94 AWB lapse. That’s a start.

  8. “So if Stewart’s audience is comprised of stoned slackers, how would you [Herzog] describe O’Reilly’s audience?”

    in need of a daddy.

  9. Kevin Carson:

    I’m not apologizing for what the Republicans have done to increase the size of the government. But I think it’s invalid to imply that it’s improper for a political party to drop its quest to enact its agenda when that agenda relies on undoing decades worth of work (some would say damage) done by the opposing party.

    The fact that the ’00s Republicans seem to have done a pretty good job of forgetting their principles doesn’t affect my opposition to the hypocrisy contained in the idea that attaining power immediately ends the struggle for an ideal.

    Such a statement is more cynical than even I care to support.

  10. Let’s see here. In the last 50 years we’ve had Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I & II versus Kennedy, Johnson, Carter & Clinton.

    Yep, that’s decades of Democrats screwing things up. Maybe we ought to just turn it over to the R’s and forget about elections.

  11. Gadfly,

    Though I have no particular opinion about who screwed what up (except, perhaps, that they ALL screwed EVERYTHING up), it’s disingenuous to start your count of presidents at Eisenhower.

    Any discussion of who-screwed-up has to start with FDR, at least. One does not serve three and a half terms as President without shaping the political and policy landscape pretty significantly.

  12. Gadfly,

    Don’t forget that most of those Republican presidents were sharing the government with a Democratic Congress.

    It takes a President to sign all those bills into law and approve regulations (if he’s paying attention to what happens in the bloated Executive branch), so the Republicans certainly share some of the blame for the oversized mess our federal government has become, but don’t forget that the Democrats, having had the Congress for so long, were able to control the national agenda for a very long time.

    It’s not unreasonable for the Republicans to want to have the same controlling say in that agenda now that they’re in power.

    btw, you’ll note that I hit the Rs as hard as the Ds. I’m getting a more partisan vibe from some of the responses to my posts…

    The problem is not the Republicans or the Democrats, it’s the bloated mess they have both presided over creating.

  13. I’m 6 months away from a Ph.D in physics and I love the Daily Show!

    Then again, if you knew half of what goes on in a physics lab you might conclude that this is a negative reflection on the Daily Show…

  14. isildur writes
    Alas, Stewart’s appealing cynicism about everyone involved in politics has, over the past months, morphed into something else. Not exactly support for Kerry, but certainly an ‘anybody but Bush’ stance.

    I have to disagree. Stewart has gone completely over to the Kerry camp. The last Daily Show I watched was when John Kerry himself was the guest. When I saw how hard Stewart was salivating to lick the dingle-berries off his ass, I lost all respect for the man and his show.

  15. This doesn’t surprise me at all. Anyone thinks O’Reilly is anything but a pinhead is likely borderline retarded. The individual IQ of a random Sesame Street watcher probably towers over the average redmeat conservative media pundit fan.

  16. Funny…I pretty much have to be stoned to watch O’Reilly.

    Count me in among the well-educated DS fans…I’m defending my PhD (in neurobiology) in November.

  17. The individual IQ of a random Sesame Street watcher probably towers over the average redmeat conservative media pundit fan.

    But how would it compare to the IQ of someone who thinks that IQ is a function of age?

  18. So maybe I should have said wisdom instead of IQ. Isn’t the hallmark of such talk media blowhards – absolutist thinking and lack of nuance – considered a developmentally primitve form of thought?

  19. I’m no fan of O’Reilly, but anybody who automatically equates attending college with NOT being stoned and/or a slacker may be looking at things through rose tinted glasses.

  20. Aaron — do you now watch, or have you ever watched, O’Reilly?

  21. What about Sean Hannity? I know he’s another blowhard, but what else should I think of him? (Possible answer: Nothing.)

  22. Connect the dots…Whig Party…..Vietnam

  23. What’s strange to me is that Stewart’s response to the claim that his viewers do drugs was to say “No they don’t, they went to college!”.

    That’s like rebutting the accusation “your viewers drink beer” by saying “no they don’t, they’re all baseball fans”.

  24. Two amusing parallel quotes from Aaron:

    This one:

    Anyone thinks O’Reilly is anything but a pinhead is likely borderline retarded. The individual IQ of a random Sesame Street watcher probably towers over the average redmeat conservative media pundit fan.

    and this one:

    Isn’t [absolutist thinking and lack of nuance] considered a developmentally primitve form of thought?

    A good rule of thumb — it’s generally fine to write posts that use simplistic generalizations, but it’s usually not a good idea to do it when your thesis is that people who make simplistic generalizations are stupid.

  25. Dan, nice observation on the Aaron quotes. However, Stewart wasn’t responding to the issue of his viewers being on drugs, his network responded to the “stoned slackers” teasing by citing the data.

    I might have been stoned at times and I definitely enjoyed my slacker moments however I stayed motivated and worked hard in college, as I do in my career. Besides that, I found TDS funny as usual tonight.

  26. However, Stewart wasn’t responding to the issue of his viewers being on drugs, his network responded to the “stoned slackers” teasing by citing the data.

    I dunno, most of the potheads I know have degrees. Of course, pretty much everyone I know has a degree, so that’s not surprising.

    O’Reilly’s still full of shit, of course; I’m just saying that the data citied by Stewart doesn’t seem very relevant.

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