Political scientists Jody Baumgartner and Jonathan S. Morris of East Carolina University worry that the comedic stylings of Jon Stewart are hurting democracy. In a rigorously controlled experiment comparing watching Stewart's coverage of the 2004 presidential candidates (I've forgotten who they were, undoubtedly from watching too much Jon Stewart) with CBS's, they found young Stewart watchers
rated both candidates more negatively….Participants also expressed less trust in the electoral system and more cynical views of the news media, according to the researchers' article, in the latest issue of American Politics Research.
While this part of the chain of reasoning was not tested, they seem to believe this could lead to further diminution of already very low voter turnout among college students.
Me yakking about the lighter side of not voting back in 2004.