June 9th, 2009
12:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Daily Show creator says influence exaggerated

'Daily Show' viewers must be getting significant information from other sources, 'because if you didn't follow the news, you wouldn't get the jokes,' Winstead told CNN.com in an interview.
'Daily Show' viewers must be getting significant information from other sources, 'because if you didn't follow the news, you wouldn't get the jokes,' Winstead told CNN.com in an interview.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - While acknowledging its influence, a creator of the popular television program "The Daily Show" told CNN Radio Tuesday that she does not buy the widespread belief that the Comedy Central talk show is the main source of news for people under the age of 35.

"I wholeheartedly reject the polls that say young people get their news from 'The Daily Show,'" Lizz Winstead told Lisa Desjardins and Mark Preston in the interview streamed on CNN.com.

The comedian said it is her belief that younger "Daily Show" viewers must be getting significant information from other sources, "because if you didn't follow the news, you wouldn't get the jokes."

Winstead, a co-creator of the show that features Jon Stewart, currently produces and stars in a spoof of morning news called, "Wake Up World," which airs on the Internet.

Main source of news or not, Winstead said she believes that "The Daily Show" thrives because of doubts by viewers about the reporting from news organizations.

"If (viewers) didn't feel so disappointed in mainstream media, they wouldn't be flocking so much to "The Daily Show" and ("The Colbert Report")," she said. "And those shows are asking tougher questions sometimes than we see on our shows or read in our papers."


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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Sam

    Biggest source of news for people under 35?

    Yep it's true!

    The idiots that voted for Obama get their news from a comedy show!

    June 9, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. ken

    Main source of news or not, Winstead said she believes that "The Daily Show" thrives because of doubts by viewers about the reporting from news organizations. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Talk about truth for the first time, someone said it!

    June 9, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Lori reminds the GOP that they STILL are only 21% of the American population!

    I love John Stewart and Steven Colbert. They remind us of the ignorance and arrogance of the conservatives in this country. A lot of young people (who are overwhelmingly Democrats) watch those shows to confirm what they already know and to get a good laugh. And just like Fox News- Steven Colbert and John Stewart are comedians.

    June 9, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. the southern progressive

    thank goodness for the daily show.. this country needs a counter-balance to fox news.. one left political comedy show for one right political comedy show..... oh.. whats that, fox isnt meant to be comedic.. ahhhhh.. well then,,, john stewart just rocks.

    btw.. if anyone watches the daily show, they would know that they hold nothing back when doing bits on politics, doesnt matter if they are dem or rep.. back in 2004, john had a heydey with sen john kerry, trust me, it was funny, but that is what john does best, makes people laugh and think at the same time.

    June 9, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Alice in Wonderland

    Jon is not the first source of news for people under 35 – he is the only TRUSTED source of news. The 24 hour cycle has degenerated meaningful news into extreme versions of opposition on topics that mean absolutely nothing.

    I mean you have Nancy Grace doing a half hour everyday on Caley years after the murder – how meaningless is that? Take all the half hours she blew and figure how many children died of preventable causes – if Nancy had spent half that time feeding malnourished children in Africa thousands of children would be living right now.

    Fox, MSNBC, and also CNN have become a carnival side show and the only way to make sense of it is to watch a satirist.

    June 9, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. ChristianH

    I hate to disagree, but The Daily Show has become more influential than most of the cable news channels on the 18 to 34 demographic.

    June 9, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. young conservative from NJ is win

    Being a college student, I can tell you that this is the closest thing to the news that most of my dormmates watched/read.

    It's sad really.

    June 9, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. democrat no mas(Independant now)

    I'm not at all shocked by this revelation. Every time I talk with my b-in-law (age 61) he falls back on news he heard on "The Daily Show".
    This appears to be his sole source of information gathering. I expect this nonsense from some of the younger crowd, because we did the same in our own way many years ago. With this level of backgrounding, these folks are adamant about how to fix healthcare, etc. If life is so clearcut and easy to figure out, why don't we all just work for ourselves and be rich? Kinda like explaining to people how to raise kids before you have your own.

    June 9, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Sam

    I started following politics and the news because of the Daily Show. Young people want to see someone who is a) funny and b) has political views that appeal to them. Jon Stewart is that.

    June 9, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Pat F

    I pray to GOD that she is right. Jon Stewart is a certified ignoramus.

    If you doubt that, check out the youtube video in which he opines about the Second World War and the bombs dropped on Japan. He is not fit to be a primary news source for anyone.

    June 9, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Cue the hate-filled responses

    The dumbing down of America continues. Ofcourse it's the main source of information for those under 30...we are talking about a generation of people who haven't had to work for anything their entire life. Just sit around and wait for someone else to take care of them. They don't read newspapers...they depend on Blogs to get their information...most are too ignorant to understand that Blogs are opinions and not facts.

    June 9, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. Jt

    Jon Stewart is the conscious and common sense of news.

    June 9, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |