The Young Turks


in Films and movies, Geek stuff, Internet matters, Politics

When Jon Stewart interviewed former president Jimmy Carter recently, the topic of Stewart’s upcoming ‘Rally to Restore Sanity‘ arose. Carter commented that Stewart was now becoming involved in politics. At the same time, fellow comedian Stephen Colbert testified before a congressional committee.

At the same time as Stewart and Colbert are moving in new directions, a new satirical news source has emerged. The Young Turks is a website and media show sponsored by Sirius Satellite Radio. It has a kind of unpolished authenticity, lacking the production values of Stewart and Colbert’s offerings. It skews younger and edgier, and the website will start playing a Sirius Satellite stream if you leave it alone too long.

Many young people who I know don’t own televisions, and watch only Stewart and Colbert as video news sources. I am not sure how to feel about that, all in all. Neither seems too partisan, in the end. They mock Obama and Democrats about as much as Republicans. At the same time, perhaps it is worrisome that people (myself included) only absorb American news by means of a couple of spoof shows. There is a risk of fostering confirmation bias, and of developing a distorted sense of what political figures stand for and how influential they are.

On the other hand, most people I know also get a lot of print news from online sources (and sometimes even old school printed newspapers). Stewart and Colbert make intelligent arguments in clever ways, and don’t usually seem to misrepresent people too egregiously. Also, watching those shows helps people stay in touch with the general state of discussion about American politics, which probably resides more on television than online, at least for those who aren’t part of the tech-savvy subset of news consumers.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tristan September 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm

The rally to restore sanity is important precisely because it will give us a sense of how strong the Stewart moderates are.

As for “confirmation bias” – there is a huge confirmation bias contained in the assumption that you can find out what the public conversation is by checking media and print sources. Overwhelming public opinion includes opinions like “the government is run by a small elite primarily for themselves and their friends”, but you won’t find discussions about the overwhelming corruption and moral degeneration of the system in mainstream press – or even with moderate critics like Stewart.

Matt September 27, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I hate the Young Turks. I don’t know if I can articulate all the reasons.

I wouldn’t call them edgy. They give a few seconds of a news clip and then endlessly and unintelligently give their unimportant opinions of said clip. Seems like everyone has a Youtube show these days and theirs is fairly popular; Still, I’ve got to wonder why anyone cares what those idiots have to say.

Tristan September 27, 2010 at 11:57 pm

“It’s just filler. That’s all liberalism is, it’s just filler.”

Tristan September 28, 2010 at 12:07 am

Sorry, that last remark was meant to be a quotation from my roommate.

sean April 30, 2012 at 12:44 am

i kind of want to talk to you i got really misguided for a long time in the political spectrum all i got to say is “DON”T LISTEN TO ANY COMEDIANS” they are all nuts they are brainwashing people with comedy
that’s why jon stewart is riding on the coattails of colbert he’s kinda a wannabe that pretends he was there first
every issue someone talks about i want you to get to THE BOTTOM OF IT
you seem like a good person i don’t want them to twist your emotions
because that’s what the liberal or conservative propaganda machines can do
honestly i side more with the conservatives because they have alot less TV SHOWBIZ guys on their side and conservative radio hosts are more intellectual than maher and those clowns
whenever someone talks about something do not take their word do your own research and never be afraid to break speech codes aka POLITICAL CORRECTNESS which is a complete and utter joke in today’s internet society
wow i never even looked at the date on this but saving someone’s mind from a life of ignorance is never too late
they are crazy people in the media biz i know this and all they want is a bunch of mindless drones who kiss the ground they walk on
don’t ever listen to famous people who speak about politics they are PAID OFF
that’s why 90 percent of hollywood is in the pocket of the D party
they know how to manipulate your minds they do it in movies all the time they get you to LOVE THEM
he’s just a democratic master of propaganda but he is the anti Limbaugh the more i look at him like some bizzarro world version
he doesn’t ever do fair debates instead he invites guests on his show so his team of writers can think of millions of things stewart can say to hurt the guest whether jon feels like it or not
his show is terrible i imagine all the young minds that fell for his brainwashing hook line and sinker
he can appeal to the young audiences in ways the conservatives can’t
he can act trendy funny and like a cool nice guy but i don’t think i want to meet him in person he’s just a master manipulator

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