UPDATE: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is the gold standard for using the media to make a difference. By using mainstream pop culture media (comedy, no less!) he reached the most people because that’s where most people are hanging out getting their information. I call it “communication judo” — start with pop culture communication to grasp the attention of millions, and then pivot to a transformational message
Here’s a great analysis of how Jon Stewart transformed the media, and how he’ll be missed.
Among the highlights, this excerpt on how The Daily Show did its research (and how we were always left scratching our head, wondering why didn’t anyone else research this):
“In May, in response to what he saw as deliberately skewed Fox News coverage of Obama’s policies on poverty, Stewart tossed the Fox host Stuart Varney on his grill. After a shot of Varney saying Fox never criticized the ‘recipients’ of welfare, Stewart showed clip after clip of Varney disdaining the poor, saying they aren’t really poor because they own things like refrigerators and microwaves, and what they really lack is ‘a richness of spirit.’
‘If you see a boy on crutches, push him down,’ Stewart said, in his best Dickens voice, as though shouting out the window as Scrooge on Christmas morning. ‘He’s not crippled. He’s crippled at heart. He lacks a richness of legness.’ How could Fox News be so unaware of these ‘glaring contradictions,’ he said, in how their protestations of innocence were undermined by a raft of previous coverage? ‘Is it a product of lack of self-awareness, or cynicism or stupidity or evil?’ Stewart asked, clearly boggled.
Stewart then expanded the critique to include commentary on MSNBC by Mike Barnicle, who said he had never heard the poor described on Fox in terms like ‘lazy, sponges and leeches.’ ‘Well, I guess it’s time for our favorite game show: Did You Even Try to Research This?’ Stewart said, incredulous, introducing clips where Fox commentators used those exact words. Time and again, The Daily Show under Stewart embarrassed other quarters of the media as its assiduous video researchers ferreted out precise examples of hypocrisy or outright lying.”
Read the entire article by Bill Carter in The Hollywood Reporter here: How Jon Stewart Changed Media
UPDATE: All the details from The Daily Show’s finale here, at hollywoodreporter.com