The overhyped reaction to Jon Stewart’s departure

The overhyped reaction to Jon Stewart’s departure

I don’t watch “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” In fact, I don’t watch any late-night television. Stewart’s announcement that he’ll leave “The Daily Show” after 16 years is not, for me personally, a big deal. So I felt a little left out as the media churned out ode after ode to Stewart.

But — I’m sorry to be the skunk at the garden party — “The Daily Show” always had limited appeal; it just happens that the appeal included the New York media elite.

Stewart largely appeals to wealthy and well-educated liberals — a small slice of the overall news audience.

  • According to a 2012 Pew Research Center study, 14 percent of Stewart’s audience self-identified as conservative and 43 percent as liberal. Pew found that, overall, the news audience was 35 percent conservative and 22 percent liberal. In fact, “The Daily Show,” The New York Times and The New Yorker were the only media outlets outside of MSNBC for which a plurality of the audience self-identified as liberal.
  • Pew also found that just 25 percent of all news consumers had at least a college degree, but “The Daily Show” was the only television news show for which more than 40 percent of the viewers had at least a college education. Most readers of The Times and The New Yorker also had one.

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