It was 17 years ago that the 24/7 news cycle got into full swing. As cable news was born so was the brilliant political satire of a program called The Daily Show. Originally hosted by Craig Kilborn, the show followed the news. “I think that when we launched the show, the media was a very different place. It was only CNN,” said a creator of The Daily Show, Lizz Winstead. At night all the other networks had these “crazy newsmagazine shows that were just terrifying people.”
According to polling by the Pew Research Center, one in ten Americans gets their news from comedy programs like The Daily Show. “I always hear those polls and I kind of don’t believe them because I don’t know how you would enjoy The Daily Show if you didn’t knowing the information that was out in the world,” Winstead said. But perhaps so many young people tune in is “because comedians are a little bit more skeptical. They don’t have the parameters” that real newscasters have.
“The best thing that one can do is to push it as far as you can, but when you do that, know that you have to back it up,” Winstead said. “And the second that something passes your lips you no longer own it: everyone else gets to interpret it.”