Biased news reports narrow teens’ views

Shows+like+%26quot%3BThe+Colbert+Report%26quot%3B+and+%26quot%3BThe+Daily+Show%26quot%3B+should+not+be+taken+seriously.+Credit%3A+Michael+Morales%2FThe+Foothill+Dragon+Press

Canela Lopez

Shows like "The Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show" should not be taken seriously. Credit: Michael Morales/The Foothill Dragon Press
Shows like “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” should not be taken seriously. Credit: Michael Morales/The Foothill Dragon Press

Adults constantly complain about the fact that too few teens are politically aware of the state of our country and the world, but quite honestly I have to disagree.

It’s not the number of adolescents that is the problem with this country’s political alertness; it is where they are getting their information on politics from.

Biased political satires like “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” are a constant source of funny, but unreliable coverage of world news. No one should expect straight facts from either show considering they are satires.

The Daily Show,” hosted by Jon Stewart, is a program on Comedy Central that covers political and world news from a Democratic, liberal perspective; that is, if all liberals were extremely sarcastic comedians. 

The Colbert Report,” hosted by Stephen Colbert, falls along the same lines as “The Daily Show,” except the fact that it is taking a more conservative, Republican stance on issues. Both shows provide hilarious insight into the world of politics and a great analysis of the basic stereotype of what each party is expected to think.

The problem is that these shows are many teens’ main resource of news. 

When taken completely seriously, statements from Jon Stewart like “Last week, North Korea publicly admitted for the first time it has nuclear weapons. The Bush administration has so far shown very little concern, as the North Korean missiles are believed only capable of reaching the Blue States,” are the reason so many kids come to their government classes with such ridiculously biased opinions.

They either do not understand that Stewart is kidding or simply do not feel the need to look at any other sources of news to clarify the information they had just received.

It is partisan views like this that lead teens to grow up to have extremely radical ideals and unwillingness to compromise with the other parties for the greater good of the country. Personally, I don’t think we need any more John Boehners or Michelle Bachmanns running around the political playing field.

I’m not at all saying that these shows are bad or completely unethical. On the contrary, “The Colbert Report” has helped me understand many different kinds of political terminology in the past. The whole concept of what a Super Pac was baffled me until Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart partnered up to create a explanatory parody of one.  

What I am saying is that if you watch shows similar to this, they cannot be your sole source of news. These shows are the SparkNotes of political news programs. They give you the general idea of the issue, but it is up to the viewers to further educate themselves and fill in the blanks that the shows didn’t cover.  

Teenagers need to make the effort to educate themselves better about politics and world events. Though it may not be a requirement on the state standards, it’s still something that is very relevant to everyone’s everyday lives. Without a politics-savvy youth, how can the U.S. possibly be expected to rank high in anything? If every teenager suddenly decided that The Colbert Report would be their only form of news, then by the year 2072 all of the U.S.’s politicians would either be extremely biased or completely sarcastic.

I’m not sure about the rest of the U.S., but I most certainly am sick and tired of hearing America’s youth quote Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert as if they’re the living Encyclopedia Britannica. It’s time for teenagers to stop SparkNoting politics, and read the book to draw their own opinions.

What do you think?