Pop Culture and Politics – Spotlight on Media

By definition, popular culture is “cultural activities or commercial products reflecting, suited to, or aimed at the tastes of the general masses of people.”

Pop culture entertains us, but it is also a powerful influence on the clothes we wear, films we watch and even the politicians we vote for.

Democrats, republicans and independents are aware of pop culture and, at times, may base their judgment or solidify their opinion on an issue depending on what an idolized celebrity believes or endorses. This is especially true when a private figure may lack knowledge in a newsworthy or political subject.

On Feb. 27, former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart made a surprise visit on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert. Stewart mocked the media’s “break up” with President Donald Trump after CNN, the New York Times, Politico, the Los Angeles Times and Buzzfeed were banned from a White House briefing on Feb. 24.

“So you agree with me that Trump banning any members of the press is un-American?” Colbert asked.

Ohhh, it’s un-American not to like the press!” Stewart said mockingly. “You know what I say? I say stop your whining, press!”

Stewart then looked directly into the camera and preached to the media to get their act together. He told them to stop defending “Donny” and that 70-year-old men don’t get less racist as time passes.

“It is time for you to get your groove back, media,” Stewart said.

He concluded his sarcastic-filled speech with a cut to the heart of the media.

“Here’s my point,” Stewart said. “This breakup with Donald Trump has given you, the media, an amazing opportunity for self-reflection and improvement. Instead of worrying about whether Trump is un-American, or if he thinks you’re the enemy, or if he’s being mean to you, or if he’s going to let you go back into the briefings, do something for yourself. Self-improvement! Take up a hobby. I recommend journalism.”

Stewart’s advice to the media has accumulated nearly 5.9 million views on YouTube. And according to Tvbythenumbers, CBS’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert averages about 2.98 million viewers an episode, ages 18 to 49.

The opinions of comedian talk show hosts, like Stewart and Colbert impact our perspective on politics and media while influencing masses of people across the country.

In what way has pop culture influenced your views on government?

-JL Smith

Photograph source: Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart reunite on CBS’s “The Late Show” on Monday. (Richard Boeth/CBS) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/02/28/jon-stewart-joins-stephen-colbert-to-mock-the-medias-breakup-with-trump/?utm_term=.cf69054795b1

2 thoughts on “Pop Culture and Politics – Spotlight on Media

  1. I loved that you left this post open with a comment! Really engaging with your readers (or, potentially engaging with them) in a way that I haven’t seen anyone else in class do. Pop culture definitely influences my view on politics because they provide analysis on political issues and events, but I appreciate the analysis.


  2. I enjoy when the late night comedians poke fun at Trump. I was offended when he said there’s fake news out there, meanwhile Kellyanne Conway is out there saying there’s “alternative facts”. In my mind how is there fake news, while the President’s counselor is spewing alternative facts and when journalists are doing their job to get the truth out in interviews, she finds a way to mix up words and get out of the corner.

    The comedians bring a perspective on what’s going on in our country, and I applaud them for doing so. I wish we could’ve written in Kimmel for vice president.


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