It’s the day after the midterm elections, and the Republicans hold the majority in the House (239 seats), while the Democrats and two independents who caucus with the Democrats hold the majority in the Senate (51 seats).
In between monitoring the election on Twitter and Google last night, I watched clips from Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” and Stephen Colbert’s rather ironic “March to Keep Fear Alive.” Both Stewart and Colbert use humor and a twist of controversy to capture the attention of Americans (particularly those in the 18-25 range) nationwide.
From a PR standpoint, I cannot help but admire the brand they created for themselves. Stewart’s Indecision 2010 campaign, not only pokes fun at politicians, but it satirizes the media’s overused rhetoric as well as the divide among Americans as a whole.
In an article on ABC’s Web site, Media and Society Professor Richard Wald of Columbia University said,
“Where Stewart is different is he places politics squarely at the center of all his comedy, and new forms of communications help him spread his laughs. Stewart’s edge is that he not only has cable TV … but YouTube and Twitter and the Internet, so that he gets to reach an ever wider audience,”
The irony is that Stewart and Colbert find humor in the 24/7 news cycle, and the polarization it has created throughout the country. Democrats and Republicans are constantly competing on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and various other niche communities on the web. However, at the same time, it is this new media, especially Youtube, Internet news and blogs, that keep the momentum going for the Stewart/Colbert duo.