The Daily Show Effects Summary

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In Baumgartner and Morris’s research on the attitudinal effects of soft news programs on American public indicates that there is an increase in viewers’ cynical exhibition towards the media and an overall degradation on the evaluation of candidates. Based on the findings of Baumgartner(2002, 2003b), soft news, in comparison to traditional hard news, focuses on entertainment by composing sarcastic and satirical comments about mainstream news and politicians. In addition to his research, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, an increasingly popular soft news program in the eyes of young Americans, centralizes their attention on jokes of candidate’s caricatures and uses pre-existing stereotypes on them, which negatively inflates viewers’ evaluation on candidates on the 2004 presidential campaign (Pew Research Center, 2004a). While The Daily Show may be entertaining at the expense of the flaws in candidate’s attributes, political process, and the media, their research portrays an increase in internal efficacy, a person’s confidence in their ability to understand politics and a decrease in external efficacy, a person’s beliefs about the government’s ability in covering the needs of people Based on experimental results and the statistic information acquired from the surveys, Baumgartner and Morris conclude that soft the decline in external efficacy is associated with the process of ridiculing both the media and the electoral (Jones, 2005) while the increase in internal efficacy is associated with simplification of the political process for passively attentive public – young Americans. Thus, the Baumgartner and Morris’s hypothesis of their research – a overall decrease in evaluation of candidates (especially lesser known candidates like John Kerry in comparison to George Bush) and an increase cynicism towards the news media and the electoral process – proves that exposure
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