The headline is real, as published in today’s New York Post. It sure is getting harder and harder to tell what is parody and what is real where the far left is concerned these days…
(ABOVE: Bad John Stewart! Bad!)
Hillary Clinton’s defenders will never stop making excuses for why she lost in 2016: It was Matt Lauer! It was James Comey! It was men being sexist! It was women being sexist! It was voter suppression! It was Citizens United! It was fake news! It was WikiLeaks! It was Facebook! It was the Russians!
Today, a new excuse: It was Jon Stewart!
In the middle of last week, Huma Abedin must have bustled over to Hillary’s place with a lovingly bound copy of the latest in cutting-edge academic research, a report that says Jon Stewart’s retirement is ACKSHULLY the reason Donald Trump won. We’ll all be able to hear more about this in Frau Pantsuit’s next memoir, “7,573 Other Reasons I Lost That Totally Were Not My Fault, You Ungrateful Pissants.”
The latest in cutting-edge political science/flat-earth theory is that after Stewart quit hosting a comedy show for liberals, the advantage swung to Trump because Democrats forgot there was an election or something.
Proving that the nation’s professoriate is even more obtuse than you would have suspected, Ethan Porter of George Washington University and Thomas J. Wood of Ohio State University note that when Stewart departed “The Daily Show,” ratings sank. “The transition at ‘The Daily Show’ spurred a 1.1% increase in Trump’s county-level vote share,” they claim in their paper, “Did Jon Stewart Elect Donald Trump? Evidence From Television Ratings Data” published in the journal Electoral Studies.
Hang on, “spurred”? Maybe go with “coincided with”? Correlation does not prove causation. If I happen to place my foot on a crumbly bit of sidewalk on the same day your mother suffers an unfortunate fracture in the vertebral column, it does not actually prove that stepping on a crack broke your mama’s back. Show me the mechanism by which my walking habits in New York caused spinal distress to Louise in Boca Raton, otherwise I’m not impressed.
Detecting polling movement of 1.1% may sound like a modest, defensible claim, but it is a massive number for a presidential election in which Trump won Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin by less than 1%. Reduce Trump’s share of the vote by one point and the “For Rent” sign goes back up on the Lincoln Bedroom, Sean Hannity starts having mysterious IRS problems and Cosmopolitan begins running regular cover stories on why cankles are sexy.
But how big of an influence could Stewart have been, considering the average audience for his top-10 most-watched episodes of “The Daily Show” was less than 3 million people — not even 1% of the population and not all of them of voting age?
Anyway, under Stewart’s successor, Trevor Noah, the new “Daily Show” only sank about 30% in the ratings (before it ticked up after that).
“Everyone who loves what America was and could be again should read this book.”
**MR. DIAZ’S REVENGE**
A teacher on the brink. A father and military combat veteran seeking justice.
Their paths are about to cross and their lives will never be the same…
So losing Stewart cost “The Daily Show” not even 1 million viewers per night in a country with 300 million citizens.
I’m kinda skeptical that Stewart’s Obama-worshipping audience suddenly lost interest in turning up to vote because they could no longer watch Stewart make mock-horrified faces at out-of-context sound bites. Anyway, it’s not like there was no place for liberals to turn to for late-night comedy; after Stewart retired, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers and “SNL” carried on with his tactics, Stephen Colbert’s audience grew and Stewart fans stampeded over to watch John Oliver on HBO on Sunday nights. Stewart may be gone, but Stewart-ism is bigger than ever.
I suppose next week we’ll be hearing that Hillary lost because so many of her voters went to the movies on election night to catch “Boo! A Madea Halloween.”
How long will it take academia and the pundit class to learn that dropped objects fall to earth, water is wet and Hillary Clinton’s biggest problem was Hillary Clinton? She’s a horrible politician, as corrupt as a medieval warlord and as cuddly as a leprotic armadillo.
As Dennis Miller puts it in his special “Fake News, Real Jokes,” “They could have passed out a big sheet of paper that had two boxes on it, one that said ‘Hillary’ and one that said ‘not Hillary,’ and I was gonna put my X in the ‘not-Hillary’ box, OK?”
Kyle Smith is critic-at-large for National Review.