The Daily Show segment on Colorado recall election glosses over reality
Senate President John Morse announces Democrats' gun control proposals at the Capitol in February.
DENVER — It’s said that many millennials are increasingly relying on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for their news.
If that’s the case, Jon Stewart’s audience Monday night got an amusing but absurdly misleading four-minute segment on the Colorado recall elections — now two months old — that saw two Democrats ousted from office over their support for gun control measures earlier this year.
In the segment, one of the ousted lawmakers, former Democratic Sen. John Morse explains the laws to “correspondent” Jason Jones, who then cites polling — real polling, actually — showing public approval of three of the laws passed by Democrats, including expanded background checks and a ban on high capacity magazines.
From there, Jones “hit the streets of Denver to find out what the hell happened” — as in, how could a state that supports the laws have ousted Morse and Sen. Angela Giron from office in September?
Jones asks a number of people if they support the laws.
They mostly say yes.
Then he asks them if they voted in the recall election.
They, of course, mostly say no.
Jone’s conclusion: no one voted!
Never mind that Jones was interviewing people on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver, more than 60 miles from Morse’s district in Colorado Springs.
Never mind that only registered voters in Morse’s district could vote in the Sept. 10 recall election, not any person stopped at random in Denver or anywhere else around the state.
Sadly, none of the individuals Jones interviewed, at least none whose interviews he used in the segment, seemed to understand that they weren’t eligible to vote in the recall.
Morse is then quoted, saying that “80 percent of the people didn’t show up to vote.”
He’s talking about registered voters in his district — and he’s correct (turnout in the recall election in Morse’s Senate District 11 was 21.3 percent).
But the attempt to illustrate Morse’s strong support by interviewing people in Denver, an overwhelmingly liberal urban area that’s obviously far different from more conservative Colorado Springs, is, well, laughable.
Which, for The Daily Show, is probably the point.