The Daily Show segment on Colorado recall election glosses over reality

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Senate President John Morse announces Democrats' gun control proposals at the Capitol in February.

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.



  • Test

    John Stewart is funny, but he’s also biased.

    Magazine limits are one of those things that ignorant people just don’t really think about while those who actually have some knowledge rightfully consider them rubbish.

    When it came to the recall elections many folks found at least one of the recently, poorly worded laws offensive.

    For example, “universal background check” sounds a lot more than “you’ll need to drive 50 miles to the dealer and run a $10 background check on your nephew or cousin if you want to let them borrow a rifle for the 2 week deer season”.

    The Democrats really dropped the ball this last season. They rushed a whole lot of poorly crafted bills through. If they had taken the time to really think about what they were doing it may have come out better for them.

    I had correspondence with Senator Kefalas. I’m not sure if he read the bills, but it was pretty clear to me he didn’t really understand the ramifications of the wording used in the bills. I still don’t think he does.

  • robert

    Restrictions like that do not apply to voting liberals. They vote wherever they want as many times as they like.

  • jjt

    Really? You are reporting on a Daily Show “report” ? Come on isn’t there some real journalism you could be doing?

  • Mark Bliton

    Being on the 16th Street Mall, I wonder of that man on the street who was asking people if they voted in the recall realized that most of them (if not all) were ineligible to vote in the recall? They needed to be residents of specific districts in Colorado Springs or Pueblo. Oh well, it garnered a couple of laughs for the low information audience.

  • Funny Guy

    Facts matter:

    Bloomberg and other outside gun-control groups spent 5 times as much money as the NRA and other pro-gun groups to keep the democrats in office. The dems still lost.

    Residents of Denver, where the daily show interviewed people, could not have voted in the recall elections because the recalls were not in Denver. So, of course they did not vote.

    Denver and Boulder are, by far, the most liberal counties in Denver and the most populated. Combined, they are the B H of Colorado.

    Jon Stewart should do a satirical segment on his own ignorance and the ways he misleads people. That would be funny. But his audience wouldn’t get it. Ignorant people watch the daily show to feel smarter by laughing at what they believe is ignorant.

    But if the facts are misconstrued and what they are laughing at is not ignorant, what does this make his audience?

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