Young Professionals Jon Stewart during a taping of "The Daily Show with John Stewart", in New York. (AP File Photo)

Jon Stewart during a taping of "The Daily Show with John Stewart", in New York. (AP File Photo)

Will ‘The Daily Show’ help turn YPs off of the Affordable Care Act?

Published on October 31st, 2013 | by Josh Hafner

Young people are more critical to the success of the Affordable Care Act than any other age group, the same young people who make up the biggest chunk of “The Daily Show” audience.

Will the Daily Show’s critical coverage of the hobbled ACA rollout turn off those the law most needs as participants? NPR TV critic Eric Deggans asked the question this week:

And so the fact that The Daily Show — I loved a Daily Show segment, I think on Monday, where they showed the person who’s pictured on [] as sort of hanging in despair. She had hung herself because things were so bad. So when you have stuff like that going on on The Daily Show, it might make people less likely to take the [Affordable Care Act] itself seriously …

As much as I love the The Daily Show and The Colbert Report — they do wonderful work — I’m afraid that young viewers will get the sense that the only way they can consume news is when it’s entertaining, when it sings and dances or makes them laugh. And you want people to be able to focus in on news when it’s substantive and when it’s about something that’s important in their lives. So that’s the one concern I have.

According to a poll last year by the Pew Research Center, TV viewers ages 18-29 make up 43 percent of “The Daily Show” audience, more than any other age group.

See how young people in Iowa are approaching the Affordable Care Act and find out the seven key facts millennials most need to know in this week’s Juice.


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About the Author

covers young professionals for The Des Moines Register. Josh can be reached at or on Twitter via @joshhafner.

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