Video: The Daily Show fumbles its Colorado recall report. Or is the crew in on the joke?

Categories: Comedy

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The Daily Show's Jason Jones with former state senator John Morse, who lost his senate seat after a recall election.
Last night a Daily Show report by comedian Jason Jones reported on high levels of apathy among Colorado voters. Looking at statistics as well as conducting interviews on Denver's 16th Street Mall, Jones found that an overwhelming majority of people (80 percent) did not vote in last September's recall election, which snatched away the jobs of state senators John Morse of Colorado Springs and Angela Giron of Pueblo.

But there's a good reason for that low turnout: The recall elections were only held in the districts where those two politicians are from.

The program didn't make any note of that, however, making it seem as if Denver voters, who didn't have the ability to cast votes in the recall elections, were to blame. So, was the Daily Show just having some fun at Colorado's expense, or did the crew screw up? We have calls into both Comedy Central and Morse, who was interviewed by the show, to ask, and we'll update this post if we hear back.

See also: John Morse, Angelo Giron recalled: Celebrating conservatives, lamenting progressives

The recall election was inspired by this year's gun-control legislation requiring background checks for gun purchases; it also limited magazines to fifteen rounds.

"Let's say there was a politician who was being recalled for enacting very level-headed gun-control legislation, would you vote to save him?" Jones asks one woman while standing in front of the the Denver Pavilions. "Yes, I would," she responds. When Jones follows it up with "Did you?," she admits that she did not.

"When did we vote for that?" says one confused young man.

"I haven't voted for that yet," admits another. "Yet?" asks Jones. "The vote was in September."

Asking the question "So just who did show up to vote?," Jones finds one husky, anti-gun- control voter, who, while sporting a System Of A Down-style braid beard, says, "the new laws shouldn't exist. It's retarded. Who says I can't have sixteen rounds?"

"I think the NRA and the gun groups were very strategic [in this recall election]," says political analyst Jim Spencer in an interview for the bit. "All of our studies show that negative emotions motivate people more than positive emotions."

So Jones begins a scare-tactic campaign to motivate Colorado voters to the polls, by erroneously stirring up threats to take away the things we love most: football, lattes and beards.

Which would all be very funny if the show had interviewed the right people.

For more comedy commentary, follow me on Twitter at @JosiahMHesse.






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68 comments
Mary Ella
Mary Ella

It's comedy, I'm sure the facts are fudged on the majority of their reports.

Ryan Terpstra
Ryan Terpstra

Has Westword forgotten that they've asked this like 4 times? Or is it a joke?

Bob Knudsen
Bob Knudsen

Wait, John Stewart got his facts wrong?! Weird.

Sandy Cooper
Sandy Cooper

We were JUST talking about that! We were watching and going "that's not fair, he's interviewing people in Denver and we couldn't vote!" It was frustrating to watch. Funny, as always, but frustrating.

Charlene McCune
Charlene McCune

I noticed that too and posted a comment on his page... doubt if they caught it though... but if they made that mistake.. then how many more mistakes are they making? Not that it matters.. I will still watch... at least we are in their line of sight.. most of the time we are ignored...

Laura Lampley
Laura Lampley

Being one of the people interviewed, it's hard to say if it was a mistake or on purpose...they had me confused though!

Andrew Kelly
Andrew Kelly

Dont worry john:) well maybe a little..haha

Clayton Capra
Clayton Capra

it's likely statistically accurate so there's no use complaining about how many did or didn't vote.

Craig Maybell
Craig Maybell

"As far as "prevailing Beltway Establishment doctrine"- how's that working out for you? " It at least works AS INTENDED, if that is what you are concerned with, Mr. Hall. Let's get this much clear: I do not develop my overall philosophy based primarily upon previous personal experiences because unlike most individuals (particularly self-absorbed Yank arseholes), I acknowledge that the issues that affect the world at large are MUCH bigger than my own petty personal grievances. As for your assertion that you claim to be aware of the consequences of the very ideology you adhere to, you couldn't be any further from the truth. The reality is, Mr. Hall, is that Libertarians are for the most part, too self-absorbed in their so-called "principles" to be even the least bit concerned about the possible ramifications (many of which are detrimental) of applying such an ideology in practice. In fact, it is often invoked by self-proclaimed Libertarian "scholars" to claim that we should not utilized "outcome-based" arguments. It also shouldn't surprise anyone how such a clearly "immature" world view would appeal to those who come from the PRIVILEGED class (and I don't mean that strictly in monetary terms, btw, even though that is what is most represents). Also, I find it rather disingenuous for Libertarians to claim some "monopoly" upon opposition to war, given that theirs is almost STRICTLY fiscal in nature -- with virtually no concern whatsoever for the overall HUMAN toll. Quite frankly, the Libertarians would rather those resources be utilized in protecting the already privileged sectors of society by waging war against the working class, as has been the reality in this country (and other parts of the world) for the past few decades, with one of the major weapons in their own arsenal being a massive disinformation campaign to convince the majority working class to vote against their very own economic interests under the guise of "individual liberty." The reality is, Mr. Hall, is that you are extremely oblivious to the very philosophy and its core tenets -- along with the consequences of implementing them in the real world -- that you claim to hold dear to your heart. What this proves is that you're just another in a long line of DWEEBS who rely upon horse shit they "discover" upon the Interwebz as the foundation of their own personal philosophical world views. Utterly pathetic.

Renee Beauregard
Renee Beauregard

Influence does not equal news. It is opinion and comedy, not news. They use items from the news, just like SNL does. People can postulate what they like.

Rick Hall
Rick Hall

Actually, The Daily Show has been very fair, I'd say even more so than "right-wing" media outlets, in its coverage of Ron Paul. As for Rand, I'm not a fan. But that's another story. So no, my panties aren't in a bunch, as you say. And I wouldn't say that I agree with all Libertarian ideas (seeing as there are many different different ideas within that label). I'm not a Social Darwinist, I'm not a hypocrite and I'm not dogmatic in my approach to politics, as I understand that policy leads to actual real-world consequences. Butthurt? No, I'm not butthurt. DWEEB? Maybe. I suppose it depends on who you ask. As far as "prevailing Beltway Establishment doctrine"- how's that working out for you? Seems to be doing an excellent job of lining the pockets of the rich and sending the poor to war. What's there to argue with? An excellent political system like that shouldn't be criticized I suppose...

Renee Beauregard
Renee Beauregard

You can't tell me what was in my own mind, Rick Hall, but I suppose you can try if it makes you feel better. You took it that way, by choice. AND... where did I say that I came to the conclusion that no one in the world who watches that show is influenced? Maybe you commented on the wrong feed. I never said that. I said "we know it's not news."

Rick Hall
Rick Hall

You did assume something about me. And I want to know how you came to the conclusion that no one in the world who watches that show is influenced by it in regards to politics.

Craig Maybell
Craig Maybell

Another butthurt Libertarian DWEEB who gets his panties in a knot ever time the object of his affection -- the infallible Ron Paul (along with his "favoured" son, Rand) -- gets humiliated on a Comedy Central skit. Yes, it's a sad state of affairs when a COMEDY program has a better track record of journalistic integrity than any of the mainstream sources -- and much better when compared to more hard-line ideological sources (NewsMax, Cato, etc.). Speaking of which, anyone who adheres to Libertarian fantasy dogma and considers it to be a reliable, sensible alternative to the prevailing Beltway Establishment doctrine is a morAn. Clearly, they have an agenda that ultimately is the destruction of government even while they wrap themselves around in the Constitution and the eventual rise of Social Darwinism despite their purported "love of liberty." Hypocrites.

SheepleBeScared
SheepleBeScared

9 News just did a great propaganda piece illustrating how the opponents of the recall are placing fliers on doors warning people to sign 'NO' on the recall because the person asking for your signature 'may' be a criminal (ex-criminal). Is this really all they have? Fear tactics are pathetic. Even more pathetic are the people that fall for them...... 

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

Morse's district has 69,481 registered voters and only 17,845 of them voted in the recall or roughly 25 percent.  So...about 75 percent of registered voters in district 11 did not vote in the recall.  I would wager that the majority of registered voters in giron's district also did not vote.  Lack of mail-in ballots were likely a factor but probably the biggest reason is most people didn't care whether or not the politicians stayed in office.  For once, please try doing some research westword before jumping to conclusions.  Daily Show > Westword

http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2013/09/07/john-morse-recall-guns/

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/colorado-recall-election-results-state-senators-john-morse-angela-giron-ousted-over-gun-control

David Capell
David Capell

well thats not right...who introduced that? whats the point of that? i still believe in background checks though...fact remains only 20% voted and doesnt truly represent the majority

Rick Hall
Rick Hall

Yes, I endorse "Faux News"! That's exactly what I said, no assumptions in your assessment of my political leanings there.... No reading into my statement at all. Very sound argument you put up too btw....

Renee Beauregard
Renee Beauregard

"We" is those who watch the show. And I did not assume anything about you. I said "just like Fox isn't news"... it is a statement and YOU aren't in that statement.

Rick Hall
Rick Hall

Renee Beauregard: Duh, who exactly is "we" in your statement? and why do you assume I give a shit about Fox News?

steppesmusic
steppesmusic

I'm glad I wasn't the only one to notice how strangely negligent this segment was.  I'm a daily watcher of the show and love Jason Jones' segments, but this just seemed lazy.  I wrote them myself after watching last night.

Rick Hall
Rick Hall

If you are talking major networks then no it's not any different. I'm not implying that CNN, MSNBC or Fox are news in their own right. I'm simply stating that a comedy show should not be anyone's source of information on politics, as many have said is the case with Americans these days. We aren't in disagreement here.

Rebecca Repp
Rebecca Repp

Oh my gosh, that's great! I thought that I should have voted after I saw that....

Bret Egan
Bret Egan

What part of sensible is it when it's a crime in Colorado for a fire arms instructor to hand a gun with a high capacity magazine to a pupil and then it's another crime when the pupil hands the gun back to the instructor?

Nick Hike
Nick Hike

And it's different from regular "news" how?

Heaven Northrop
Heaven Northrop

At least the daily show calls everyone out on their BS!!

Heaven Northrop
Heaven Northrop

You guys screwed it up most of the people in Colorado had no choice in the recall election you were only able to vote if you lived in those counties!! Love you guys but try again!

Martin Diaz
Martin Diaz

...that's why I only get my news from TMZ.

Matt Corry
Matt Corry

So is the Fox News, CNN, CBS, MSNBC, NBC! FYI

Joey Buhrer
Joey Buhrer

Wait, they oversimplified a Colorado story into an attention-grabbing headline sure to generate controversy despite having little to do with the actual issue? Who do they think they are, Denver Westword?

Matt Corry
Matt Corry

You know it's a comedy show, and not the actual news, right?

SheepleBeScared
SheepleBeScared

@Craig Maybell Hooray for socialist authoritarian regimes!!! Slavery = Cool. Freedom = Bad. Signed, Pathetic excuse for an American....

cafinner1
cafinner1

@GuestWho I'm guessing you didn't watch the segment and therefore didn't see Jones interviewing people in Denver about why the didn't vote.  Would have made more sense to question the people in those two counties so you wouldn't be on here trying to guess their intentions for them.  The Daily Show got it wrong.  Deal with it.

Josiah.Hesse
Josiah.Hesse

That was the point of this article. You basically just repeated what we said.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@cafinner1    Nope, didn't watch it but there are 2.8 million registered voters in the state and only around 52k voted in the recall so over 98 percent of voters in Colorado did not vote in the recall.   Lame blog post about a lame and obvious daily show joke. 

phxmark86
phxmark86

@yodownmuthalicka @SheepleBeScared Even your screen name is street. I bet you are the toughest guy on this mesaage board. Which of course gives the most right to free speech. You're even more pathetic than your buddy. Asshole windbag. Ill be checking in on you dickhead. 

phxmark86
phxmark86

@yodownmuthalicka @SheepleBeScared Fucking loud mouthed vile windbag. All puffed up siting at home on your keyboard thinking you can tell me how to speak by pretending to be street. What have you got to say for yourself? I am not one bit surprised. You should be ashamed of yourself, tough guy.

phxmark86
phxmark86

@yodownmuthalicka @SheepleBeScared And human garbage such as yourself still thinks they have the right to tell people what they can and can't say with threats of violence. Im going to let all you comment to know what a vile piece of shit you are. You call me a coward? Whqat a joke.

"Anonymity is your friend here, dude, b/c your words would equal missing teeth if these words were spoken in person. Greg and I would put you upside down in a trash can and piss on you if you had the balls to actually claim these words. Coward." 

This is assholes attempt to silence me. Im coming to Denver and want my chance to teach this punk how things work in the real world and know he ignores me. Coward indeed. You are spineless human garbage. You've made it very clear what type of trash you are. Who is the coward, hard ass?

cafinner1
cafinner1

@GuestWho Wow!  You are truly clueless.  Only two counties in the entire state of Colorado were allowed to vote in the recall election meaning that the vast majority of the state was not. 

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