By Ayse Hunt
Jon Stewart from “The Daily Show” did an interview with CNN’s Christine Amanpour prior to Tuesday’s Midterm election to discuss his opinions. When faced with the question “Did you vote?” the talk show host surprisingly replied with a simple “No.”
When Amanpour inquired further, Stewart said, “I just moved. I don’t know even where my thing is now.” You can watch the interview for yourself here
This comment understandably raised a few eyebrows, as a large part of Stewart’s satire-heavy show relies on his outspoken opinions about politics. Amongst a sea of celebrities who took to their Twitter and Instagram feeds to encourage their fans to vote in the Midterm elections, Stewart’s comment stood out.
During his live broadcast of “The Daily Show” on election night, Stewart clarified his intentions. Amongst laughter from the audience after a clip of his CNN interview was played, he said, “Let me explain something—I’ve known where my thing is since I was thirteen.” He continued, “To set the record straight, I did vote today and I do know where my thing is. I was being flip, and it kind of took off, and you know what, I want to apologize because I shouldn’t be flip about that…because I think it sent a message that I don’t think voting is important…”
Despite his apology, I don’t think that this miscommunication will fade too quickly from the mind of the public and “Daily Show” viewers. The dismal voter turnout that the U.S. has become notorious for, especially in Midterm elections, has become a looming threat to the efficacy of our democracy. Though Stewart’s joke couldn’t have really come at a worse time, it is heartening to see the countless media outlets that picked up the story and the general consensus that voting in the Midterm elections are an extremely important duty. Most opinion articles that I saw felt that Stewart was sending the wrong message to potential voters everywhere.
While Stewart was held accountable for his comment on his abstention, the vast majority of Americans who did not vote in the Midterm election are not. Even though this election is over, it is important that we continue to reinforce the idea that not voting is not cool, because if I’ve learned anything thus far in AP Gov, it’s that without intensity in belief and mobilization from the masses, change cannot happen.