"Stoned slackers" unite behind their leader

Published September 27, 2004 10:50PM (EDT)

Baobabs College Labs Project, a new Web site focused on helping student organizers get out the college vote in swing states, has taken note of the big influence that TV icon Jon Stewart has on the nation's couch surfers. With "Dear Jon Stewart" they're hoping to convince the host of "The Daily Show" to back John Kerry officially for the White House, and thereby rally even more of the young and the restless on Nov. 2. A smattering of the petition's, um, comedic appeals thus far:

"Dear Jon

"If George Bush wins, there won't be much to laugh about in the next four years."

"Please tell me you aren't stupid enough to endorse Kerry!!"

"Truth be told, your job manufacturing humor will be a lot more difficult if Bush is out of the White House. But hey, if Kerry is elected, you can always make fun of his hair."

"If Howard Stern has the 'matzah balls' to support Kerry, certainly you can lend your support and your voice. "

Meanwhile, the AP reported today that Stewart's crew at Comedy Central has gotten more serious about a rift with Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly. "You know what's really frightening?" O'Reilly teased Stewart when the comedian appeared on O'Reilly's show recently. "You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it's true. You've got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote."

The Comedy Central folks knew O'Reilly was poking fun, but they decided to do a little research anyway, and found that viewers of "The Daily Show" are more likely to have completed four years of college than people who watch "The O'Reilly Factor," according to Nielsen Media Research.

Stewart, adds the AP, weighed in on O'Reilly's "stoned slackers" bit with this: "This election is going to rely on the undecided. And who is more undecided than stoned slackers? Ice cream or pretzels? Ice cream or pretzels? What's it going to be?"

By Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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