The Colbert-Stewart Political Breakdown

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A new poll by the Harvard Institute of Politics says that young people are split between Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart along party lines.

ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

So, what about politics? Who do young people turn to for that?

(Soundbite of birds squawking)

Mr. STEPHEN COLBERT (TV Host): Tonight, Hillary Clinton wins the Pennsylvania primary.

(Soundbite of applause)

Mr. COLBERT: I can't wait to see where she grew up in Indiana.

SEABROOK: Stephen Colbert and his show, "The Colbert Report." That and...

Mr. JON STEWART (TV Host): For those of us who never got to know Karl Rove -mostly because he refused to answer any of the public's questions - who...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. STEWART: ...was he?

SEABROOK: ..."The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Both shows are on Comedy Central. According to a recent poll of young Americans between 18 and 24, an astonishing 84 percent of them know the two political comedians.

Harvard's Institute of Politics conducted the poll. Those who identified themselves as Democrats were more likely to watch Jon Stewart. And here's the fascinating part: young Republicans were much more likely to watch Stephen Colbert. That, even though his entire shtick mocks conservative commentators, like Bill O'Reilly of Fox News.

Here's Colbert being interviewed by O'Reilly last year.

Mr. BILL O'REILLY (TV Host): Now, what is it exactly that you do on your program?

Mr. COLBERT: Well, what I do, Bill, is I catch the world in the headlights of my justice, okay?

Mr. O'REILLY: Your justice?

Mr. COLBERT: I shine my light...

Mr. O'REILLY: Right.

Mr. COLBERT: Okay? I shine my light no matter where that light takes me, okay? I'm not afraid of anything, okay? I emulate you...

Mr. O'REILLY: Yeah.

Mr. COLBERT: ...and I want to bring your message of love and peace, which I understand that is your message.

Mr. O'REILLY: It is.

Mr. COLBERT: I want to bring the message of love and peace to a younger audience. People in their 60s, people in their 50s. People who don't watch your show.

Mr. O'REILLY: Okay. So...

SEABROOK: Stephen Colbert on Fox News.

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