Letters to the editor

Would the real Stephen Colbert please stand up?

Dear editor:

I respect your right to vote. In fact, you should vote! I just hope you know why you chose your candidate. What does Stephen Colbert really stand for? I certainly don’t know because he plays a character on his Comedy Central TV show. Stephen Colbert, the character and not the person, is running for office. He hasn’t even put out a platform, unless you count the zesty, delicious satisfaction that comes from a bag of Doritos.

Why not vote for Colbert? If you vote for Stephen Colbert, you are voting for someone who doesn’t exist. I can relate to the sentiment that no candidate is completely appealing. If I could elect my ideal candidate, I would. But the fact is that not everyone will be satisfied with the pool of candidates. The job of voters is to decipher what is important to them and find a real candidate, someone who has actually said what he or she believes in. Find a candidate who has stated what goals and direction for the country he or she has. If you can’t find that candidate on the ticket, I’m sorry. But there is no golden ticket in politics.

I respect that Colbert might energize 18-24 year old voters. I respect that he might be pointing out flaws in the system. However, don’t forget that he and the network are benefiting from increased ratings and corporate sponsorship for his show.

I’m not saying that you cannot vote for him. Just remember, he doesn’t exist, at least not until the real Stephen Colbert stands up and speaks about the issues, the election and this country. Until then, as hilarious as he may be, he is only a fictional character.

Hillary Lovell

Senior political science major

Colbert should be taken seriously as a candidate

Dear editor:

This is in response to Monday’s editorial in the Stater. It is quite interesting that the editorial board of a “traditional” media outlet takes it upon itself to tell students what to think in today’s highly contested, however manipulated, political arena. Somewhat contrary to their intent, the Stater’s editors offer (a) their very own form of manipulation and (b) valuable insight into why students might turn to unconventional means of infotainment to avoid (a). “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” are successful because they manage to fill an intellectual void that traditional media have created.

McChesney, Glassner and other media critics argue that since most contemporary local media in the United States are controlled by large conglomerates, they have abandoned their primary audiences. It takes but a brief look at the Northeast Ohio mediascape to see that what drives the daily coverage of current events by the Plain Dealer, the Akron Beacon Journal, “19 Action News,” etc. is often one-dimensional sensationalism.

A media whose main goal is to generate maximum profit through advertisement revenue could care less about the fair, accurate and multifaceted coverage of political issues, on both a local and a national scale. The borrowing of their “news” from AP and Reuters by local outlets creates a very distinct form of political disenfranchisement of local audiences.

As far as TV is concerned, one only has to look at the political sketches on “Saturday Night Live,” for instance, to understand how significantly the quality of political debate has deteriorated over the last couple decades.

For a “traditional” outlet such as the Stater to tell students what to think by advising them not to take a brilliant comedian like Colbert seriously speaks volumes. If voters, once again – as in Nader’s case – should decide to teach Democrats a lesson, it can be assumed that precisely these voters are very aware of why the “time for truthiness” might have come.

Frank Rosen

Doctoral candidate and English instructor