If you’re looking for analysis on why China loved Jon Stewart’s digs at Kim Jong-un (above), head over to the Washington Post, where Max Fisher writes:
When the popular Chinese Web portal Sina posted an eight-minute segment from the show discussing the latest North Korean provocations, it racked up an astounding 2.8 million views and counting, as well as tens of thousands of comments, many of them praising the show. That appears to make it one of the most-watched “Daily Show” clips ever. It also raises questions about whether China’s flagging support for North Korea might reflect popular sentiment as well as Beijing’s own geopolitical calculus.
Otherwise, watch away first. We’ll wait. Here it is on Sina, for those of you whose Internet isn’t fast enough to stream Comedy Central:
The above, posted to Sina on April 4, is now at 3.3 million views. Jon Stewart and staff have noticed, and presented a follow-up (below) that has racked up nearly half a million views on Sina after less than a day. Here’s Fisher again explaining the show’s appeal to Chinese viewers:
Maybe it has to do with China’s restrictive media, which tend not to venture into the kind of cutting political satire that has made the show so popular at home. The population of young, urban, middle-class, Web-savvy Chinese is growing rapidly. They’re making the Chinese consumer market one of the world’s largest, snapping up luxury goods, watching foreign films and enrolling in prestigious American universities. It stands to reason that they’d also be interested in the sort of news coverage that so appeals to young, urban middle classes around the world. But they can’t get it from the Chinese media, so they have to go elsewhere.
Jon Stewart, in other words, seems to have stumbled upon one of the most underserved media markets in the world. He’s right: He, or someone, should be doing a China-focused “Daily Show.” Unfortunately, something as freely critical and openly mocking as “The Daily Show” is unlikely to get past China’s censors anytime soon.
Nor does it hurt that Stewart is funny, of course.
The latest clips. The cookie joke at the end is good.