The Chinese government wouldn’t permit someone like The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart to mock public policy or, gasp, the president. So the young and hip in China are turning to America’s own Stewart for a blast of political satire.
Will Stewart’s liberal bent get lost in translation? Hard to say, but for a country where speaking out against the powerful isn’t always possible, Stewart’s puckish political humor is making him famous, according to a new Reuters report.
Stewart’s shtick is making the rounds in China via the Internet, with the comedian’s Asian fans translating his jokes for their fellow citizens. Reuters says many of Stewart’s boosters in China are well-versed in American culture, even if they don’t get all of the references thrown their way.
Media reports routinely overinflate the Comedy Central’s shows ratings success and give a greater platform to Stewart’s anti-GOP rants. Should Stewart’s program continue to catch on in China, the program could truly have the kind of audience reporters often pretend the show possesses, spreading his liberal spin into another culture.
It also means Chinese fans are growing aware of the Obama administration’s scandal-plagued second term even if they never click on a CNN.com or other news service.