Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why Jon Stewart is the Most Trusted Man in America

When Americans were asked in a 2007 poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press to name the journalist they most admired, Mr. Stewart, the fake news anchor, came in at No. 4, tied with the real news anchors Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw of NBC, Dan Rather of CBS and Anderson Cooper of CNN. And a study this year from the center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism concluded that “ ‘The Daily Show’ is clearly impacting American dialogue” and “getting people to think critically about the public square.”
The New York Times has an article today: Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America? Nice article. Great little fluff piece about The Daily Show, what it does, and how it's risen to become a - and this is kinda scary - a trusted news source for many people. But the article dances around what I'd consider the real point here: it's not that Stewart himself is particularly trustworthy. Despite his relentless insistence to speak truth to power, he freely admits that they are not a real news team and if you really look at what they're reporting, they will indeed play fast and loose with a fact if it plays for a laugh.

No, the point is that the rest of TV news is considered so untrustworthy that a frickin' FAKE NEWS SHOW is no more untrustworthy than the rest of the ilk. THAT, my friends, is quite depressing for someone who works in the news business.

God I love The Daily Show, but this is no way to start the day before I've even had any coffee...

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