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Jon Stewart: America's New Cronkite, According to Dubious Online Poll

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few internet people have noticed that, according to a poll conducted by Time Magazine, comedian Jon Stewart is now America's "most trusted newscaster." (Not exactly a new meme.)

Cue all sorts of kvetching about the death of American journalism, or the broader American intellect, or whatever.

But whence this factoid? The Time poll in question was an unscientific online affair, and almost a third of the 9,409 votes came from "abroad." Since when were easily hacked, anonymous click polls considered reputable sources?

The poll was one in a series. Other questions in the series have yielded some pretty interesting "facts": Bing is more popular than Google, Hermione is America's favorite supporting character from Harry Potter, and Congress should pass a resolution honoring Michael Jackson as a "global humanitarian." Also, Iowa (or a poll-script writer in Iowa) apparently has a mile-wide contrarian streak and a crush on Katie Couric.

The poll, then, is hardly ironclad proof that Jon Stewart is America's new "most trusted man." More likely, it just makes sense to some observers that America would wholeheartedly trust a comedian to deliver the nightly news. Idiocracy, man. It's so true.

In noting Walter Cronkite's death, Reason's Jesse Walker danced on the grave of the three-network system that fostered "the man America trusted." Michael C. Moynihan told us all about what's wrong with Stewart here.

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  1. Saw this on Fark. Time polls are so jacked it isn’t funny. They are regularly hacked by just about every kid on the planet. Their IT department is a hamster in a ball.

  2. “Dubious Online Poll”

    No need to be redundant.

  3. sounds like an indictment of idiots who no nothing about polling instead of an indictment of journalism.

  4. know no is not no but know

  5. Do people still watch The Daily Show? Why?

  6. Maybe it is dorked up and maybe it is not. It is at least possible that Stewart, with his vocal minority of troglodyte followers, is the most trusted anchor in America. Suppose that say 10% of the country really do get their news from the Daily Show and trust Stewart more than anyone else. That is a lot of people. There are also a lot of TV anchors up there. If no one else gets above 5%, then Stewart wins the poll.

  7. “Do people still watch The Daily Show? Why?”

    It is the easiest way for stupid people to feel smart.

  8. Do people still watch The Daily Show? Why?

    Because it feeds their ego about what smart, well-informed, anti-establishment people they are?

  9. My favorite was when Time had an online poll asking who should get person of the year, athlete of the year, entertainer of the year, ect. The winner in all catagories was Kemal Ataturk.

  10. Stop projecting your own failings on the Daily Show audience, guys.

  11. John Stewart is a jackass. He talks for about 45 minutes a week (that’s two and half hours of air time, minus about 45 minutes of commercials, and about an hour for time other people are talking) and has a writing staff to make it sound intelligent. He plays the righteous crusader when he needs a sword and then switches to self deprecation when he needs a shield. He cherry picks information and completely abuses the soap box that he has been blessed with.

  12. Epi, if you were barely educated and barely curious, but had a strong need to feel superior to other people, you’d watch it too.

  13. Q: Since when were easily hacked, anonymous click polls considered reputable sources?

    A. Since the Ron Paul campaign. The Rondroids were absolutely convinced that easily hacked, anonymous click polls, were reputable sources for determining Paul’s electoral support.

  14. Do people still watch The Daily Show? Why?

    Watched it once since Obama was inaugurated on the off chance they’d actually make jokes of substance about the Obama administration. No dice.

  15. They were more honest when Kilborn was the host. I remember the tagline: The Daily Show — Where More Americans Get Their News Than Probably Should.

  16. Stop projecting your own failings on the Daily Show audience, guys.

    My failings have nothing to do with what TV shows other people watch. When I start accusing Daily Show viewers of paranoia, alcoholism, and sociopathic tendencies, then I’m projecting. Stupidity and a need for ego stroking? Not so much.

    Besides, shouldn’t you be bashing cop suckers over in the Gates-of-the-day thread or something?

  17. Damn, T that is like the best post of the year.

  18. Besides, shouldn’t you be bashing cop suckers over in the Gates-of-the-day thread or something?

    Nah, that shit’s played out. There’s only so much mindless cop-fellating I can handle.

  19. The results of any poll or survey, in which the participants self-select, is worthless.

  20. They were more honest when Kilborn was the host.

    Jesus, you remember back that far? You ancient fuck.

  21. Nah, that shit’s played out. There’s only so much mindless cop-fellating I can handle.

    True dat. That shit was old after the first post: remember, kids, suck up to authority so you won’t get hurt!

  22. Warty, Xeones was watching The Daily Show when it wasn’t cool. He was getting worthless news before anybody else.

  23. Since when were easily hacked, anonymous click polls Time articles considered reputable sources?

  24. Epi, if you were barely educated and barely curious, but had a strong need to feel superior to other people, you’d watch it too.

    Every time I see him, Epi is barely curious. In the sense of being curious and bare.

  25. Jesus, you remember back that far? You ancient fuck.

    Warty, Xeones was watching The Daily Show when it wasn’t cool. He was getting worthless news before anybody else.

    It’s true, guys. I exist on the bleeding edge of culture. I’m so far ahead of the curve that i’m back behind it.

  26. It’s gotta suck being any network with a news show, much less CNN, MSNBC, etc. when Comedy Central is a stronger authority. (no matter how bogus the poll)

  27. Besides not paying those pesky taxes, Mr. Rangel had other reasons for wanting to hide income. As the tenant of four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem, the Congressman needed to keep his annual reported income below $175,000, lest he be ineligible as a hardship case for rent control. (He also used one of the apartments as an office in violation of rent-control rules, but that’s another story.)

    Mr. Rangel said last fall that “I never had any idea that I got any income” from the villa. Try using that one the next time the IRS comes after you. Equally interesting is his claim that he didn’t know that the developer of the Dominican Republic villa had converted his $52,000 mortgage to an interest-free loan in 1990. That would seem to violate House rules on gifts, which say Members may only accept loans on “terms that are generally available to the public.” Try getting an interest-free loan from your banker.

    The National Legal and Policy Center also says it has confirmed that Mr. Rangel owned a home in Washington from 1971-2000 and during that time claimed a “homestead” exemption that allowed him to save on his District of Columbia property taxes. However, the homestead exemption only applies to a principal residence, and the Washington home could not have qualified as such since Mr. Rangel’s rent-stabilized apartments in New York have the same requirement.

    The House Ethics Committee is investigating Mr. Rangel on no fewer than six separate issues

    More at:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203946904574300013592601036.html

  28. Steve, what are you wearing right now?

  29. Steve, what are you wearing right now?

    Are you trying to inspire SugarFree to top his Jack Dunphy slash fiction from the other thread? Because, NOT COOL. I had a delicious steak for lunch and i’d like to keep it down.

  30. http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/4325774.html

    I wish Reason had picked up on that article in Popular Mechanics about the pseudo science that is “forensic science” rather than having Gatesapoloza today. That article is both informatiive and scary.

  31. Don’t worry, Xeones, I’m… uh… “drained” is the best word, I guess.

  32. Watched it once since Obama was inaugurated on the off chance they’d actually make jokes of substance about the Obama administration. No dice.

    You apparently watched it for all of five seconds.

  33. ?Oh, to speak on one’s feet
    To beat on one’s brain
    The popular mechanics are at it again
    A tenement filled with side-show freaks
    Assembled to downgrade
    An impeccable arrangement
    By the soft-rock renegades?

  34. That’s the best news i’ve heard all day, Sweet’n’Low. Now my kid won’t have to ask why i drink.

  35. Not tonight, at least.

  36. What’s with all the TDS hating? It’s a comedy show FFS. The only ones pretending it’s real news are those in the media who get picked on by TDS on a regular basis for being so shallow and idiotic.

    Yes, I still love TDS. They are the best at going though archival footage and making almost anyone have to eat their words. But I will agree that anyone who digests TDS as their primary news source has a screw loose.

  37. “Watched it once since Obama was inaugurated on the off chance they’d actually make jokes of substance about the Obama administration. No dice.

    You apparently watched it for all of five seconds.”

    Yeah he is so hard on Obama. What a couragous guy Stewart is going after Obama like he does.

  38. Watched it once since Obama was inaugurated on the off chance they’d actually make jokes of substance about the Obama administration. No dice.

    There’s a running gag about Obama doing things that seem unimportant (Urdu poetry?), followed by “Great. Now fix the fucking economy.”

    Y’know, because he can and should, I guess.

  39. Who could possibly be more trustworthy than a guy using a fake name doing a fake news show?

  40. Now my kid won’t have to ask why i drink.

    Surely you have canned responses for that question already prepared.

  41. Now my kid won’t have to ask why i drink.

    “I’m willing to do it and I have quiet shoes.”

  42. nuts of Jon Stewart.

    Craig Ferguson is the new King of Late Night.
    or at least a very well-placed Earl.

  43. Surely you have canned responses for that question already prepared.

    Naturally, but halfway through a mason jar of whiskey i tend to find i’ve misplaced the cue cards.

  44. this seems like the work of the “internet hate machine” /b/

    especially the Hermione thing

  45. this seems like the work of the “internet hate machine”

    When you all run me off for my pornographin’ ways, I totally won’t come back and post as Internet Hate Machine. There’s no way that will happen.

  46. halfway through a mason jar of whiskey i tend to find i’ve misplaced the cue cards.

    That’s why you tattoo them on your kids’ faces. Backwards, of course.

  47. I wish Reason had picked up on that article in Popular Mechanics about the pseudo science that is “forensic science” rather than having Gatesapoloza today. That article is both informatiive and scary.

    I haven’t read your article, but I have seen a few articles here about forensic science. Both directly and indirectly.

  48. Watched it once since Obama was inaugurated on the off chance they’d actually make jokes of substance about the Obama administration. No dice.

    They have, on occasion, done some worthwhile things, like showing parallel weaselings from Bush’s and Obama’s press secretaries.

  49. Mention any news source and the response you get is “only idiots get their news from there”

    Where do smart people get their news?

  50. Where do smart people get their news?

    Other smart people.

  51. Where do smart people get their news?

    We just, like, observe, man.

  52. Where do smart people get their news?

    More than one news source, or as many sources as possible and not comedians. Can you maybe gain a slightly off insight something through comedy? Sure. Do you swallow the simplified funny version hook line and sinker like way to many people do. No thanks.

  53. Do people still watch The Daily Show? Why?

    Simple. In this day and age a goodly amount of political news begs for a sardonic delivery.

  54. We just, like, observe, man.

    Before or after the mason jar full o’ hooch?

  55. Do people still watch The Daily Show? Why?

    In hope Stewart will do something as funny as his segment when McCain suspended his campaign to help put together the bank bailout.

  56. i can haz infor mayshun from your nooz?

  57. The Who are coming back?

  58. The Who are coming back?

    Now with Zombie Entwhistle and Zombie Moone! Twice the zombification for the same low price! Thrill to the irony as Roger Daltrey sings the hope of a generation: “Hope I Die Before I Get Old”!

  59. reading xkcd is like being harangued by a talking fedora.

  60. Before or after the mason jar full o’ hooch?

    Through it.

  61. Mention any news source and the response you get is “only idiots get their news from there”

    That’s because only idiots get news.

    Where do smart people get their news?

    See above.

  62. er on click polls

    there’s a great one on wired at the moment

    after watchmen what unfilmable films should be next?

    I submitted the Illuminatus! Triology by Messrs Wilson and O’Shea

    the greatest piece of libertarian fiction ever written
    (Not Telemachus Sneezed its crapper rival )

    and it got uber bumped down

    meh 🙁

    but there is some great shit in that list

  63. I have more trust for the shit in my toilet bowl, and it’s funnier too.

  64. Craig Ferguson is the new King of Late Night.
    or at least a very well-placed Earl.

    Also an improvement on Craig Kilborn. It seems pretty much every show he leaves gets better as a result.

    As for why to watch TDS…Wyatt Cenac?

  65. Where to get the news? Why, the same place as Sarah Palin, of course.

    I like Jon Stewart.

    And there’s nothing wrong with Emma Watson, either.

  66. Jon Stewart would be the first to tell you that he’s a comedian, not a journalist… but he’s also one of the only people on the air who does some the work that a journalist is supposed to do: after showing today’s soundbite of what some politician wants you to hear, at the point where typical news anchors jump right into the fawning, Stewart will show last year’s soundbite of that same politician contradicting himself. If the camera then cut back to Stewart with a straight face instead of Stewart mugging for the camera, it would be exactly the sort of thing that is desperately needed but mostly absent from “real” news shows.

    Stewart has even occasionally taken Obama to task for his broken promises, which is more than you’d expect from his heavily liberal bias and more than you see from most of the liberals in the media. He’s never going to take Obama to task for his stupid promises, but if the Republicans were more competent at that job I wouldn’t even care that a comedy show was failing at it.

    I can understand why he pisses off some libertarians too much for them to give him a fair shake, though. A long-ago segment attacking a pro-gun-rights man giving away toy guns in the inner cities was the most idiotic I can remember, but the current rah rah on socialized healthcare can’t be winning many free market fans either.

  67. The problem with the Daily Show for me now is that they still spend about 60% of their time making fun of Republicans. It’s not quite as entertaining when they’re the party out of power. It’s like making fun of the half retarded kid in class. It was much more entertaining and useful when they controlled Congress and the White House. Now it just makes me feel a little bad for them.

  68. Every time I read some bullshit about this “Bill Maher with worse jokes” clown being such a brilliant “newsman”, it makes me fucking puke. He is popular overseas because he makes fun of the United States and he is popular on the left because he makes fun of conservatives. The guy is a total fucking hack. Yeah, it takes real balls to constantly make fun of the party that is no longer in power. Seriously, if I hear one more fucking thing about how great he is because he called Tucker Carlson a dick or because he went after the so-called “Birthers” I am going to shoot someone. Funny I don’t seem to remember him going after the ridiculous Trig Truthers. The guy is so blatantly partisan, he should take a job as Obama’s press secretary, because the one we have now is even more pathetic than Stewart is.

  69. Daily Show is good, except for the interview which is usually dull and/or awkward.

    Colbert is even better. He’s a brilliant interviewer which means that the entire show is watchable.

  70. I watched The Daily Show and The Colbert Report the other day. Pretty good. You can tell they’re hitting their stride with the new administration.

  71. Plus, I loved it when Colbert did that show from Baghdad.

  72. And there’s nothing wrong with Emma Watson, either.

    Oh, agreed.

    He’s a brilliant interviewer which means that the entire show is watchable.

    Yup. Even better than Conan O’Brien.

  73. Keith Moon was the man.

  74. He plays the righteous crusader when he needs a sword and then switches to self deprecation when he needs a shield.

    Yep. When he wants you to take him seriously, he’s a pundit. When you disagree with him and ask him to back up his assertions, he suddenly becomes a comedian again. Back and forth. Clown nose off, clown nose on.

    The guy is so blatantly partisan, he should take a job as Obama’s press secretary, because the one we have now is even more pathetic than Stewart is.

    The Daily Show’s idea of criticizing liberals is accusing them of acting too much like conservatives.

  75. I don’t know which is more amusing: These unscientific polls, (which I participate in and even put funny answers in if they will let me) or the people who take them seriously!

    I mean for me it is entertainment, no matter what. The best it can do otherwise is stimulate new thought, although such seriousness is usually drowned out by the intense mental giggling inside my head…

    ;'{P~~~~

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