Stewart & Colbert as good as legitimate news, according to study

by | Oct 7, 2006 | Stress Blog | 10 comments

A study conducted by grad students at Indiana University found that “Not surprisingly, a second-by-second analysis of The Daily Show‘s audio and visual content found considerably more humor than substance– Stewart himself has insisted that he is a comedian and not a journalist. A similar analysis of network coverage found considerably more hype than substance in broadcast newscasts. Examples of such hype included references to polls, political endorsements and photo opportunities.” Emphasis mine.

Jim Emerson commented on this:

If you don’t read newspapers and listen to NPR, you might not even understand what’s being satirized on “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” If you got most of your news from network evening newscasts, you wouldn’t know what the hell was going on. (See this transcript from a recent Katie Couric CBS Evening Gossipcast, posted on the blog of a prominent conservative.) No, Stewart and Colbert may claim to be the “fake news,” but they are firmly rooted in the “reality-based community” — and provide more incisive cut-through-the-bull analysis of current events than anythingon commercial television. (Only “Frontline” goes deeper — the show that, as at least one TV critic pointed out earlier this week, would have told the powers in the White House and the Pentagon and the intelligence community the things they needed to know, but now claim they didn’t, if they’d only bothered towatch it. It’s on PBS, Condi!)

I would add the Amy Goodman Hour to the essential list (Amy appeared this week on Colbert). It’s been clear to me that Stewart was more than just another comedian when he became my hero – he appeared on CNN’s -ugh-Crossfire, and blew it away. This was a grotesquely, appallingly stupid show where airheaded pundits exchanged press releases, an event which the network condescendingly referred to as a “debate”. The low point in American broadcasting history took place when Begala tried to refute Stewart, claiming, about their politico-hack guests, ‘they really believe this stuff, they’re not just echoing talking points’. As Lawrence O’Donnell says, politicians and hacks don’t know any more about any issues than one sentence on a teleprompter. As a matter of fact, CNN’s entire political lineup of shows was cancelled. These insipid shows cannot and could not compete with Stewart and Colbert’s intelligence and sense of humour.

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