Actually, nothing new here. Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz takes pretty much the same tack I do.
NYC: In a Time poll from last week, Jon Stewart got the highest percentage of votes for “most trusted newsman” over any of the main network or cable network news anchors. What do you think of this? Like Cronkite, Stewart and Colbert seem to be honest — which is more than I can say for Tapper, Gregory and co. squabbling over an exclusive with Gov. Sanford.
Howard Kurtz: The poll is meaningless because it’s an online poll, not a random survey. So it’s nothing but a gimmick by Time.
Also, it’s a bit of an unfair competition to compare Stewart, a satirist and comedian, to news anchors whose job is to report and package the news but are not in the opinion business.
Having said that, I’ve written a number of times that Jon Stewart is an incisive critic who deftly uses humor and videotape to expose the absurdity of what many politicians and journalists do. And he’s had an impact on real journalists. Two of the network newscasts have played clips from the Daily Show (as I have numerous times on CNN to make a point, even if we did poke fun at the poll yesterday by showing him dozing off face-first into a pie). More important, news programs have mimicked the Stewart technique of playing videotape to show that a public figure is a)changing his position, b)using talking points, or c) making no sense. And that’s a valuable contribution.
Time for my moment of Zen. Thanks for chatting.