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October 10, 2015

Blame Jon Stewart's trustiness on the news media clusterf#*$

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 26th 2009 11:03AM
Jon StewartWalter Cronkite is a tougher act to follow than letting Metallica open for William Hung.

But now that the news legend and former most trusted man in America has passed on to that big newsroom in the great beyond, America needs someone else to trust. They need someone they can depend on to get the hard, cold facts about the important stories that truly affect their lives. They need someone to cut through the political haze of misdirection and mediocrity that cloud almost every major news story like a lingering beer fart.

That man is ... Jon Stewart. Don't like it? Blame the rest of the news media for not doing a better job.

A recent Time Magazine poll found that a wide majority of Americans consider The Daily Show host as the nation's most trusted newscaster behind NBC's Brian Williams, ABC's Charlie Gibson, and CBS's Katie Couric. I know what you're thinking: Where's the love for Showbiz Tonight's A.J. Hammer? If it wasn't for his hard hitting journalism, Jon & Kate would still be together and forever scarring the lives of their eight children.

It's no surprise that Stewart has reached the top of the list. The 24 hour news cycle has not only widened the playing field for the number of sources that news wonks can access, but it makes the fact-checking process a lot more difficult. Brian Williams said Cronkite didn't like the idea of a round-the-clock news network because the needless need to get the story on the air first trumped the ability to do a thorough fact check. Cable news has completely changed the game. The goal of the news isn't to get the story right. It's to get the story first.

Want to know where I learned that little tidbit about Mr. Cronkite's legacy and the destruction cable news is wreaking on journalistic precision? On The Daily Show!

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I believe Jon Stewart is trustworthy because he and "The Daily Show" writers offer a view of the news that is refreshingly honest without being overly negative. Sometimes we just need to laugh at those who are "in charge," so to speak, and we need to see the ridiculous side of the spin that is being fed to us by formulaic outlets like Fox News. The bit last night poking fun at Glenn Beck's about-face on health care was hilarious precisely because it is true. We need to have "truths" like that exposed more often. You go, Jon!

August 14 2009 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Luke Paternoster

The U.S is sick of being lied to, pissed on and play cated, so lets face it John Stewart makes sense. However, there is a point for the mainstream news factions take note of, honesty is the best policy, taking the high and lofty places simply doesnt work, rather they should be a media "of the people, by the people, for the people".

July 28 2009 at 8:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

And the point of this story is that regular news has become so horrible, that a comedian is actually considered more trustworthy well bill maher is a comedian and i trust him way more than Jon because he's not just acting he's telling you all he really feels not putting on an act for satire, that's why he should be the more popular comedian because he's never phony

July 27 2009 at 4:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Showbiz Tonight is an entertainment news show. Like it or not it is what it is and from what I can tell, makes no attempts at "hard hitting journalism." Lumping them into your argument doesn't say much at all when you're criticizing the state of the news. It's not what they do.

July 26 2009 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I trust Jon Stewart but I think its more than just him agreeing with me. Its that he'll pick a talking point apart until we get to some truth. For example, all the stations will show clip after clip of congressmen saying that "Socialized" medicine is just the "first step to full outright socialism". But none will point out that the slippery slope argument is a well known logical fallacy that has been proven wrong time and time again.

July 26 2009 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just because its effective and people like it doesn't make it news. Just because he's an effective commentator doesn't mean that he belongs in a poll about newscasters.

Of course the commentators are more trust worthy than the people their bashing. But the people they're bashing are the ones doing the work. Commentators just agree or disagree with the work.

Comedians have always been trustworthy. Why? Because they tell how they feel.

This poll compares oranges and apples but says its okay since they're both fruit. That's crazy.

A journalist's job is not to give you "the truth." Because for most things, there is not just one truth.

A journalist's job is to give you the story... the information, the facts, and let you decipher what is the truth.

The problem is we've gotten lazy. We don't want the story. We want the message behind the story. We want them to tell us how we feel. That's what Stewart, O'Reilly, Maddow... all of them do. Tell us how we're supposed to feel. Because that's how they feel.

Journalist don't tell you the message of the story. They just give you the story.

July 26 2009 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wasn't the TIME poll an internet survey? It's hard to take those seriously. Additionally, the paragraph about 24 hour news doesn't relate to why Stewart would be more trustworthy than network news anchors.

July 26 2009 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Furd Burfel

As has been pointed out elsewhere...

This is an online poll. Comparing an online poll to a telephone poll of random respondents is like comparing USA Today to the New York Times. It even says right there on the poll page: "Poll results are not scientific and reflect the opinions of only those users who chose to participate." In other words, anyone interested in stuffing the ballot box could do so.

Over the past eleven of these polls, Iowa voted the polar opposite of everyone else in nine of them. According to these non-scientific polls, Iowans are the only Americans who think Katie Couric is the most trusted newscaster. They are also the only state that thinks it was a waste to go to the moon, they the only state that thinks Sotomayor is too liberal, they're the only state that thinks Congress should pass a Michael Jackson resolution, and 97% of Iowans think the most moving part of the Jackson memorial was Brooke Shields. (In the past 15 of these polls, about half of them were about Michael Jackson. That alone should speak volumes.) Someone, somewhere, some group, has been stuffing the ballot box of Iowa to throw off the results.

This poll means precisely nothing. Zilch. Zippo. If you conducted a random sampling poll of people using sound, scientific polling methods and came up with these results, you'd have something. But this is like putting a "Which do you use--Mac or Windows?" poll up at macworld.com and then trying to headline the results as "Everyone everywhere is using Macs!"

July 26 2009 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was uncalled for me to say you guys are idiots. It was a personal attack and I would delete that part if I knew how to edit posts here. I apologize.

But this is the second tvsquad post about this stupid poll. And it bugs me. Just like it bugs me when people yell at news photographers and call them paparazzi.

July 26 2009 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@ CJ

Jon Stewart (spell his name right, btw) is the first one to tell you he's not a newsperson and therefore should not be treated as one. And the point of this story is that regular news has become so horrible, that a comedian is actually considered more trustworthy than the people whose job it is to give you the truth. It's what is known as irony.

July 26 2009 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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