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Business, Entertainment - Written by on Friday, July 31, 2009 10:16 - 7 Comments

Don Tapscott
Jon Stewart’s trustworthiness no surprise

In the wake of Walter Cronkite’s death, time.com asked readers to vote for today’s most trusted newscaster. The decisive winner, with 44 percent of the vote, was Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s pull-no-punches “The Daily Show.” This was well ahead of the 29 per cent for NBC anchor Brian Williams, 19 per cent for ABC’s Charles Gibson and 7 per cent for CBS’s Katie Couric. (See map for state-by-state results.)

In my mind, the results are completely predictable. Personally I trust Jon Stewart more than anyone else to probe issues of actual importance. Most network news is sensationalist, and typically irrelevant blather, one step up from man bites dog. There are real problems in the world today. Young people know this. Increasingly they don’t accept the existing paradigms of what constitutes public discourse.

Jon Stewart’s popularity does not mean that today’s Net Generation is indifferent to the news. After all, to get most of Jon Stewart’s jokes, you actually have to know what is happening in the world.

Today’s youth are media-savvy, and have a good grip on what I would call the theater of Washington. A favorite Stewart technique was to note when a politician was blatantly contradicting what he or she said in the past. He would show two or three video clips back-to-back, and often just leave the contradiction to speak for itself. The news department of the big networks could do the same thing, but they choose not to. That’s not how they play the game. One can’t blame Stewart’s audience having greater faith that they’re getting the real goods.


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David Blankenship
Jul 31, 2009 13:24

JS tells us the news like no other. Thanks for the article.

David Blankenship http://www.twitter.com/fullspeed_ahead

Mike Dover
Aug 1, 2009 18:20

And sadly, here is their divorce


Wikinomics» Blog Archive » Jon Stewart’s trustworthiness no surprise « Jason Smith
Aug 3, 2009 12:38

[...] Wikinomics» Blog Archive » Jon Stewart’s trustworthiness no surprise. [...]

Aug 3, 2009 22:30

So…being funny, half-truth stories, and softball questions = trusted?

What a shame…Daily Show and Colbert is just the American Idol of news.

Jeff DeChambeau
Aug 3, 2009 23:32

Thems be fightin’ words, Ormond!

Aug 5, 2009 15:19

This doesn’t mean JS is the most trusted anchor. He is the most trusted of those who took the survey. When you let readers voluntarily take surveys the young crowd has a way of dispersing links and getting word out, which skews the results. If we trusted these types of surveys, Ron Paul would be president right now.

Aug 21, 2009 20:45

Among the majority of my friends — liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican — Stewart is seen as pretty much the ONLY trustworthy commentator on current news. Why? Because, like many of the great comedians for whom politics was their main focus (Will Rogers, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin), busting the balloon of pretentiousness and digging for the truth beneath the lies, spin, and obfuscation of political speech is the core of Stewart’s comedy. He’s clearly a liberal, yet he takes shots at the left when they deserve them. It’s not his fault that the current crop of right-wing loonies (like the “death panel” lady he interviewed last night — what a buffoon! Seriously, she couldn’t have put a post-it to mark the page she was supposed to be commenting on?) makes his job so easy.

Now available in paperback!
Don Tapscott and Anthony D. William's latest collaboration, Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet. Learn more.

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