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Has Fake News Become the Real News?
An article in the New York Times asks whether Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's Daily Show has become the most trusted man in America, pointing out that his fake news comedy show has emerged in recent years as a "genuine cultural and political force." While 24-hour news networks like FOX, MSNBC and CNN have been pumping out infotainment-style news about topics like dead celebrities and sexual predators, the Daily Show has been critically tracking the cherry-picking of prewar intelligence, the politicization of the Department of Justice and the efforts of the Bush Administration to increase the power of the executive branch. Stewart has proven to be a master at calling out government and corporate spin, hypocrisy and red herrings, and helping his audience see them, too. A 2008 study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism at the Pew Research Enter for the People and the Press found that the Daily Show has had an impact on American dialogue and that it is "getting people to think critically about the public square."