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PEJ Study: 'Daily Show' Offering Valuable News

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

PEJ Study: 'Daily Show' Offering Valuable News

Article excerpt

If you flip on "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central expecting just laughs, think again. A new study shows the popular late night "news" report is giving more news-related offerings than people might think.

The study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which analyzed 136 episodes, indicates Stewart may have as much David Brinkley in him as David Letterman.

"The findings suggest that The Daily Show is something more than simply comedy played for laughs, and that some of what appears on the program falls in the tradition of such satirists as Russell Baker, Art Buchwald or H.L. Mencken, writers who used humor to offer pointed political commentary in American newspapers," the study released Thursday said. Among its findings:

* "Washington-related pieces, U.S. foreign affairs (especially the Bush Administration's Iraq war policy), and general politics accounted for 47% of the show's airtime in 2007. In that regard, by the numbers The Daily Show closely resembles in its topic agenda the news menu of many cable 'news' shows."

* "In its use of news video, The Daily Show is often quite documentary, culling through archives to show official hypocrisy, abuse of language, and spin. …

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