Media

Jon Stewart is New Walter Cronkite, Says "Dubious" Poll

| by Reason Foundation

A few internet people have noticed that, according to a poll conducted by Time Magazine, comedian Jon Stewart is now America's "most trusted newscaster." (Not exactly a new meme.)

Cue all sorts of kvetching about the death of American journalism, or the broader American intellect, or whatever.

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The average American throws away 82lbs of clothes:

But whence this factoid? The Time poll in question was an unscientific online affair, and almost a third of the 9,409 votes came from "abroad." Since when were easily hacked, anonymous click polls considered reputable sources?

The poll was one in a series. Other questions in the series have yielded some pretty interesting "facts": Bing is more popular than Google, Hermione is America's favorite supporting character from Harry Potter, and Congress should pass a resolution honoring Michael Jackson as a "global humanitarian." Also, Iowa (or a poll-script writer in Iowa) apparently has a mile-wide contrarian streak and a crush on Katie Couric.

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The average American throws away 82lbs of clothes:

The poll, then, is hardly ironclad proof that Jon Stewart is America's new "most trusted man." More likely, it just makes sense to some observers that America would wholeheartedly trust a comedian to deliver the nightly news. Idiocracy, man. It's so true.

In noting Walter Cronkite's death, Reason's Jesse Walker danced on the grave of the three-network system that fostered "the man America trusted." Michael C. Moynihan told us all about what's wrong with Stewart here.