Pundit, newsman, comedian, nervous female? Jon Stewart’s media identity is at stake following his appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” Moderator Chris Wallace advised the Comedy Central host to get in touch with his inner journalist while fellow Fox anchor Bret Baier theorized that Mr. Stewart pines to be a political force but “when something goes wrong, he punts to ‘I’m a comedian.’ ” Mr. Stewart, in turn, now accuses the network of editing his appearance, making him appear like a “woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown.”
He also says that Fox News viewers are “consistently” misinformed, a claim that attracted the watchdog site PolitiFact. Fact checkers pored over media studies from the Pew Research Center and other sources to ultimately disprove Mr. Stewart’s notion; see the bodacious report at www.politifact.com.
“We have three Pew studies that superficially rank Fox viewers low on the well-informed list, but in several of the surveys, Fox isn’t the lowest, and other general-interest media outlets — network news shows, network morning shows and even the other cable news networks — often score similarly low. Meanwhile, particular Fox shows — ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ and Sean Hannity’s show — actually score consistently well, occasionally even outpacing Stewart’s own audience.”
The report concludes, “The way Stewart phrased the comment, it’s not enough to show a sliver of evidence that Fox News’ audience is ill-informed. The evidence needs to support the view that the data shows they are ‘consistently’ misinformed — a term he used not once but three times. It’s simply not true that ‘every poll’ shows that result. So we rate his claim false.” studies. After much ado, the watchdogs deemed the Comedy Central host’s opinion “false,” which seemed to make him penitent. Sort of. A little, maybe.
“Ultimately, PolitiFact declared my statement false. I defer to their judgment and I apologize for my mistake,” Mr. Stewart says. “To not do so would be irresponsible, and if I were to continue to make such mistakes and misstatements and not correct them — especially if each and every one of those misstatements happened to go in one very particular direction on the political spectrum, well that would undermine the very integrity and credibility that I work so hard to pretend to care about.” year — along with “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” a sweeping look at her beloved home state that premiered in November. The eightepisode series produced by TLC was well-received; the New York Times deemed it “a nature series for political voyeurs.”
While her fans wait to see if she’ll join the 2012 presidential race, they can at least root for her in the entertainment realm. The network also submitted her show in the cinematography, picture editing and music composition category. We’ll know if the former Alaska governor gets a walk on the red carpet next month, when the nominations are announced.
Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, joined Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, to introduce the first-ever legislation to “end the federal war on marijuana and [let] states legalize, regulate, tax and control marijuana without federal inter ference.”