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Late last week, think tank The Project for Excellence in Journalism released a study claiming that people do not in fact get their news from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as previously thought. If they did, the study stated, they wouldn’t get the jokes.
It was the second stark reminder in a week that Comedy Central’s fake news programs are, in fact, fake (the first was the report that Young Republicans adore fake right winger Stephen Colbert.) The study has been bandied about on the Web and even in print, but one thing no one seems to remember is that the Television Critics Association created a big stink when in 2004 it gave The Daily Show the Outstanding Achievement in News & Information award. It was chosen over CBS’ 60 Minutes, PBS’ Frontline, NBC’s Meet the Press (that’s actually fair), and ABC’s Nightline. “We’d always sworn, we’re taking 60 Minutes down,” Stewart joked with that program’s reporter Steve Kroft. “You, Frontline, all you guys. You’re meat. I think in some respects, they were punking you, as opposed to praising us.”
Looks like the TCA got punked, too.