It's easy to discount Jon Stewart, “fake news” anchorman of The Daily Show, on Comedy Central, because he tells jokes for a living (though even his critics must admit they are brilliant skewering jokes that make pols shake in their booties) but the truth is that the guy is wicked smart, sharp, quick on his feet, and has the ability to make provocative insights.
Critics, mostly on the right, like to make the argument that it’s become a “disturbing phenomenon” that some people take in all of their news from The Daily Show and are therefore left with a skewed, uncontrollably altered view of the news. However, surveys have actually shown that viewers of The Daily Show, on average, have a higher education level and take in more news sources than the average viewer of network news programs.
The Daily Show is an intelligent satire of the news. It's clearly intended to play off the news of the day. However, it's probable that some uninformed people watch it and take it all in at face value, but this is probably true of Saturday Night Live’sWeekend Update, Entertainment Tonight, and many other infotainment shows.
On rumors that Stewart will jump ship from The Daily Show to become part of the newly developing news team at CBS: I think Stewart would do fine as a news anchor, as he has performed admirably sitting in for Larry King. However, I doubt he would want to make the switch as his current format allows him to be a maverick/watchdog/comedian in a new role that he is helping to define. He already makes a very good living, so it's doubtful that a dual-anchor contract would be overwhelming enough to sway him. My guess is that he stays put and continues to define his unique position in American politics and comedy.
Finally, on charges that Stewart is a blatant liberal pushing a liberal agenda: he and The Daily Show are as hard on the left as on the right. It's in his interest to do so as it lends him the credibility he holds and deserves as an equal opportunity political satirist.
DB Note: If you haven’t heard about The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book), do yourself a favor and leaf through it the next time you’re at a book store. Every page holds at least one big laugh, which is really an incredible feat to pull off.