Project for Excellence in Journalism comes up with excuse to watch the Daily Show and get paid for it

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It’s a COMEDY show, people!

Who cares how often they skewer the right compared to how often they go after the left?

It’s not a NEWS show, no matter how much the PEJ wants to say that it should be considered one, even if in just a “quasi” fashion.

But it’s also true that, at times, The Daily Show aims at more than comedy. In its choice of topics, its use of news footage to deconstruct the manipulations by public figures and its tendency toward pointed satire over playing just for laughs, The Daily Show performs a function that is close to journalistic in nature—getting people to think critically about the public square. In that sense, it is a variation of the tradition of Russell Baker, Art Hoppe, Art Buchwald, H.L. Mencken and other satirists who once graced the pages of American newspapers.

The study also points out that the Daily Show fails to cover certain events which dominate other news coverage:

A good deal of the news, however, is also absent from The Daily Show. In 2007, for example, major events such as the tragic Minneapolis bridge collapse were never discussed. And the shootings at Virginia Tech, the most covered story within a given week in 2007 by the overall press, received only a cursory mention.

Could it be because those events just weren’t funny?

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