Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let the word go forth, the torch has been passed to a new generation (Subject to permission from the Commissioner of Major League Baseball)

[Updated below.]

This has been coming for years:

Out of 9409 self-selected participants, 44% selected Jon Stewart as the answer to the question "Now that Walter Cronkite has passed on, who is America's most trusted newscaster?" in a Time online poll.

Brian Williams got 29% of the vote, Charlie Gibson got 19%, and Katie Couric--apparently no longer riding on her post-Palin interview bounce from last fall--got 7%.

In Oregon, Stewart and Williams stole votes from Gibson and Couric; the numbers were: Stewart 50%, Williams 32%, Gibson 14%, and Couric 5%..

Stewart won 40 states, Williams won seven states (only managing to match Stewart's Oregon numbers once, in Vermont), and Gibson won two states (including a whopping 57% in Tennessee). Stewart and Williams split Kentucky, with 34% each. In her home state of Indiana (she got her start on the NBC affiliate there at the same time Letterman was across town doing the weather at the ABC affiliate), Couric polled a disappointing 2%.

Although even to be Jon Stewart is not to be omnipotent, it seems:

Remember last week, when President Barack Obama threw out the first pitch at baseball’s All-Star Game? And remember the ensuing fuss about his form? And remember how Jon Stewart sliced through all of the crap with his typically incisive wit?

Alas, you’ve got no choice but to remember that last part. It has disappeared from the Web, apparently at the behest of Major League Baseball.

Stewart dissected the media hubhub about Obama’s pitch–and in particular Fox News’s analysis of it–on his July 15 show. But if you watch the archived version of that show at Viacom’s (VIA) “Daily Show” Web site, you’ll find that the bit has been cut out of his opening monologue. It once ran for two minutes and 43 seconds, but now the archive stops short at the 55-second mark.

And if you try to watch that episode on Hulu, the Web site owned by News Corp. (NWS), GE’s (GE) NBC and Disney (DIS), you’ll find that it’s gone altogether, replaced by a message blaming “rights issues.”

"Birthers" will probably jump on this as the latest proof of Illuminati-style conspiracies protecting Obama, but the answer points to a more fundamental and ominous truth:

Stewart is bad, but Bud Selig, it appears, is badder.

[Update: Tristero makes a good point:

Until the so-called news media stops providing access to jokers like the birthers, then the best news reports in America will be produced by a professional comedian.

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