Daily Show Evolves Into True Force
Serious guests, hard news drive impact on American dialogue
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2008 2:08 PM CDT
Both presidential candidates have appeared on "The Daily Show," just eight years after Stewart and his crew got no respect during the 2000 presidential race.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Oh, what a difference eight years makes. The Daily Show struggled with limited access and no respect during the 2000 presidential race, but in this election the show has emerged as “a genuine cultural and political force,” writes Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times. Not only are presidential candidates clambering to make guest appearances, but The Daily Show may be the newsiest news hour around.

It sticks to “super depressing” issues like prewar intelligence selection, and Bush’s expansion of executive powers, even as news channels are “larding their 24-hour schedules with bloviation fests and marathon coverage of sexual predators and dead celebrities,” writes Kakutani. And Americans love it: Jon Stewart ranks fourth among most-admired journalists, and a study found the show is  “clearly impacting American dialogue.”