Jon Stewart doesn’t claim to be a journalist. Stephen Colbert, along with Jon Stewart, try and make it clear that they are comedians and nothing more. They both have hit shows that garner a lot of followers. Many people, however, take them as a legitimate news source, when they are only entertainers. Often times, these shows are some people’s only source of news.
Shows such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report take clips from actual news organizations and ridicule them. Doesn’t matter how they have edited down or clipped out, they focus on the media outlets more than the news themselves. It is a brilliant idea for a comedy show, but once people start using these shows as real news, they will be less informed. These shows, more than anything, turn people away from mainstream media. They incite distrust among their loyal fans. I don’t think that Stewart or Colbert do anything wrong, they are upfront about their comedy. However, people begin to think that CNN or Fox News or MSNBC are misleading them, and that is a danger to the institution of TV news as a whole. If you don’t have trust as a news anchor, you don’t have an audience.