PR Play of the Week: News smooze, its all about likability

With its intrepid spirit and irreverent take on the campaign season from primaries to recount, Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has justly earned a PR Play of the Week.

With its intrepid spirit and irreverent take on the campaign season from primaries to recount, Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has justly earned a PR Play of the Week.

With its intrepid spirit and irreverent take on the campaign season from primaries to recount, Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has justly earned a PR Play of the Week.

As the so-called legitimate news media uttered a collective 'oops' over premature election predictions, this ersatz news show celebrated the culmination of its own credibility campaign, having refrained from early calls.

More than half a million households turned on the channel's Indecision 2000 special on election night, a whopping 71% increase from its regular Tuesday night viewership.

The push to boost the show's profile began at the start of primaries.

Host Jon Stewart moderated a tongue-in-cheek panel discussion in New Hampshire about political media coverage called Turn the Tables: Politicians Grill the Media.

Former presidential candidate Sen. Bob Dole joined the show as a regular commentator, and Jon Stewart began appearing on shows such as Nightline and Today, talking politics like an expert. Well, sort of.

The Daily Show was featured in an article in The New York Times Magazine about the convergence of entertainment and news.

Michele Ganeless, Comedy Central's programming SVP, said viewers have responded to the likable Stewart. But the show's pointed barbs have touched a nerve among those in the 'authentic' news business.

'We're not confined by the shackles of alleged objectivity,' added Madeleine Smithberg, the show's co-creator and executive producer.

Even 'real' news programs are taking tips from The Daily Show. The Today show's post election logo read Indecision 2000. Clearly, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.



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