The new list from Tina Brown’s Daily Beast covers the gamut of top journalists on the “left” in America, from big beasts — the likes of HuffPo’s Arianna Huffington and the New York Times columnist and Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman — to the feminist website editor Jessica Valenti. There are two contributers to the New Statesman, too: Matthew Yglesias and Katrina vanden Heuvel.
But it’s Stewart that comes out tops, trumping the academics and op-ed writers, the po-faced bloggers and professional commentators. His Daily Show (watch it every evening at 8.30pm on More4) is where you go to watch self-aggrandising politicians, of all stripes and creeds, thoroughly skewered.
Stewart’s combination of rapacious wit and intelligence, plus a nose that can sniff out the merest whiff of absurdity and obfuscation at a thousand paces, makes him the most effective observer of all. And despite his skill as humiliator-in-chief, he attracts the best guests: among them John McCain, both Clintons and Barack Obama (twice).
Yet never mind the list: the greatest endorsement for Stewart came recently from the former White House communications chief Anita Dunn. Talking about the Daily Show, she said:
That’s where you are getting fact-checking and investigative journalism these days.