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25 February 2010

Jon Stewart crowned in Daily Beast list

Check out the top 25 US "left" journalists.

By Sophie Elmhirst

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:

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That’s where you are getting fact-checking and investigative journalism these days.