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Stewart and Koppel debate media and politics

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They didn’t slap each other’s faces with gloves, but a duel of sorts seems to be brewing between ABC’s ”Nightline” anchor Ted Koppel and ”The Daily Show” faux anchor Jon Stewart. Dismayed that ”a lot of television viewers — more, quite frankly, than I’m comfortable with — get their news from…’The Daily Show,”’ Koppel chided Stewart on ”Nightline”’s July 28 program, accusing the ”Indecision 2004” host of transforming the political process into a joke. Stewart (whose original episodes on Comedy Central pull in about a third as many viewers as ”Nightline”) countered that televised political debates have become as meaningless as ”Coke and Pepsi talking about beverage truth.” Koppel’s retort: ”I’ve had enough of you. You’re done.” Spokespeople for both say they remain pals — but an under-the-weather Koppel canceled a ”Daily Show” appearance (he’ll reschedule). A network anchor accusing a Comedy Central show of…being a joke? Now there — as Stewart says — is your moment of Zen.

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