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Jon Stewart: Four More Years

Whoever runs for president in 2008 will be covered by Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show."

The star of the Comedy Central mock newscast has re-upped for four more years, the cable channel announced Thursday.

"A lot of people like to get out when their show's still going well," Stewart said. "This gives me the opportunity to beat this thing into the ground."

Besides hosting "The Daily Show," Stewart serves as an executive producer and writer. His contract had been set to expire at the end of this year.

Stewart joined the program in January 1999, taking over for Craig Kilborn. It premiered in 1996.

The original idea of a parody newscast has grown during Stewart's tenure into a leading source of topical satire — and, oddly enough, even a primary news source for some viewers.

So far this year, viewership has averaged 1 million for the weeknight 11 p.m. EST airing — an all-time high for the show.

The program has won several Emmys as well as a Peabody Award for its yearlong "Indecision 2000" political coverage.

On "The Daily Show," Stewart and his "correspondents" skewer both politicians and the media who cover them.

"Of course, it is still eight months to Election Day," he declared on a recent broadcast, "but the campaign is starting to fall into its own natural rhythm: falsely macho Kerry comment, falsely indignant Bush response."

But "The Daily Show" pokes fun at nothing more than itself.

Earlier this week the program cried foul upon learning that the Bush administration had released simulated news features to TV stations that promoted certain Bush policies.

How, wailed "Daily Show" senior media ethicist Rob Corddry, could a little show like his hope to compete with the federal government in producing fake news?

"The Daily Show" will continue to report on the Bush vs. Kerry face-off, going on the road to Boston during the Democratic National Convention in July and covering the Republican National Convention from the show's home base in New York.

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