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Peabodys can take a joke

While Congress and campaign finance reformers debated alleged deficiencies in TV political coverage, veteran comic Jon Stewart won one of broadcasting's highest honors for his irreverent look at the 2000 presidential campaign.

Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart: Indecision 2000 was among the 60th annual George Foster Peabody Award winners, along with a typically eclectic group that included Fox's dysfunctional-family comedy Malcolm in the Middle, a CBS exposé of the AIDS epidemic in Africa (60 Minutes II), and NBC's Today host Katie Couric's profoundly personal presentation on colon cancer. One surprise: ABC had no shows in the winner's circle.

Another "family" show, HBO's The Sopranos, was a repeat winner, as was NBC's The West Wing. A Peabody was also given this year to Marty Haag, recently retired head of news for Beloand and now a consultant, for his commitment to high journalistic and ethical standards.

KHOU-TV Houston added a Peabody to its case full of awards for its exposé of the serious problems with Firestone tires.

The awards, administered by the University of Georgia, were selected from more than a thousand entries.

The winners:

  • 60 Minutes II: Death by Denial, CBS News
  • Dateline NBC: The Paper Chase, NBC News
  • 48 Hours: Heroes Under Fire, CBS News
  • Treading on Danger?, KHOU-TV, Houston
  • An Eighty Four Year Old Youngful Man Lives in the Cabin, KBS, Seoul, Korea
  • Behind Closed Doors, WJXT-TV, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Regret to Inform,
    P.O.V., PBS
  • King Gimp, HBO, Whiteford-Hadary, University of Maryland and Tapestry International
  • 1900 House, A Wall to Wall Production for Channel 4 with Thirteen/WNET New York, PBS
  • Cancer: Evolution to Revolution, HBO and Lovett Productions
  • Frontline: Drug Wars, WGBH/ Frontline, Boston, PBS
  • Ali-Frazier 1: One Nation ... Divisible, HBO Sports
  • CNN Perspectives: Cry Freetown, CNN Productions, Insight News Television and Channel 4 International
  • Napoleon, David Grubin Productions Inc., Devillier Doregan Enterprises, PBS
  • Walking With Dinosaurs, A BBC Discovery Channel TV Asahi co-production with ProSieben and France 3

  • Marketplace, Minnesota Public Radio
  • Witness to an Execution, Sound Portraits Productions, presented on National Public Radio
  • The NPR 100,
    National Public Radio, Washington
  • Slavery, True Vision Productions Ltd. for Channel 4, London
  • Katie Couric: Confronting Colon Cancer, NBC News
  • School Sleuth: The Case of an Excellent School, Learning Matters Inc. and The Merrow Report, PBS
  • Arthur, WGBH-TV Boston and Cinar Films, PBS
  • Hearts and Minds: Teens and Mental Illness, Idaho Public Television, and Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
  • Building Big, WGBH-TV Boston and Production Group Inc., presented on PBS
  • H. Martin "Marty" Haag, former VP, news, Belo Corp., Personal Award
  • The West Wing, NBC, John Wells Productions with Warner Bros., Los Angeles
  • The Sopranos, HBO, Chase Films, Brad Grey Television
  • Sharing the Secret, Robert Greenwald Productions and Pearson Television, CBS
  • Howard Goodall's Big Bangs, A Tiger Aspect Production for Channel 4, London
  • Exxon/Mobil Masterpiece Theatre: David Copperfield, A BBC American and WGBH-TV, Co-production, PBS
  • The Crossing, A&E Network and Columbia TriStar Television Productions, with Chris/Rose Productions
  • The Corner, HBO
  • Malcolm in the Middle, Fox and Regency Television.