Read this article in Inside Higher Education: Jon Stewart, Oral Exams and More, read the comments, then get back to me. (I'm really only interested in the Jon Stewart part.)
Okay, now that you've done that, what do you think? Here's my opinion.
Traditional textbooks are boring. They're crammed full of facts-as-portrayed-by-the-authors/editors. Yes, generally speaking, the material is truthful--I don't think the majority of textbook authors/editors really are trying to manipulate or persuade or put forth a particular political agenda. But the "just the facts, ma'am" approach to textbooks can be problematic. I was VERY interested in my intro to Pol Sci course as an undergraduate, and not only because I thought I had to be a Pol Sci major if I wanted to go to Law School. But the textbook was boring, and I didn't read it.
So the instructor in this article about the recent American Political Science Association annual meeting chose a different textbook, one authored by a well known left-leaning popular culture icon. I think one of the commenters was right to question whether the instructor would as blithely choose a book by Rush Limbaugh, or maybe Newt Gingrich, or what about Ann Coulter.
But what almost every commenter (and there are only 4 as I write) ignores, is the truth that TEXTBOOKS ARE BORING. I particularly love what Jerry Pattengale, AVP of Scholarship and Student Success at Indiana Wesleyan University, has to say: "It’s hard not to roll one’s eyes at the thought of anything by Stewart as a college text. Though a William and Mary grad, he seems to lack any sense of authority on issues related to political science curricula." I call shenanigans on that. He cites a few examples of Stewart's "self-proclaimed lack of authority," yet fails to realize that Stewart is not claiming a lack of authority but rather critiquing the way current news sources report. Pattengale is the one who tackles the bias issue, but that doesn't forgive his truly ignorant arguments otherwise. He calls the instructor's decision making "wanton." Um, really? Did you really even read the article? I do pity the poor students at Indiana Wesleyan if this is how their AVP of Scholarship and Student Success makes arguments.
Among the critiques within the article, "one professor said he had considered such a switch, but was bothered because so many of his students have the idea that 'the government sucks' and he fears that Stewart’s book reinforces that idea." Um, no. You're wrong, don't even try. They may have a "government sucks" attitude, but it sounds like Teten is helping them to THINK about why that is, which may end up making a difference. A boring textbook is not going to get them over that attitude.