The study “Did Jon Stewart Elect Donald Trump? Evidence From Television Ratings Data" from professors at Ohio State University and George Washington University made headlines earlier this month. "But shortly after the paper went up online, a few academics began tweeting their skepticism of the authors’ findings," says Shannon Palus. "One emailed them some technical concerns. The authors checked their work and found that they’d made a computational error, one that altered the conclusion of the paper. Stewart’s departure, and the corresponding Daily Show ratings dip, didn’t affect voter turnout of would-be Hillary voters after all. The authors have asked the journal to withdraw the paper." Palus adds: "This isn’t a case of bad science so much as it’s a reality of the scientific process itself...So does this mean we can’t trust…peer-reviewed research papers? Not quite. It’s just a reminder that any given paper is an early draft of an idea, something that should still be examined, questioned, and built upon (and also a good reminder to plug papers into Google—publishing can move at a glacial pace, and the journal has yet to append a notice to the paper). That’s especially important to remember when it comes to studies that appear to suggest a neat cause for a freak event. Even if the paper were correct, the findings would represent only one small electoral force among many—a factor, not a smoking gun."