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Does satire strengthen or weaken public perceptions of politics? While political satire is nothing new, talk shows and news parody shows have taken this form of entertainment to new—and arguably powerful—heights. As the social media-savvy millennial generation enters the voting pool, they continue to redefine notions of engaged citizenship and activism. Referencing scholarship on the state of democracy and media, McClennen and Maisel examine the critical potential of satire and the satirists most prominent in the nation today. They show us that one thing is certain: post-9/11 satire exercises tremendous influence on public opinion and is shaping a new version of US democracy.
The book studies the intersections between satirical comedy and national politics in order to show that one of the strongest supports for our democracy today comes from those of us who are seriously joking. This book shows how we got to this place and why satire may be the only way we can save our democracy and strengthen our nation.
Is the comedy of Stephen Colbert simply fun or is it powerful political satire? Does it entertain viewers or does it empower them? Or does it teach us that in today's media-saturated world those binaries make no sense? Colbert's America claims that Colbert's satire fosters critical thinking about social issues, encourages active citizenship, and entertains the viewer - all at the same time. The first book to cover the various themes and features of The Colbert Report, Colbert's America offers readers insight into the powerful ways that Colbert's comedy challenges the cult of ignorance that has threatened meaningful public debate and social dialogue since 9/11.
In an age when Jon Stewart frequently tops lists of most-trusted newscasters, the films of Michael Moore become a dominant topic of political campaign analysis, and activists adopt ironic, fake personas to attract attention -- the satiric register has attained renewed and urgent prominence in political discourse. Amber Day focuses on the parodist news show, the satiric documentary, and ironic activism to examine the techniques of performance across media, highlighting their shared objective of bypassing standard media outlets and the highly choreographed nature of current political debate.
A Decade of Dark Humor analyzes ways in which popular and visual culture used humor-in a variety of forms-to confront the attacks of September 11, 2001 and, more specifically, the aftermath. This interdisciplinary volume brings together scholars from four countries to discuss the impact of humor and irony on both media discourse and tangible political reality. Furthermore, it demonstrates that laughter is simultaneously an avenue through which social issues are deferred or obfuscated, a way in which neoliberal or neoconservative rhetoric is challenged, and a means of forming alternative political ideologies. The volume's contributors cover a broad range of media productions, including news parodies (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, The Onion), TV roundtable shows (Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher), comic strips and cartoons (Aaron McGruder’s The Boondocks, Jeff Danzinger’s editorial cartoons), television drama (Rescue Me), animated satire (South Park), graphic novels (Art Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers), documentary (Fahrenheit 9/11), and other productions. Along with examining the rhetorical methods and aesthetic techniques of these productions, the essays place each in specific political and journalistic contexts, showing how corporations, news outlets, and political institutions responded to-and sometimes co-opted-these forms of humor.
This book examines the role of humor in modern American politics. Written by a wide range of authors from the fields of political science and communication, this book is organized according to two general topics: how the modern media present political humor the various ways in which political humor influences politics. Laughing Matters is an excellent text for courses on media and politics, public opinion, and campaigns and elections.
In this completely revised and updated edition (including eight new chapters), Jeffrey Jones charts the evolution and maturation of political entertainment television by examining The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Politically Incorrect/Real Time with Bill Maher, and Michael Moore's TV Nation and The Awful Truth. This volume investigates how and why these shows have been central locations for the critique of political and economic power and an important resource for citizens during numerous political crises. In an age of Truthiness, fake news and humorous political talk have proven themselves viable forms of alternative reporting and critical means for ascertaining truth, and in the process, questioning the legitimacy of news media's role as the primary mediator of political life. The book also addresses the persistent claims that these programs have cynical effects and create misinformed young citizens, demonstrating instead how such programming provide for an informed, active, and meaningful citizenship. The new edition takes account of the many changes that have occurred in television and political culture since Entertaining Politics' initial release.

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