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Such comments raise the question whether or to what extent a comedy show The Daily Showhenceforth TDS is becoming a source of news. The change in the status of Jon Stewart as a fake anchor of a news show parody to an actual news figure was already of concern to Aaron McKain in his December article in the Journal of American Culture.

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So, according to McKain, TDS is turning the serious business of news reporting into entertainment, to the detriment of an increasingly uninformed public. While McKain is right on target for the most part, he is wrong — or at least not quite right — regarding his point that serious news reporting is being turned into entertainment. In his otherwise thorough analysis of how TDS parodies news, McKain has not really grappled with the way TDS parodies how news has become more entertainment than reporting.

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Nevertheless, McKain does effectively discuss the complexity with which TDS parodies official news by exposing what is presented as real to be fake:. By playing clips against each other, TDS shows us what has not been presented to us through this unmediated process ….

And, indeed, TDS has become somewhat newsworthy. But allowing comedy clips to slip into serious news is not the reason why official news seems more like entertainment.


When laughter is directed aggressively, it can be an extremely powerful tool, victimizing its targets in purely negative terms and reinforcing prejudice. Comedy that seeks to do the same to tyrannical or prejudicial ideologies, however, often has to relinquish a reasonable base for its arguments before it enters the arena.

Parody and satire are good for demolishing dogma but not for constructively offering alternatives to it….

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Perhaps it is true that comedy has nothing to offer politics when the project requires something more than simple derision. Like McKain and Stott, Paul Lewis is interested in the extent to which comedy can effect political change.

He is particularly concerned with the success of rightwing political humorists and points out that comedians, such as Jay Leno, who deliver more impartial or at least more bipartisan political jokes have little effect on their voting public. There is a difference between Limbaugh and Stewart that is not based on party affiliation.

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Therefore, like McKain, Lewis positions TDS as exposing abuse by those with power, rather than protecting those with power and attacking those without. Even his constant self-aggrandizing is toned down with the use of humor, so that it seems he is exaggerating.

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The difference is that his accuracy is not being challenged, just his persona. Unlike McKain or Stott, Lewis does not despair when empirical research reveals that humor is unlikely to sway an election Lewis What he suggests is that the sort of humor that ridicules abusive politics has the effect of creating a space where rational reflection on issues can take place — it provides a more balanced perspective when the official news media cannot.

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In contrast to the dire situation of famine in Darfur, each fake correspondent was gleefully chewing on a mouthful of bubble gum while informing their public of the sad fate of Darfur natives. This exposure allows his audience to reflect not only on the problem of news sponsorship, but also on the unbalanced power relations between first world news reporters and the less fortunate people who provide them with news stories.

If the political humor of TDS cannot sway voters, it can open the way for critical reflection.

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In Rabelais and His WorldBakhtin nostalgically celebrates Local Sluts Mayaguez PR medieval carnival in order to rescue a notion of a politicized popular laughter in an era traditionally associated with a hegemonic religious-state order. In order to effect this rescue, Bakhtin positions carnival laughter against the seriousness of the church He contemplates how such irreverent laughter survives the power of the church it mocks.

We have seen that this laughter was absolutely unofficial but nevertheless legalized. In this episode of the novel, the only weapon against a dangerous extremist was to summon an unofficial truth through the guise of a mocking clown. This is how Stewart is able to defeat such false fears created by official lies in recurring segments, such as Mess-O-Potamia, that mock the official lies that generated mass fears about weapons of mass destruction leading to the invasion of Iraq.

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Both Linda Hutcheon and Henry Louis Gates pick up the notion of double discourse and develop it within a more modern context. Both Hutcheon and Gates recognize that not all parody lays bare the lies of that which it imitates. So, then, the use of parody can affirm a community.

I would resituate that claim to fit my reading of TDS, which stresses knowledge of current events, or an immediate past. Parody thus displaces the romantic notion of individual authorship and resituates parodied texts into a more public sphere.

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The tech involved was the telegraph, transatlantic wire, transcontinental cables, linotype, high-speed electric presses, rise of the telephone, etc. This is the point when the American public began to expect serious news reporting.

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Fake news made its debut on TV in when That Was the Week That Wasa weekly comedy review that included a fake news segment was anchored by David Frost, who went on to host The Frost Reportwhich parodied a current events show. Although Laugh-In went off the air init took a mere two years for another weekly sketch comedy to hit the screen: Saturday Night Live present. Both of these American and British series were Local Sluts Mayaguez PR primarily to news parodies and directly inform TDS. However, TDS has attracted considerably more attention than its predecessors from both comedic and media scholars.

According to Mindich, the dislike younger Americans feel towards news has two causes: the sort of news being conveyed and the trustworthiness of the news source. And this disillusionment is not unfounded when the likes of ABC News, owned by Disney, cancelled Nightline inin order to try and lure David Letterman into that slot in an attempt to improve Local Sluts Mayaguez PR On the other hand, from a purely business point of view, solid journalism is not cheap, so who is to blame?

Much to his credit, Mindich does not play a blame game; instead, he looks for possible solutions, among them is encouraging students from elementary through university levels to listen to credible news sources in the same way they are encouraged now to engage in volunteer community work, which bolsters their s.

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Being more informed on local, national, and international affairs makes for a more vigorous democracy. She then goes on to argue that, rather than representing the public, reporters and anchors come to represent the interests of politicians, corporations, etc.

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Morse views network news as a cultural product that is as trustworthy or not as soap operas From this point of view, TDS is a valid news source, one that has the advantage of engaging a broader and younger audience. In fact, the real fake news is not the one claiming to be such TDS ; instead, it is the broadcast news that is a sham, parading as something it is not.

I would add that its irony in the form of parody kills two birds with one stone: it informs its viewers of Local Sluts Mayaguez PR current events while also criticizing the pathetic state of most mainstream news sources.

Again, using its trademark montage, we saw the following clips:. Whether mainstream news already incorporates entertainment in order to draw in more viewers or is more false than fake news itself, its parody is an event that is to be taken seriously. Rather than influencing official news to become entertainment, as McKain claims, TDS should be understood as encouraging us to view official news more critically and thus compelling official news to become more credible and engage in what Mindich calls solid journalism.

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Notes 1. He was a serial child killer who, after being killed by an angry mob of parents, avenges his death by stalking the children of those he deemed responsible as they dream. Because this character is witty with his victims, Lewis uses him as a symbol to describe a mean-spirited type of humor that thinly veils an attack on people unable to defend themselves Gore was cut off by the positive audience response followed by a cut to commercial.

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Works Cited Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination.

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Michael Holquist. Caryl Emerson and Michale Holquist. Austin: U of Texas P, Rabelais and His World.

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Bloomington: Indiana UP, Benjamin, Walter. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Comedy Central, Gates, Henry Louis. Lewis, Paul. Believe It. McKain, Aaron. Mindich, David T. Morse, Margaret.

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Allen and A. New York, NY: Routledge, Gorden Wiles and Mark Warren. NBC, Seelye, Katharine. The Daily Show.

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