Politics and satire
Politics and Satire
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Politics and satire
Satire has long been a tool of political criticism.
Although the term satire may describe an entire
work, a passage, or a tone, its characteristics are
shared: among these, it employs comedy or
humor; has a target and an ideal to compare it to;
and describes folly or vice in detail.
From THE COLUMBIA ENCYCLOPEDIA:From
ancient times satirists have shared a common
aim: to expose foolishness in all its guises —
vanity, hypocrisy, pedantry, idolatry, bigotry,
sentimentality — and to effect reform through
such exposure. The many diverse forms their
statements have taken reflect the origin of the
word satire, which is derived from the
Latin satura, meaning "dish of mixed fruits,"
What or who is the subject of the piece?
What is the example's main message?
How would you describe its tone, or the feeling
you get from it?
What makes it amusing/powerful/attention-
How do word choices, visuals, tone of voice, and
body language work to convey a particularly idea
or meaning? How would changing one of these
key elements change the message?
The Evening “News”
The category of "fake news" has won the widespread
attention of the American public in shows like THE DAILY
SHOW WITH JON STEWART and others. One of the best-
known and longest-running segments of this type is the
"Weekend Update" segment of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE,
which has satirized current events weekly since 1975. As
Jon Stewart explained to Bill Moyers, "I think we don't
make things up. We just distill it to, hopefully, its most
humorous nugget. And in that sense it seems faked and
skewed just because we don't have to be subjective or
pretend to be objective. We can just put it out there."This
form of satire, along with Internet "fake news" sites such
as THE ONION, WHITEHOUSE.ORG, and
the BOROWITZ REPORT have brought the attention of a
younger generation to satire and commentary on today's
political discussions and societal inequality.
Recently comedian Stephen Colbert of TV's Comedy
Central has gained attention for not only satirizing our
political system, but also participating in it. As a
means of drawing attention to (and making fun of) the
state of American campaign finance laws, Colbert has
formed his own "Super PAC" and has been using it to
run humorous campaign advertisements in states
along the Republican presidential primary trail. In the
process, he is giving his audience a lesson about how
money functions in U.S. elections.
So far, the reception has been mixed. While some
angry critics charge Colbert with making a mockery of
our system, other commentators believe that his
comedy is doing a brilliant job of highlighting the