Political Satire: The Humor Of Washington On Television

1547 words - 7 pages

When we watch the news, the events in the world of politics are discussed, we would hear about the showdown in Capitol Hill about a vote to appeal tax benefits or the President of the United States getting involved in the siege of war between two countries. But with a serious tone including humorous effects, political satire is expressed to the television world. TV shows such as the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the Colbert report, and Saturday night live and their fake news segment called “Weekend Update” are prime examples of political satire; they use the current events of politics and other events in a comedic and humorous tone.
Satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues (OED). Political satire is where humor and criticism play a major role in politics, it would make a mockery or take shots at the president, vice president, chief of staff, anyone involved in the senate, the House of Representatives, or anyone involved in politics. It is the kind of humor that will provide a light-hearted tone over the seriousness of the negativity we would hear about politics. Some would say that political satire is offensive because of the way the news is handled and the sensitivity of the subject, but some would say it will give a perspective, lighter view to the individuals who do not follow politics daily. Aside from newspapers, magazines and the World Wide Web, political satire is expressed on television as the humor that everyone looks forward to every day. An example of political satire on television is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
The Daily Show is a nightly, half-hour “fake” news program that brings the current events of news including politics in a humorous tone. It is hosted by comedian Jon Stewart, who acts as a managing editor and lead anchor of the “fake” news show. Stewart takes the news of the day and summarizes in a satiric tone. The success of the daily show brings in viewers of a demographic of young adults who tend to get their political news from the show rather than the headlines of other shows on the news cable networks like CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News. At one point, a culture war ignited between the Daily Show and Fox News. Author David Grondin comments on the culture war that “As a satirical TV show that has made Fox News shows one of its main targets (especially for its negative coverage of the Obama presidency), The Daily Show openly seeks to blur the lines between the real and the fake, entertainment and news—and O’Reilly’s and Beck’s shows were often picked on by Stewart in the first two years of the Obama presidency.” (351). Despite all the criticism and negativity, the daily show continues to make people laugh the light-hearted look at Washington and beyond. Another television show that uses political satire every weeknight along with the daily show is their spinoff program called...

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