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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

News satire is a type of parody presented in a format typical of mainstream journalism, and called a satire because of its content. News satire has been around almost as long as journalism itself, but it is particularly popular on the web, with websites like The Onion, where it is relatively easy to mimic a legitimate news source. News satire relies heavily on irony and deadpan humor.

Two slightly different types of news satire exist. One form uses satirical commentary and sketch comedy to comment on real-world news events, while the other presents wholly fictionalized news stories.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Office Hours: Political Satire and the News
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  • Philipp Walulis - Die Zukunft der Satire im Web | Zündfunk Netzkongress 2015
  • 4 Ways to Spot a Fake News Story | What the Stuff?!

Transcription

cc >> THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM IS A SPECIAL PRESENTATION OF THE BIG TEN NETWORK PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN. >> SATIRE AND SATIRICAL SHOWS HAVE BECOME AN INCREASINGLY POPULAR SOURCE FOR POLITICAL NEWS. IN FACT, SINCE 2007, MORE 18- TO 39-YEAR-OLDS HAVE WATCHED "THE DAILY SHOW" NIGHTLY THAN ANY OTHER LATE NIGHT PROGRAM. AND MILLIONS MORE WATCH LETTERMAN, LENO, AND CONAN O'BRIEN. WHAT ROLE DOES SATIRE PLAY IN PEOPLE'S PERCEPTION OF POLITICS? HOW DOES IT AFFECT PUBLIC OPINION IN POLITICAL BEHAVIOR? WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT HOW THIS ALTERNATIVE NEWS SOURCE HAS BECOME A PART OF THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE. NEXT, DURING "OFFICE HOURS." HI, I'M KEN GOLDSTEIN, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON. TODAY, WE'LL BE TAKING A WALK ON THE SATIRICAL SIDE BY EXPLORING WHAT EFFECTS SATIRE HAS ON THE POLITICAL PROCESS. JOINING ME TODAY ARE JONATHAN GRAY AND MICHAEL XENOS. JONATHAN IS AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MEDIA AND CULTURAL STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN. HIS WORK EXAMINES THE INFLUENCE OF POLITICAL ENTERTAINMENT ON PUBLIC BEHAVIOR. MICHAEL IS AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN COMMUNICATION ARTS, AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN CENTER FOR COMMUNICATION RESEARCH. HIS WORK FOCUSES ON HOW POLITICAL COMMUNICATION INFLUENCES THE QUALITY OF DEMOCRATIC DELIBERATION, PUBLIC OPINION, AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT. JONATHAN, MICHAEL, WELCOME TO "OFFICE HOURS." >> THANK YOU. >> I FEEL A LITTLE PRESSURE IN A SHOW ON SATIRE TO START OUT BEING FUNNY, BUT I WILL STOP FROM DOING THAT. LET ME START WITH YOU, MICHAEL, AND ASK YOU TO SKETCH OUT THE GENERAL MEDIA ENVIRONMENT. BECAUSE, WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE ROLE OF SATIRE, THESE SATIRICAL SHOWS. BUT THEY'RE IN A GENERAL MEDIA ENVIRONMENT. TALK TO ME ABOUT WHAT THAT GENERAL MEDIA ENVIRONMENT IS, AND HOW IT'S CHANGED IN THE LAST 20 OR 30 YEARS. >> CERTAINLY. ONE OF THE BIG THINGS IN THE BACK DROP BEHIND THESE COMEDY SHOWS IS MOVING FROM A BROADCAST ENVIRONMENT FROM THE 1970s, OR SO, WHERE MOST AMERICAN HOUSEHOLDS GOT AN AVERAGE OF 3 OR MAYBE 3 1/2 CHANNELS OF CONTENT. NOW WITH THE ADVENT OF CABLE AND THEN WITH THE INTERNET, AND THESE TIME-SHIFTING TECHNOLOGIES, THERE'S REALLY JUST A LOT MORE CONTENT, AND A LOT MORE CHOICE, AND A LOT OF THINGS TO MAKE SENSE OF. AND I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT THAT AS THE BACK DROP FOR SOME OF THESE SATIRE AND COMEDY PROGRAMS, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THEY OFFER IS A BIT OF PERSPECTIVE. A LOT OF THE TIME, THEY'RE COMMENTING ON INFORMATION IN THOSE OTHER CONTENT SOURCES, AND EVEN ON THE NORMS OF HOW THEY'RE PRODUCED AND HOW THEY GET MADE. SO, I THINK THAT'S WHERE THEY FIT IN. >> BUT THEY'RE IN A WORLD THAT'S NOT JUST THREE NETWORK EVENING NEWS SHOWS AND A COUPLE NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS. >> OH, NOT AT ALL. THEY HAVE A WEALTH OF CONTENT. IF YOU WATCH "THE DAILY SHOW" IT'S AMAZING HOW THEY'RE ABLE TO PULL THESE CLIPS FROM THIS VAST UNIVERSE OF CONTENT. THEY MUST HAVE SOME PRETTY AMAZING TEXT SEARCHING SOFTWARE TO BE ABLE TO PULL THE KIND OF THINGS THAT THEY DO. AND PART OF THAT IS BECAUSE THEY HAVE SO MUCH TO DRAW ON, SO MUCH TO COMMENT ON AND SO MUCH TO MAKE FUN OF. I THINK THAT'S HOW THE MEDIA ENVIRONMENT FITS IN. >> IF WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT SATIRE, JONATHAN, WHAT DO WE ACTUALLY MEAN BY SATIRE, OR A SATIRICAL SHOW? >> SATIRE IS A FORM OF IRONY, RIGHT? IT'S A SORT OF IRONY MEETS POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT. AND SO IT'S A WAY OF MAKING A POLITICAL JUDGMENT IN A PLAYFUL, HUMOROUS WAY. SOMETIMES THE HUMOR IS A BITING HUMOR, WHERE IT'S NOT LAUGHING HA-HA FUNNY, IT'S MORE WITTY APPRECIATING IT. DRAWING ATTENTION TO COMMON PROBLEMS SOMETIMES BY DRIVING THEM TO A POINT OF EXCESS, OR INVERTING THEM, USING IRONY TO MAKE US SORT OF THINK ABOUT-- >> STEVEN COLBERT WOULD BE AN EXAMPLE OF INVERSION. CORRECT? >> PERFECT. OR DRIVEN TO EXCESS, SOMETIMES. HE'S A PUNDIT GONE WILD, RIGHT? >> WE'RE GOING TO TALK A LOT ABOUT "THE DAILY SHOW" AND COMEDY CENTRAL, BUT THAT'S NOT ALL THERE IS. THERE ARE A WIDE VARIETY OF OTHER SORTS OF SHOWS. IF WE TALK ABOUT SATIRICAL SHOWS, GIVE ME WHAT THAT LIST WOULD LOOK LIKE NOW. >> YOU COULD ALSO INCLUDE THINGS LIKE "THE SIMPSONS," "SOUTH PARK," "BOON DOCKS." "CHAPELLE SHOW" WHEN IT WAS ON. "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" LIKES TO WAX SATIRICAL SOMETIMES, WITH "WEEKEND UPDATE." THEN THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER SHOWS THAT I THINK HAVE THEIR SATIRICAL MOMENT, YOU KNOW, KEITH OBERMAN AND RACHEL MADDOW, AND MSNBC SORT OF HAVE LITTLE SEGMENTS WHERE THEY GET MORE PLAYFUL. AND YOU SEE GLENN BECK DOING THE SAME. YOU SEE RUSH LIMBAUGH DOING THE SAME. THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT MAY NOT BE SATIRISTS, BUT THEY GET SATIRICAL AT TIMES. >> LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT FOR A SECOND, MICHAEL. HOW DO WE DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN A RUSH LIMBAUGH, A BECK, A MADDOW, AND HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN BECK IS BEING SERIOUS AND WHEN HE'S BEING SATIRICAL? >> I'M NOT SURE WE CAN ALWAYS KNOW FOR SURE, BUT I THINK WHAT YOU MIGHT BE GETTING AT IS THERE IS THIS SPECTRUM. AND I THINK THAT'S ANOTHER THING GOING BACK TO THE BACKGROUND AND HOW MEDIA AND THE LANDSCAPE HAS CHANGED. YOU HAVE EVERYTHING FROM PURE SATIRE, STEVEN COLBERT, AND HIGH EMPHASIS ON COMEDY, TO MIXTURES OF, IN THE CABLE AUDIENCES, WHERE THEY'RE TRYING TO FIGHT FOR A NICHE AUDIENCE AND APPEAL TO THEM AND MAKE A CONNECTION WITH THEM, INCORPORATING MORE ENTERTAINMENT INTO THE MIX. THAT'S OFTEN LOOKED AT AS SOFT NEWS. NOT EXACTLY THE SAME AS TRADITIONAL NEWS, BUT INCORPORATING SOME OF THESE EDGIER, SATIRICAL ELEMENTS. >> SOFT NEWS OR INFORMATION, OR YOU HEAR THE TERM INFO-TAINMENT, CAN BE A WIDE VARIETY OF DIFFERENT SOURCES, SO SITCOMS, DRAMA SHOWS, HOSPITAL SHOWS. PEOPLE ALSO MAY BE LEARNING THINGS ABOUT POLITICS IN SOCIETY THROUGH THEM AS WELL, CORRECT? >> OH, DEFINITELY. SOMETIMES WE SEE INFO-TAINMENT, THAT WORD, AND WE THINK THAT ITS INFORMATION THAT'S BEEN INVADED BY ENTERTAINMENT, BUT IT WORKS THE OTHER WAY. SOMETIMES ENTERTAINMENT GETS INVADED BY INFORMATION. AND SO THERE ARE A WIDE VARIETY OF GENRES. YOU THINK OF DRAMAS LIKE "BROTHERS AND SISTERS" OR "THE WEST WING," WHEN IT WAS ON THAT SORT OF GET POLITICAL AT MOMENTS. YOU COULD THINK OF ALL SORTS OF COMEDIES, SOMETIMES JUST VERY BANAL COMEDIES THAT GET SERIOUS FOR A MOMENT. IT'S ALL OVER THE PLACE. AND WE ENGAGE WITH POLITICS IN SO MANY MORE PLACES THAN JUST THE NEWS. IT'S SORT OF REDUCTIVE TO THINK THAT WE WOULD ONLY ENGAGE WITH POLITICS FOR HALF AN HOUR A NIGHT. THAT SOUNDS LIKE A BAD CITIZEN TO ME. >> JONATHAN, MICHAEL, STAY WITH US, HOPE YOU'LL ALL STAY WITH US HERE ON "OFFICE HOURS" FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON. WE'RE DISCUSSING SATIRE, SATIRICAL SHOWS AND ITS EFFECT ON OUR POLITICS. PLEASE STAY WITH US. >> THIS PROGRAM IS A PRODUCTION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON. IF YOU HAVE COMMENTS ABOUT THIS BROADCAST, PLEASE E-MAIL THEM TO" PROGRAMMING@UC.WISC.EDU >> WHERE OTHERS SAW LUMBER, WE RECOGNIZED A TREASURE. WHERE OTHERS SAW THE NIGHT, WE CHOSE THE STARS. WHERE OTHERS SAW PIECES, WE UNLOCKED THE PUZZLE THAT COULD BRING THE END TO PARALYSIS AND CANCER. SINCE 1848, THINKERS AND ACHIEVERS AT WISCONSIN HAVE FEARLESSLY SOUGHT IDEAS THAT TRANSFORMED THE WORLD. KEEP ON, WISCONSIN, KEEP ON. >> WELCOME BACK TO "OFFICE HOURS." I'M HERE WITH JONATHAN GRAY AND MICHAEL XENOS. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SATIRE, SATIRICAL SHOWS, AND THEIR EFFECT ON POLITICS IN AMERICA. SO, JONATHAN, MICHAEL, WE WENT DOWN TO THE MEMORIAL UNION, ASKED SOME STUDENTS WHERE THEY GET POLITICAL INFORMATION, AND THIS IS WHAT THEY TOLD US. >> I GET MY NEWS FROM TV SHOWS LIKE "THE DAILY SHOW" AND THE COLBERT REPORT." I READ "THE NEW YORK TIMES" ONLINE, BUT THIS IS JUST A BACKUP TO WHAT I READ, I GUESS. >> MOSTLY, I LISTEN TO "DEMOCRACY NOW," OR I WATCH IT ONLINE. AND THEN, I ALSO GET A LOT OF NEWS FROM "AL-JAZEERA ENGLISH." AND I WATCH JON STEWART ONLINE, AS WELL. >> I USUALLY WATCH "THE DAILY SHOW," "THE COLBERT REPORT," OR GO ON "BBC NEWS.COM". >> "NEW YORK TIMES.COM". I LIVE IN NEW YORK, SO IT'S MY HOME PAGE ON MY WORK COMPUTER. AT NIGHT, MY BOYFRIEND WATCHES "THE DAILY SHOW," SO I WATCH IT WITH HIM SOMETIMES. THAT'S PRETTY MUCH IT. "HUNTINGTON POST" ALSO A LITTLE BIT. >> SO MICHAEL, MEDIA OUTLETS CERTAINLY PAY OBSESSIVE ATTENTION TO RATINGS. WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT WHAT PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS ARE DOING WHAT THESE STUDENTS DO, WHICH IS WATCH "THE DAILY SHOW"? >> I THINK THE MOST RECENT NUMBERS I KNOW OF ESTIMATE THAT REGULAR VIEWERS, ABOUT 7% OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC CONSIDER THEMSELVES REGULAR VIEWERS OF "THE DAILY SHOW," BUT YOUNG, IS ALMOST TWICE THAT PROPORTION, OF 18- TO 29-YEAR-OLDS REPORT REGULARLY WATCHING "THE DAILY SHOW," AS THESE STUDENTS SEEM TO. >> NOT EVERYONE WATCHES "THE DAILY SHOW" AT 11:00 EASTERN, 10:00 CENTRAL, CORRECT? THOSE BITS GET A LOT MORE PLAY. >> YEAH, I MEAN, I PROBABLY COULDN'T SAY THAT I'M A REGULAR VIEWER, BUT I'M ALWAYS WATCHING BITS EMBEDDED IN PEOPLE'S BLOGS, OR THEY'VE LINKED TO ON FACEBOOK, OR PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT ON TWITTER. SO, IT'S IMPORTANT TO REALIZE HOW MUCH VIEWERSHIP HAPPENS IN THOSE SPACES, TOO. >> THAT'S ALMOST A WHOLE OTHER DISCUSSION ABOUT THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT ONCE THE CONTENT IS CREATED THAT IT HAS OUT THERE. >> YEAH. >> WHAT'S INTERESTING TO ME IN LISTENING TO THOSE CLIPS WAS THE WIDE VARIANCE. SO WE HAD AL-JAZEERA AND "THE DAILY SHOW," BBC AND "THE DAILY SHOW," "NEW YORK TIMES" AND "THE DAILY SHOW." DO YOU FIND THAT INTERESTING, THAT YOU SEE THE WIDE VARIANCE IN THE SOURCE OF INFORMATION THAT PEOPLE ARE SEEKING OUT? >> IT'S KIND OF GOOD. IT'S ENCOURAGING TO HEAR THAT THEY'RE ACTUALLY WATCHING ANYTHING TO BEGIN WITH. GOING TO SO MANY DIFFERENT SOURCES MEANS THAT, YOU KNOW, OF COURSE, THEY'VE BEEN GOING INTO DISCUSSIONS WITH THEIR FRIENDS AND BRINGING IN THIS DIFFERENT INFORMATION, AND HOPEFULLY SORT OF HASHING IT OUT AND COMING UP TO THE BETTER PRODUCT AS A RESULT. >> CAN SOMEONE UNDERSTAND THE "THE DAILY SHOW," UNDERSTAND "THE COLBERT REPORT," UNDERSTAND "THE ONION," IF THEY'RE ALSO NOT READING "NEW YORK TIMES," WATCHING REGULAR STANDARD OUTLETS AND HAVE SOME BASE OF KNOWLEDGE? "THE ONION" HAS JUST DONE THIS WHOLE SERIES ON JOE BIDEN. THAT'S NOT FUNNY IF YOU DON'T KNOW JOE BIDEN, RIGHT? >> WELL, ON THE FIRST PART WITH "THE DAILY SHOW" AND COLBERT, I THINK YOU CERTAINLY CAN BE ENTERTAINED BY THESE SHOWS WITHOUT A LOT OF CURRENT AFFAIRS KNOWLEDGE, BUT IT CERTAINLY HELPS IF YOU WANT TO GET MORE AND MORE OF THE JOKES. I THINK EVEN WITH THE WIDE VARIANCE, THESE STUDENTS ARE-- IT'S INTERESTING TO NOTE HOW THEY ALL REPORT SOME SATIRE, AND SOME NEWS OF SOME KIND. I THINK IT'S THAT PROCESS OF BACK AND FORTH THAT REALLY IS THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT THESE SHOWS. I THINK FOR ME, "THE ONION" IS THE SAME WAY, BUT ALSO MUCH MORE FOCUSED ON MEDIA. THERE IS SO MUCH OF THE JOKES IN "THE ONION" THAT SEEM TO BE BASED, AT LEAST TO ME, ON AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOW A TYPICAL NEWSPAPER STORY WORKS, OR DIFFERENT GENRES OF TYPICAL STORIES. THEY MAKE FUN OF THOSE. YOU KNOW, THEY MAKE FUN OF THE MEDIA IN A VERY INTERESTING WAY, USING THOSE. >> WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE IMPACT OF WATCHING THESE SHOWS ON VARIOUS POLITICAL ATTITUDES OR POLITICAL BEHAVIOR? >> A LOT OF PEOPLE WONDER ABOUT THE IMPACT. THERE'S THAT FAMOUS STATISTIC OR PEOPLE CITE THAT YOUNG PEOPLE ARE GETTING THEIR NEWS FROM "THE DAILY SHOW." ONE THING I'VE LEARNED ABOUT THAT IN MY RESEARCH, IS THAT IT'S NOT SO MUCH FROM THE SHOW ITSELF THAT THEY'RE GETTING IT, IT'S REALLY THAT INTERACTION EFFECT BETWEEN WATCHING "THE DAILY SHOW" AND HAVING SOME OTHER CONTENT AS WELL INTO THE MIX. ON THE FRONT END, IN STUDIES I'VE DONE, WE SEE HOW JON STEWART MIGHT RAISE THE SALIENCE OF AN ISSUE FOR SOMEBODY. EITHER THEY GET THE JOKE AND WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT IT, OR MAYBE THEY DON'T GET THE JOKE AND GIVES THEM EVEN MORE MOTIVATION TO WANT TO SEE WHAT THE FUSS IS ABOUT, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT IT. OR EVEN ON THE BACK END, HE MAKES A JOKE ABOUT SOMETHING. THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT COMEDY AND HUMOR FROM A COGNITIVE PERSPECTIVE IS IT MAKES YOU WORK THROUGH MATERIAL IN AN INTERESTING WAY TO FIND YOUR WAY TO THE PUNCH LINE. AND I THINK FOR BOTH OF THESE PROCESSES, IT'S THROUGH THE COMBINATION OF SATIRE AND, YOU KNOW, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" OR NETWORK NEWS, OR OTHER TELEVISION NEWS OUTLETS THAT PEOPLE REALLY GET THE MOST FROM. >> JONATHAN, WE'LL TAKE A BREAK NOW, BUT THEN WE'RE GOING TO MOVE FROM "THE NEW YORK TIMES" TO "THE SIMPSONS," AND TALK ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH ON "THE SIMPSONS." SO, PLEASE STAY WITH US ON "OFFICE HOURS." JONATHAN GRAY AND MICHAEL XENOS, TALKING ABOUT POLITICAL SATIRE. >> GREAT PEOPLE IS OUR CAMPAIGN FOR NEED-BASED SCHOLARSHIP AID. IT'S THE KEY TO THE LONG-TERM WELL-BEING OF THE UNIVERSITY AS A WHOLE. >> IN 1970, TUITION COSTS ABOUT $500. >> TODAY IT'S ABOUT $9,000. >> WE DON'T WANT UW-MADISON TO BE A UNIVERSITY THAT IS DEEMED TO BE OUT OF REACH. >> THE GREAT PEOPLE SCHOLARSHIP GIVES STUDENTS A CHANCE TO SUCCEED IN LIFE. >> SUPPORT THE GREAT PEOPLE SCHOLARSHIP. VISIT: UWGREATPEOPLE.ORG >> WELCOME BACK TO "OFFICE HOURS," WITH JONATHAN GRAY AND MICHAEL XENOS. SO JONATHAN, YOU DID A JOURNAL ARTICLE ON "THE SIMPSONS," WHICH JUST ON ITS FACE IS GREAT. AND YOU USE THE TERM "INTERTEXTUALITY." WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? >> IT'S THE PROCESS WHEN YOU ARE LEARNING AND MAKING SENSE OF ONE TEXT OR ONE SHOW, MOVIE, WHATEVER, WITH INFORMATION THAT YOU'VE LEARNED FROM ANOTHER ONE. MY INTEREST THOUGH, WAS RATHER THAN SAYING WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF THIS ONE SHOW, REALIZING THAT TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO KNOW WHAT OTHER SHOWS HAVE TOLD YOU, THAT YOU THEN USE TO MAKE SENSE OF THAT. >> AND SO SPECIFICALLY, YOU LOOKED AT THE EFFECT OF "THE SIMPSONS," NOT ON AMERICAN AUDIENCES, BUT ON AUDIENCES OVERSEAS, AND HOW THEY PERCEIVE THE UNITED STATES. >> YEAH, ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS INTERESTED IN, WHEN PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES WATCH "THE SIMPSONS," WHAT MESSAGES ARE THEY GETTING ABOUT THE UNITED STATES, AND WHAT MESSAGES ARE THEY GETTING ABOUT AMERICAN TELEVISION? WHAT IS THE COMMENTARY THAT'S BEING OFFERED BY "THE SIMPSONS"? >> AND WHAT MESSAGES ARE THEY GETTING? >> THAT'S WHAT'S FUNNY. YOU KNOW, WE WORRY A LOT, AND WE SHOULD, ABOUT CULTURAL IMPERIALISM, AMERICANIZATION. WE SEE SHOWS GOING OVERSEAS, WE THINK, ARE THEY MAKING THE WORLD INTO AMERICANS? AND YET, MOST OF THE PEOPLE I TALK TO, THE ONE THING THEY LOVED ABOUT "THE SIMPSONS" WAS THAT IT MADE FUN OF AMERICA, THAT HOMER WAS A STUPID AMERICAN MAN. AND IT WASN'T JUST THAT IT MADE FUN OF AMERICA, IT WAS ALSO THAT IT PROVIDED A NICE RESPONSE TO THE THINGS LIKE "FULL HOUSE," THAT ENDLESSLY SUGGEST THAT EVERYTHING IS FINE IN AMERICA, AND THAT, YOU KNOW, PERFECTION HAS BEEN ACHIEVED, AND EVERYONE GETS ALONG GREAT. AND THEY LIKED THAT IT SORT OF PULLED AWAY AT THAT, AND SORT OF TOOK A LITTLE HAMMER AND STARTED CHIPPING AWAY AT IT. >> LOTS OF SHOWS WE TALK ABOUT NOW, BUT SATIRE IS NOT NEW. THERE WAS SATIRE 30 YEARS AGO, 40 YEARS AGO, 200 YEARS AGO, 2,000 YEARS AGO, CORRECT? >> CERTAINLY. IT'S A FORM OF HUMOR AND A FORM OF POLITICAL DISCOURSE THAT'S ALWAYS HAD SOME USE, AND PEOPLE HAVE ENJOYED, AND PEOPLE HAVE USED TO CRITICIZE POWER AND, YOU KNOW, BRING OUT HYPOCRISY, AND DO ALL KINDS OF POLITICAL THINGS. >> WHO IS THE GREEK OR ROMAN JON STEWART? >> THERE WAS ARISTOPHANES WRITING PLAYS LIKE THAT. THERE WAS DIOGENES. SOME OF THE GREATEST SATIRISTS IN HISTORY ARE FROM THE GREEK AGE. AND WE'VE GOT THEM ALL UP TO JONATHAN SWIFT. AND EVERY ERA HAS HAD ITS SATIRISTS, BECAUSE EVERY ERA HAS PROBABLY NEEDED IT. >> DID THEY RUN INTO TROUBLE IN THEIR WORK? >> YEAH, SOME OF THEM GOT KILLED. (LAUGHTER) BUT SATIRE IS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE WAYS THAT SOMETIMES YOU CAN MAKE A REALLY STRIDENT CRITIQUE, AND NOT GET KILLED, AND NOT GET IN TROUBLE, BECAUSE IT'S STILL COMEDY, BECAUSE YOU CAN SORT OF EXCUSE OFF AND SAY WELL, YOU KNOW, I WAS JUST BEING PLAYFUL, DON'T CAKE IT SO SERIOUSLY. >> DID ANYONE DO THE SORT OF RESEARCH THAT YOU'VE DONE RECENTLY? WAS THERE ANY RESEARCH DONE ON "THE CARSON SHOW" A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO? I REMEMBER GROWING UP AS A KID, AND GERRY FORD WAS PRESIDENT, AND OF COURSE, HE WAS A FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER, AND PROBABLY ONE OF THE BETTER ATHLETES WE'VE EVER HAD AS A PRESIDENT, YET HE WAS PORTRAYED ON "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" AND CARSON AS THIS BUMBLING FOOL. >> RIGHT, I THINK THERE'S SPORADIC ATTENTION TO EARLIER COMEDY OF THE BROADCAST ERA. CERTAINLY, IT'S NOT JUST COMMUNICATION WHERE I WORK, BUT A LOT OF DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES AND HUMANISTS ARE INTERESTED IN COMEDY. BUT FOR ME, IT REALLY DOES PICK UP SUDDENLY AROUND AND NEAR THE 1990s, AND IT REALLY STARTS TO BECOME MORE OF A PRIME TIME ISSUE. AND I THINK YOU SEE MUCH MORE ACADEMIC ATTENTION SINCE THEN. IN PART, I THINK IT'S RELATED TO ITS INCREASED SALIENCE IN THIS HIGHLY CROWDED, HIGHLY CHOICE-DRIVEN MEDIA ENVIRONMENT. >> MICHAEL, JONATHAN, STAY WITH US. HOPE YOU WILL ALL STAY WITH US. WE'LL DISCUSS, IN OUR LAST SEGMENT, WHETHER JON STEWART IS TRYING TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. STAY WITH US ON "OFFICE HOURS." >> THIS PROGRAM IS A PRODUCTION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON. IF YOU HAVE COMMENTS ABOUT THIS BROADCAST, PLEASE EMAIL THEM TO: PROGRAMMING@UC.WISC.EDU >> WELCOME BACK TO "OFFICE HOURS." WE'RE WITH MICHAEL XENOS AND JONATHAN GRAY TALKING ABOUT POLITICAL SATIRE AND ITS EFFECT ON AMERICAN POLITICS. SO JONATHAN, WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE EFFECT OF THESE SHOWS ON VOTERS, ON YOUNGER PEOPLE. SO POLITICIANS NEED TO MAKE A STRATEGIC DECISION, WHETHER THEY'RE GOING TO TRY AND PLAY IN THAT AREA. YOU CAN GO ON "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE," YOU CAN GO ON "THE DAILY SHOW." IF YOU'RE FUNNY AND IT WORKS, IT'S GREAT. IF IT'S NOT FUNNY AND IT DOESN'T WORK, THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN TRYING TO BE FUNNY AND FAILING. >> YEAH, IT'S A REAL LIVE WIRE. THEY WANT TO LOOK COOL AND THE PAYOFF CAN BE HIGH. YOU THINK ABOUT JOHN MCCAIN, FOR MANY YEARS WAS A HERO, AND WHEN HE WENT ON "THE DAILY SHOW," HE WAS FANTASTIC. BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO JUST DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT. THEY DON'T REALIZE THAT STEPHEN COLBERT IS SATIRICAL. THEY GET ALL HIGH AND MIGHTY, AND THEY JUST LOOK REALLY, REALLY STUPID. >> MICHAEL, PRESIDENT OBAMA MADE A DECISION A COUPLE DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION TO GO ON "THE DAILY SHOW." THAT GOT VERY MIXED REVIEWS. >> I THINK, YOU KNOW, IN SOME WAYS, YOU CAN GET CAUGHT UP IN THE DETAILS OF THAT, BUT A LOT OF IT ALSO WAS JUST MAKING A CONNECTION WITH THAT AUDIENCE. I THINK FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE FOR REGULAR VIEWERS OF THAT SHOW, IT'S A SIGN OF SOLIDARITY WITH THEM, THAT YOU'RE APPEARING IN ONE OF THEIR FAVORITE MEDIA SPACES. I THINK OVERALL, IT WASN'T TOO BAD. >> BUT THEN THE FLIP SIDE OF THAT, PEOPLE SAY IT'S NOT PRESIDENTIAL. >> THERE IS THAT. BUT I THINK WE'RE DEFINITELY SEEING, I THINK WE WATCHED IT HAPPEN. I THINK WE'RE SEEING THE CHANGE OF WHAT THAT SORT OF THING MEANS IN RELATION TO ENTERTAINMENT CONTENT, BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A BIG PART OF OUR POLITICAL LANDSCAPE NOW, MORE SO THAN IT HAS BEEN, I THINK. >> JONATHAN, WE TALKED A LITTLE BIT BEFORE ABOUT THE LINE BETWEEN HARD NEWS, SOFT NEWS, INFO-TAINMENT, ENTERTAINMENT, INFORMATION. JON STEWART IS REALLY TRYING TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS, SOME PEOPLE CLAIM. HE SAYS, OH, I'M JUST A COMIC DOING SATIRE, OR IS HE MORE LIKE A KEITH OBERMAN, RACHEL MADDOW, OR RUSH LIMBAUGH, WHO IS TRYING TO INFLUENCE OUR POLITICS AS SOMEONE WHO IS IN THE MEDIA. >> HE'S DEFINITELY TRYING TO INFLUENCE, AT ONE LEVEL. BUT I ALSO WANT TO TAKE HIM AT HIS WORD SOMETIMES. I THINK REALLY WHAT HE'S INTERESTED IN AND KEY IS GETTING US TO EVALUATE THE MEDIA FRAME. AND THE WAY THAT TALKING POINTS, HE MAY BE CRITICIZING THEM, BUT FIRST AND FOREMOST, HE'S USUALLY CRITICIZING HOW THOSE TALKING POINTS GET TAKEN UP UNQUESTIONINGLY BY THE MEDIA. EVEN IF THERE IS A DEFINITE POLITICAL SLANT, WHICH THERE IS, I THINK WHAT HIS PRIMARY GOAL IS TO GET US TO THINK ABOUT HOW THE MEDIA IS DEALING WITH POLITICS. AND IF HE HAS IT BOTH WAYS, IT'S THE PRIVILEGE OF A SATIRIST. YOU GET TO BE BOTH. IT'S THE LUXURY. >> MICHAEL, TO HIS CREDIT, HE'S IDENTIFIED MISTAKES. HE'S IDENTIFIED SLEIGHTS OF HAND THAT THE MEDIA AND NO ONE ELSE HAS NOTICED, CORRECT? >> ABSOLUTELY. IN SOME WAYS, HE'S ABLE TO DO THE KIND OF MEDIA CRITICISM THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WISHED THEY COULD DO, BUT BECAUSE OF HIS UNIQUE POSITION, HIS UNIQUE FREEDOM TO DO THINGS THE WAY THAT HE DOES ON THE SHOW, HE'S ABLE TO MAKE CRITICISMS THAT ARE IMPACTFUL AND REGULAR JOURNALISTS CAN'T MAKE. >> JONATHAN, ARE THERE ANY OTHER SITES OUT THERE OR SHOWS THAT WE MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH, OR AN OLD GUY LIKE ME MIGHT NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH, THAT YOU THINK YOUNG PEOPLE ARE WATCHING NOW? >> WELL, YOU'VE GONE THROUGH SOME OF THE REGULAR ONES. "THE ONION" IS ALWAYS FANTASTIC. "THE ONION NEWS NETWORK" PARTICULARLY DOES GREAT WORK. >> IT WAS FOUNDED IN MADISON, WISCONSIN. >> MADISON, WISCONSIN, IT WAS INDEED. ONE OF ITS HEAD WRITERS, ALSO A HEAD WRITER FOR BOTH "THE DAILY SHOW" AND "COLBERT," A COMMUNICATION ARTS GRADUATE. THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD THINGS. LOOK AT THE ADULT SWIM LINE-UP, YOU GET SOME NEAT LITTLE SATIRICAL MOMENTS IN THERE, TOO. >> WHAT'S THIS? >> ADULT SWIM. IT'S A WHOLE BUNCH OF SORT OF SMALL ANIMATIONS THAT YOU GET LATE AT NIGHT, AND REALLY DIGGING UNDER THE NAILS OF SOME THINGS, OFTEN WITH REALLY CRUDE CLAYMATION, OR OTHER FORMS OF ANIMATION, BUT ANIMATION FOR THINKING SMART ADULTS. >> MICHAEL, JONATHAN, THANK YOU SO MUCH. HOPEFULLY, WE WON'T END UP ON THE COMEDY CHANNEL FOR ANALYZING ALL THIS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY. DON'T FORGET, "OFFICE HOURS" IS ON THE WEB VIA OUR UNIVERSITY WEBSITE, FACEBOOK OR TWITTER. TAKE A LOOK AND LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS. FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON, THIS HAS BEEN "OFFICE HOURS." THANKS FOR STOPPING BY. >> THE PRECEDING PROGRAM WAS PRODUCED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE BIG TEN NETWORK.

Contents

In history

Author Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) was employed as a newspaper reporter before becoming famous as a novelist, and in this position he published many satirical articles. He left two separate journalism positions, Nevada (1864) fleeing a challenge to duel[1] and San Francisco fleeing outraged police officials because his satire and fiction were often taken for the truthful accounts they were presented as. Ironically, the accuracy of many newspaper and autobiographical accounts used to follow the early life of Samuel Clemens are in doubt.[2]

Newspapers still print occasional news satire features, in particular on April Fools' Day. This news is specifically identified somewhere in the paper or in the next day as a joke.

In 1934, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released a series of ten one-reel theatrical shorts called Goofy Movies, which included "Wotaphony Newsreel," a newsreel parody that paired actual footage with a mocking, deadpan narration.

Also in 1934, halfway through a Kraft Music Hall radio show, Dean Taylor ("Others collect the news, Dean makes it!") narrated a fake newsreel which began with a report on the New York Giants and Philadelphia Phillies being cancelled due to bad weather, and baseball season being rescheduled to when farmers need rain.

On television

News satire has been prevalent on television since the 1960s, when it enjoyed a renaissance in the UK with the "Satire Boom", led by such luminaries as Peter Cook, Alan Bennett, Jonathan Miller, David Frost, Eleanor Bron, and Dudley Moore, and the television program That Was The Week That Was. In the United States, the NBC network adapted this program and also produced its own content, from the "news" segment of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, to the still-running Saturday Night Live mock newscast segment "Weekend Update". Cable television got into the cable news act with Home Box Office's Not Necessarily the News in the mid-1980s.

In the 2000s, Comedy Central's The Daily Show became an icon of the American political satire genre, as Jon Stewart delved into opinionated political criticism. Its spinoff, Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report, also enjoyed a high level of popularity during its 9-year run.

The 2004 National Annenberg Election Survey found that Daily Show viewers were better informed than those who relied solely on conventional network news,[3] and Steven Young of Los Angeles Daily News compares the trust and influence that long-time host Jon Stewart enjoyed to that of CBS anchor Walter Cronkite in the 1970s.[4] However, a study published in the Journal of Communication suggests that news entertainment shows such as The Daily Show or The Colbert Report may not be as influential in teaching voters about political issues and candidates as was previously thought. Researchers from Ohio State University have found reasons to discount how effective these shows are in informing the general public. People watching television news learned more about a candidate's position on issues and about political procedures compared to those watching the news entertainment shows, while news entertainment shows primarily taught viewers about a candidate’s personal background.[5]

After the success of The Daily Show, Fox News launched its own news satire program in February 2007 with the title of The 1/2 Hour News Hour. Its creator describes it as "The Daily Show for conservatives", but it was canceled within a few months. Fox News then launched the more successful series Red Eye which ran from February 6, 2007 to April 7, 2017. As of 2017, news satire in the United States remains popular, especially in late night television; late-night talk shows often incorporate elements of news satire. Current American programs known primarily for their news satire include those hosted by former correspondents for The Daily Show (John Oliver's Last Week Tonight, Samantha Bee's Full Frontal, and The Daily Show itself under Trevor Noah's tenure), as well as Bill Maher's Real Time.

In Britain, several news satires have been created, most famously the works of Chris Morris. Shows such as the radio series On the Hour and its television version The Day Today parodied news programs very accurately, so they were almost believable and could have been confused with actual news programs, if it was not for the fake stories reported. Morris went on to continue this and several other themes in Brass Eye, one of the most controversial series on British television, especially after one episode broadcast mocked the way the news covered stories about pedophilia. Previous news satire shows in Britain include: The Late Edition with Marcus Brigstocke, on digital station BBC Four, which was heavily influenced by The Daily Show; News Knight with Sir Trevor McDonald, which parodied news differently by using an actual newsreader as the host; and Broken News, which featured several sketches of different news channels blending into each other.

As of 2018, current British news-related programs that have been described as satire include: Have I Got News for You and Mock the Week on the BBC; Channel 4's The Last Leg; ITV's Newzoids; and Dave's Unspun with Matt Forde.

Recent news satire television series in Australia include Working Dog Productions' Frontline, Shaun Micallef's Newstopia, and the many programs created by The Chaser since 2001. As of 2017, current programs of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation include Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell and The Weekly with Charlie Pickering.

In Canada, This Hour Has 22 Minutes is an ensemble news satire show with four anchors on CBC. The Rick Mercer Report is a spinoff of 22 Minutes with former anchor Rick Mercer, and is also shown on CBC. CBC Radio One features This Is That, an improvised news satire program which mimics the style of actual CBC Radio public affairs programs. The 1960s series This Hour Has Seven Days, although primarily a real newsmagazine, included some satirical features in its format, such as political humor songs by actress and singer Dinah Christie. On French-language television networks in Quebec, noted news satire shows have included La Fin du monde est à 7 heures, Et Dieu créa... Laflaque and Infoman. On the Internet, noted satire sites include The Lapine and The Beaverton.

In Germany, heute-show (ZDF), and formerly Wochenshow (on SAT.1) and Freitag Nacht News (on RTL) are popular news satires on TV.

The Egyptian show El Bernameg, hosted by Bassem Youssef (on Capital Broadcast Center 2011-13 and MBC MASR from 2014 on), is modeled on The Daily Show. Launched in the wake of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, it has been quite popular, but also a source of tremendous controversy, as Youssef has repeatedly been under investigation by the authorities for his willingness to poke fun at powerful people.

Online

News satire has been posted on the web almost since its inception, with The Onion foremost among recognized news satire sites due to its enduring and profitable business model.[6] The content of the website, which started in 1996, is syndicated through mainstream media sites such as CNN and CNET. Today there are hundreds of news satire sites online. Sites such as Hollywood Leek specialize in satirical articles about celebrities and Hollywood entertainment news.[7] Sometimes fake news reporters influence real world politics, like Citizen Kate whose 90 episodes covered the 2008 presidential campaign trail, she commissioned a butter bust of Obama presented to him by the Butter Cow Lady of Iowa, making international headlines.[8] El Koshary Today is an Egyptian website that carries fake international news stories.[9] Other satire sites attempt to emulate a genuine news source of some sort; however, these sites now take a variety of forms.[10]

Because interesting stories are often emailed and can quickly become separated from their point of origin, it is not uncommon for news satire stories to be picked up as real by the media, as happened with a Faking News story about a lawsuit against Axe by an Indian man after having failed to attract a girl.[11] Additionally, a parody post on Al Sharpton's parody News Groper blog was quoted as if real by MSNBC.[12] Another satire publication, The Giant Napkin, published an article about a man literally fighting his house fire with more fire, a story taken seriously by several social networking sites. That Google News accepts news satire sources helps contribute to this phenomenon; while Google News does mark such stories with a "satire" tag, not all readers notice the tag; moreover, sometimes satirical sources may not carry the tag.[13] At least one site, thespoof.com, relies on user-generated content in a Web 2.0 manner.

Some websites like Literally Unbelievable post the genuine and shocked reactions of individuals who believe the satirical articles are real. The reactions are taken from social media websites, such as Facebook, in which users can directly comment on links to the article's source.

Multi-author Indian website News That Matters Not, launched in November 2009,[14] won a Manthan South Asia Award for socially responsible e-content (Digital Inclusion for Development), organized by Digital Empowerment Foundation.[15] In India, several community-based news satire websites have crept up in recent times. Their popularity on Facebook defines that they are popular amongst the masses. Very new websites such as The Scoop Times, Fakekhabar.com, Sunkey.co.in and The UnReal Times also claim to be run by students, and were covered in The Times of India in July 2011.[16]

A plethora of news satire sites participate in a hosted community site, which additionally runs its own satire news feed on HumorFeed. HumorFeed is notable for its relatively high standards of admission and active community involvement.[citation needed] At present,[when?] over 60 sites are contributing members, at least eight of which have published books and two of which publish regular hard-copy periodicals. Several HumorFeed members also run Check Please!, an online journal devoted to the serious examination of online satire, ranging from its role in relation to actual journalism to practical considerations of producing an online satire site.[citation needed]

In July 2009, a satire piece about Kanye West published on the website ScrapeTV was picked up by numerous media outlets and reported as factual,[17][18][19] despite disclaimers on the site.[20]

Satirical Twitter accounts of news sources are popular, and they are often mistaken as legitimate sources. Online publications have made quizzes challenging users to distinguish between the tweets of the real Vice[21] and the tweets of their parodies. The @Salondotcom parody account confused so many Twitter users that the real Salon.com reported them for impersonation.[22]

In Pakistan, Khabaristan Times (KT) is a renowned satire and parody website with its commentary on Pakistani politics and the military.[23] In 2015, a satirical piece by the website went viral and international media outlets including New York Times[24] reported the story as if it were true.[25][26][27] In 2017, KT was reportedly blocked in Pakistan, however, it appeared to be available to users outside Pakistan.[28][29]

In the Middle East, The Pan-Arabia Enquirer is the most widely read satirical news website. It gained notoriety in 2013 when an article about Emirates launching shisha lounges on its fleet of A380s was picked up as fact by news websites around the world. AlHudood, another middle eastern satire news publisher, has gained publicity in the region when they published an article about the Jordanian police arresting Santa Claus and confiscating all of his gifts for not paying the customs before entering Jordan.[30]

In Turkey, Zaytung has become a source of mass reading since the socio-political Gezi Park 2013 protests in Turkey.

In the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago-based website Wired868 has two satirical columnists under the pseudonyms Mr Live Wire[31] and Filbert Street,[32] who comment satirically on relevant political and news stories such as the fall from power of ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner,[33][34] media issues,[35] general news[36] and the challenges faced by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her People's Partnership coalition Government.[37][38][39]

In Australia, there are numerous satirical news websites including The Shovel,[40] The Betoota Advocate,[41] The (Un)Australian,[42] The Fault Report,[43] The Sauce[44] and The Tunnel Presents.[45] The Shovel mainly satirizes the Australian political and social culture and The Betoota Advocate satirizes the political right and Australian journalism. In February 2015, The Betoota Advocate shot to fame after the publication's editor's sneaked in to the media scrum outside Parliament House in Canberra during a leadership spill motion and managed to interview some of Australia's most high-profile media personalities and politicians, posing as legitimate journalists. The fallout from The Betoota Advocate stunt has led to a security increase surrounding parliamentary media and screening of all crew.[46] The Fault Report [47] was established in 2014 and also has a political editorial focus. British-born Australian author John Birmingham once described The Fault Report as, "Like The Onion. But with Vegemite", on his blog Cheeseburger Gothic.[48] The Tunnel Presents, which has been online since June 2011, is by Brisbane-based satire writing team The Tunnel and has political and social satire stories with a Queensland focus.[49]

In Italy, the most famous website specialized in mock-journalism is Lercio (it). Born as a parody of the popular press, but in addition to the tabloid press, its goals are also the domestic and foreign politics. The website was created in the 2012 and the editorial staff is composed of authors who have contributed to La Palestra, a column wanted on his blog by the comedian and satirical author Daniele Luttazzi. In few years Lercio saw the publication of a book[50] with a collection of 2014 best articles. From the same year Lercio it is present on the national radio with a daily strip.[51] Thanks to the many fans the articles are shared on the social network with a good success and, mostly in the beginning of his history, some articles were taken as true by the national press.[52]

In Hungary, HírCsárda[53] is the number one news satire medium. The site, started in 2010, has drawn public attention after the Hungarian government demanded that an article should be emended that dealt with the then state secretary of education Rózsa Hoffmann.[54] The page has since been threatened by various celebrities, but has remained active regardless. Also present in Hungary is Központi Újság[55] (Central News), a news satire website of the joke party Hungarian Two-tailed Dog Party.

Treefort Music Fest, a grassroots music festival in Boise, Idaho, has satirically used the television news format to announce its line-up of bands.[56]

In 2015, John J Edmunds IV launched season 1 of New Jersey based satire news show, "My Minute Minute." The program is an internet based show streamed live in high definition to Facebook LIVE, YouTube, Periscope & YouNow streaming services on a weekly basis. The show producer, John Edmunds tells stories of Political corruption, medical corruption, Drug-related crimes, sneaky business owners and operations and stories of satirical nature. They publish weekly at www.SatireNews.tv[57]

See also

References

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