The Colbert Report: Satire and Sadness

I like the Colbert Report. But I find a sort of problem with the consistent use of satire to prove political points. Satire is a type of argument, and I suppose it could be said that Colbert’s program serves a satirical function within the discourse of news-media, but many people in my generation find that shows like The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are news enough for them. I should mention that the blame for this rests on the shoulders of my peers, but still it is dangerous to marginalize a war under the constant guise of comedy.

Just look at this video that I watched this week on “Why Iraq should be turned into a reality TV Show.”

Perhaps such work induces empathy, but what I feel it is actually doing is creating apathy. By presenting political problems like war under comedic pretense, it lessens the readiness to approach such problems seriously.

What does this specifically mean for the War on Terror? Well, I would argue that it aids in creating a distance to the event. It actually functions similarly to channels such as Fox, but through an in inversion. Whereas Fox proliferates a message of hyperbolic violence which desensitizes, The Colbert Report creates a similar apathy through hyperbolic humor.

I am not saying that the show should be boycotted or even changed, but I would hope that my peer-viewers would consider this before using Daily Show quotes in political discourse.


~ by 1womanarmy on April 28, 2008.

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