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Has satirical news gone too far?

by on December 12, 2016

The 2016 election has been over for a little over a month now but on Facebook, the same videos keep popping up of people like Trevor Noah or John Oliver talking about Donald Trump and his campaign. The videos usually consist of the host verbally bashing the candidate while the audience cheers until it’s decided that Trevor Noah “eviscerated” someone. My question is, does this help news? These comedians/news anchors get everyone on one side of the aisle riled up calling the other side idiots and then sharing it all over social media for everyone to see.

If I recall correctly one of the reasons Clinton lost the election is because it was believed her fan base stretched farther than it actually did. Is this because of videos like John Oliver or Seth Myers talking about how terrible a person Donald Trump is? I’d like to argue that videos like these are spread through social media to convince everyone that this is the proper way to think and if you don’t think like that you’re an idiot.

In the debate between Trevor Noah and Tomi Lahren on the Daily Show the internet freaked out because Trevor Noah “murdered” Tomi Lahren on his TV show. Is this necessary? The show doesn’t really change anything and if anything, just causes those on one side to dig in deeper. In the interview between the two Noah asks Lahren several rhetorical questions that Lahren responds to causing the audience to laugh at someone from the opposing view. This is not to say Tomi Lahren is a good journalist, she satiates those that are afraid and causes them to come out of the woodwork just as much as someone like Trevor Noah. Both create media firestorms that rack up views, are these views ethical? Do they deliver the actual news? Or do they just cause those on one side of the aisle angrier? By treating someone on the other side like an idiot it just separates people more. It’s funny television, but is it helping us move forward as a country? Do we need more upfront journalism and less satire with someone like Donald Trump as president? Do we need more satirical news?

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One Comment
  1. I find that satirical news does only lean one way and makes people laugh at the other side. This separates our country more and more instead of unifying it to overcome our issues. Unfortunately, many young people get their “news” from these comedians. Although they do share the news sometimes, it’s not the most informative source but it is definitely the most entertaining.

    I would like to see younger people reading informative news outlets but it just doesn’t entertain them like John Oliver and Trevor Noah. I personally love John Oliver but I share the same political views as him so I don’t get much from the other side.

    I think this argument is similar to that of the Facebook unfriending. Many people unfriended their peers on Facebook because they hated hearing the opposite side of their political views. Unfortunately, we need news from both sides so we can understand both points of view. Especially as journalists, we need to be extremely open and understanding or else we bottle up and can’t even attempt to be “objective.”

    The satirical news is helpful in a way, but it is not a good source for news. I believe it’s okay to have, but we should not encourage more programs like the Daily Show.

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