Political Science 484 - Political Science 484 Media Coding...

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Political Science 484 Media Coding Paper Is The Daily Show Good News? Introduction The Daily Show is constantly paraded as being a great source for news as well as fantastic entertainment. The show fits under the platform of what Delli Carpini and Williams would refer to as “infotainment”. This type of entertainment is where the barriers between news and entertainment are removed and the two are essentially integrated into one broadcast. A lot of entertainment news shows may provide real facts, lead the public to further debates, and stimulate public interest in politics (Williams 161). It is my belief that this kind of “infotainment” is not providing enough real information and is actually diversionary from serious unbiased information. To find out if this was true I picked a show to code and watched ten episodes of it. I chose to code The Daily Show and divided the coding into categories of humor devices, sound bites, themes, and particular trends that I noticed throughout the show. I also created graphs and analysis to help visualize the coding. Humor Devices The Daily Show utilizes many entertaining methods to stimulate its viewers. It generally outlines the inadequacies, laziness, blunders, and foolishness of the Republican politicians through clever humor devices. During my coding I saw the most common
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methods were sarcasm, various jokes, satire/parody/ mockery, exaggeration/fabrication, irony, justified/unjustified ridicule, and juxtaposition. The show often integrated very unique and entertaining techniques such as having clearly satirical reporters, and even going as far as having a correspondent run for the Presidency as a joke. The fake reporters would be willing to answer more humorous and racy questions, because their dialogue was obviously scripted and the questions were no surprise to them. The Daily Show also offered the opportunity to create parodies of situations. A very humorous instance would be an R. Kelly Impersonator singing about Senator Larry Craig’s homosexual encounter in public men’s room. Through clever manipulation and editing of images The Daily Show was able to add humor to photos of political figures very easily through blatant fabrication and exaggeration. An example would be dressing up an overweight, hairy man as Lynne Cheney and showing a clip saying it was her. The Daily Show also often blatantly fabricated facts and details which were clearly untrue, such as correspondents claiming there was a “Terrorist Harbor” theme park attraction that just opened up in Iraq. Daily Show correspondent reporter Jon Oliver was notorious for making blatant fabrications, claiming that Al Gore claimed that the earth is going to end and that he is also starting a new chain of restaurants. Jon Stewart did a great job creating humorous remarks and making quick and
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Political Science 484 - Political Science 484 Media Coding...

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