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Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:21 PM

Here's a similar sentiment from DU-er Plaid Adder:

Last edited Mon Jun 16, 2014, 11:22 PM - Edit history (7)

...(W)hy is it that so much right-wing political humor just plain doesn't work -- even for its target audience?...I think..(it)...has to do with the basic conflict between comedy and authority...(D)isrespect for authority is the foundation of real comedy...

Mocking the powerful has the positive effect of reminding everyone that though these figures may be powerful, they are not superhuman, and can be resisted/outwitted/defied; it also has the therapeutic effect of validating the anger and pain we feel as we suffer for these people, and reminding us that in fact, it's not us, it's them.

Mocking the vulnerable is just bullying, and all it does is pander to the audience's worst instincts. Right-wing pundits in the main either don't understand this rule, or have a seriously warped understanding of who's vulnerable and who's powerful...

And here are some thoughts I had about Jon Stewart, Steve Colbert, and their ill-fated competition, Fox News' Half Hour News Hour:

I've come to realize that when Stewart and Colbert claim to be in the fake news business, they're faking. The method in their madness is that they simply point out how fake the REAL news is.

Last night's TDS featured a segment where CNN turned Anna Nicole Smith's "Fridge of Death" into an investigation of the contents of the CNN break room refrigerator, followed by a segment on a group who likes to swim in the northern Atlantic in the winter. The story that's supposed to be "real" news feels fake; the story that sounds like it must be fake is real. And THAT'S why we laugh--even when it's the Dems who get skewered.

The Half Hour News Hour seems to believe Stewart and Colbert are funny because they spend most of their time insulting conservatism. It tries to retaliate by insulting liberalism, but nobody's laughing -- why? It's because the Half Hour News Hour is rooted in fake news. It can't condemn liberalism without exposing its own sins, so it can't help but congeal into a cringe-inducing caricature of neocon media. I mean, where does Fox News get off poking fun of Obama's media hype when they just finished trying to destroy him with a FALSE story (the madrassah) that they STILL haven't retracted?

Right-wing humor is restricted to mocking the vulnerable because it can't mock its own power structure without holding it accountable. Left-wing humor is rooted in pointing out how dangerous, phony, hypocritical, immoral, or just plain illegal the inherent authoritarianism of conservatism is. And while that may present a problem for "professional" political comedians, we "amateurs" are doing just fine!


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