Essay on Effects of The Colbert Report On American Youth

Essay on Effects of The Colbert Report On American Youth

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In this era of technology there has become an increasing thirst for a constant flow of information and news. With the giant news corporations such as CNN, Fox, and MSNBC there are plenty of places you can go to find information. However, Stephen Colbert has paved the way for a new type of news through his patriotic filled program, The Colbert Report. Colbert portrays himself as an extremely conservative, right winged pundit, anxious to assert his opinion on every issue that crosses his desk. However, this is not the true Colbert, it is merely the façade that he hides behind to conceal his left leaning tendencies. In this paper, I will prove the effectiveness of Colbert’s Republican disguise and whether or not it has an affect on the younger audience that he caters to.

A bit of background knowledge is necessary in order to understand the type of show that The Colbert Report is. At a glance, the show appears to be like any other talk show: a well-groomed host, a very modern set, a big desk, and a studio audience to clap and laugh at the jokes. However, Colbert begins his show with a very patriotic introduction involving a bald eagle, Colbert planting the American flag into the ground, a plethora of patriotic and strong willed terms flashing behind him, and of course, a very rock-n-roll theme song. As the show begins his audience chants his name over and over, “Stephen, Stephen, Stephen,” and although Colbert acts as if he wants them to quiet down, it is apparent he loves every minute of it. He generally has two 5-8 minute segments that cover topics in the political world, foreign affairs, or sometimes pop culture. He offers his opinions and thoughts on the various situations often with thick sarcasm that can easily be interprete...

... middle of paper ...

...tering to them. Colbert sums up his way of presenting the news in a simple quote, “The 'truthiness' is, anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the you.”

Works Cited

1. Baumgartner, Jody C., and Jonathan S. Morris. "One “Nation,” Under Stephen? The Effects of The Colbert Report On American Youth." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media (2008): 622-42. Web.

2. Hmielowski, Jay D., R. Lance Holbert, and Jayeon Lee. "Predicting the Consumption of Political TV Satire: Affinity for Political Humor, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report." Communication Monographs 78.1 (2011): 96-114. Web.

3. Young, Dannagal G., Laughter, Learning, or Enlightenment?: Viewing and Avoidance Motivations Behind the Daily Show and the Colbert Report (2012). Available at SSRN: or

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