When people claim partiality in political satire, it is essentially the same thing as calling bias in an opinion piece—bias is sort of the point. Satire is a form of political criticism and political humor of all stripes aims its guns at politicians who are seen as inadequate. Satire must have a point of view or else the joke isn’t satire, which means there must be some bias inherent in the material. But critics of modern political humorists who call bias really are not worried about this in itself. They are, perhaps, more concerned that the satirists have left behind their primary entertaining function in order to advocate. When critics call bias, they are really charging “activism” because an activist is not trying for laughs—he is trying to change people’s minds. There is trepidation that a popular and easy-to-understand form of political commentary does double duty as crusading.


Presidential Campaign Campaign Finance Daily Show Double Duty Night Television 
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© Alison Dagnes 2012

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