Sarcastic Essays

According to Bill Wolff, executive producer of The Rachel Maddow Show and vice president of msnbc’s primetime programming, nothing less than George W.

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Now, you may be thinking, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert perfected comedy news a while back, no?

But Maddow marks a watershed for a different sort of news comedy.

Karl Rove, on the other hand, is widely seen as a vile little prince of handling.

Yet Deaver, if we remember, was as much a master manipulator as Rove was; he got Reagan, you’ll recall, to gin up fake remorse during the Iran-Contra affair.

On a Wednesday night in December, Rachel Maddow, in a toreador-style black jacket, waits for her show to start.

She types last-minute notes on her computer with the intensity of a graduate student.Both the comedy and the news coverage of our decade and decades past reflect each era’s understanding of public relations and doublespeak.Now, news parody is truly a tool with which to strike back at political PR.“The funnier side of the political spectrum is the one where your enemies are most ridiculous,” says Wolff.Maybe, but I think it has more to do with a shift in how people like information conveyed. So many felt degraded by the Bush era that they wished to degrade him back, on television.At the 30 Rock news television studio, with its red, white, and blue décor, late-night assistants running about, and two dozen television screens on all around her, Maddow seems in her element.And when the show begins, perhaps unsurprisingly, it is devoted to “Blago”—the thoroughly and hilariously embarrassing (and now former) Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.In the twentieth century, though, news parodies were a bit more milquetoast.This was true even thirty-three years ago, when Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” kicked off the modern form of news parody.Stewart (and Craig Kilborn before him) was a comic first and foremost—when The Daily Show started, the news was the surprising part.Maddow’s show works the opposite way: the news is the thing and the humor is the surprise.


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