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News-gathering for the American public changed in the past decade with a decline in trust for journalists and news media (Jones 2009), technology advancement (Haynes and Pitts 2009), and entertainment becoming a priority (Jones 2009; Haynes and Pitts 2009; Baumgartner and Morris 2006; Colletta 2009). Television, radio, and newspapers (the traditional media) are still used today with broadcast and cable television being the dominate news source (Colletta 2009; Haynes and Pitts 2009), however, an increased amount of Americans utilize the internet for their news information through what is known as new media, referring to Web blogs and social networks. Haynes and Pitts (2009) found that 55% of the public went online during the 2008 Presidential Elections to get their political news and information on candidates. "Those who like political information will have greater ease in finding it [online], while those who prefer entertainment and the like will as well" (Haynes and Pitts 2009, 53). People, however, are finding that entertainment aspect in news-gathering within traditional media. Soft news, in particularly political satire television, is becoming increasingly popular as news-gathering sources. Colletta defined satire "as a form that holds up human vices and follies to ridicule," a "criticism of any stupidity or vice in the form of scathing humor," and a "critique of what an author sees as dangerous religious, political, moral, or social standards." Comedy and satire differ in that "comedy evokes laughter," while satire "uses laughter as a weapon" (859). Parody, seen in sketch comedy in Saturday Night Live, is therefore satiric.


This paper received an Honorable Mention in the 2011 Booth Library Awards for Excellence in Student Research and Creative Activity.

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