Intent vs. Impact in Satire vs. Fake News

When first observed, I was confused about why I would read about satire and parody the same week I read about “fake news” and #AlternativeFacts. After completing Truthiness and Consequences in Parodic News, the Tracing The “Fake” Candidate piece, John Oliver’s piece on journalism’s state, and looking at Buzzfeed’s list of most-viral fake news stories on Facebook, it became more clear to me that the issue of satirical, parodic, humorous political comedy and falsehoods, deliberately misleading headlines, and lie-based clickbait are ones that are two sides of the same coin that, today, is becoming an increasingly intense duo.

I was initially trying to put my finer on how some of the readings constructed parody and satire versus fake news and my initial conclusion was there is an intentionalality to reveal (or, as we said in class, expose truth) through parody and satire that isn’t present in fake news. Fake news is deliberately intended to mislead and confuse, seemingly often for profit/clicks.

I guess I’m wondering what place, if any, humor has in falsehood? Or, rather, if our question is to evaluate whether or not satire and parody can be dangerous in times when news/information and comedy/entertainment (infotainment) must become one and the same? Buzzfeed to Daily Show to the Onion.


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