see McKain 2005). As these shows help shape people’s perceptions of news media and are sometimes the only sources of news for Americans, are these shows transparent, do they offer diverse points of view, and do they take responsibility for the truth of the claims they make? Unlike other news media which more often than not subscribes to a strong ethical code of conduct and behavior, news parodies are first and foremost comedic undertakings aimed at inciting laughter. While educating the wider public may be a nice side effect from watching either The Daily Show or the Colbert Report, they remain satirical in nature with the entire purpose of putting a humorous spin on the news. Do people trust The Daily Show or the Colbert Report as their primary source for news? Absolutely. Is this a positive thing? No, because these shows are more about entertainment and shock value than actual news. People may trust John Stewart or Stephen Colbert because they are appealing characters and one feels that he or she can relate to the news when it is delivered by either of these hosts. We often forget that both of these men are actors, playing a role and delivering news in the funniest and most outlandish way possible. Unfortunately for some, this is their only source of news media. News Parody Programming.
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