After reading several classmates’ blogs concerning satirical news reporting, I have found that my viewpoint on such news reportage is quite different than others. Although it is agreed satirical news shows such as the RMR and the Daily Show are forms of culture jamming, some peers argue that culture jamming and its humour are the sole purposes for such shows, and they do not contain valid information about politics. Amy criticizes, “Rick Mercer often focuses on the social criticism of an issue or event and uses wit as a weapon, as opposed to being educational” http://lifeoflowe.wordpress.com/ . Being a strong advocate of Rick Mercer, I disagree with Amy because Mercer does address serious political issues and raises interesting questions during his rant period down the graffiti alley. Amy is correct is her standpoint when she says Mercer uses wit as a weapon. My counter argument to Amy is that in order to understand his wit and what he jokes about is based on a background knowledge you must already have on such political issues via other news sources. The RMR simply acts as additional information to what is already happening, and makes you think deeper into situations-that sounds educational to me!
Lynden raises a point I never thought to consider. He suggests that “The way the news is portrayed on these channels allow the audiences to look at the news in a comedic way and allow them to get a good laugh here and there when the news gets too tough” http://boston94.blogspot.ca/ . News can be very depressing, which is why I stopped watching news on the television and searched for my own news via internet and my smartphone (cue blog response # 2). Pairing with Lynden, Adrienne also explains “Technological advances make it so we do not have to sit down to watch the news… therefore because of the entertainment element of satirical news programs, they become the more desired” http://adriennereds8.wordpress.com/ . I believe that both of these thoughts by my classmates are relevant to each other because the comedic perspective of shows like RMR draw us into the television set and make us feel better about a possible situation that Canada and our politics are facing. These shows can serve for comedic purposes or educational-the best of both worlds.
Are satirical news shows viable to our public sphere? Absolutely! By arguing that satirical news is important and educational means that it will affect the public sphere. The public sphere will be maintained by satirical news reporting because it creates a balance between traditional news and the ‘other’. Because we live in a diverse culture we need many viewpoints on politics and issues within the public sphere to keep that balance. As the biggest Rick Mercer fan, I am also conscious enough to educate myself through further means which keeps me active in the contemporary public sphere.