comedy news: “fair & balanced”

The Saturday Night Live sketch on Palin/Lewinsky over the weekend received huge ratings.  It’s interesting that even so-called “comedy news” has developed some sense of fairness in how it treats the candidates, as discussed in today’s Times


3 Responses to “comedy news: “fair & balanced””

  1. Rachel Jordan Says:

    If I didn’t feel it necessary to consume more news than they provide, I would choose to get all of my news through comedy shows such as The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and SNL. It’s easy to tell the general public’s opinion by the facts exploited for humor on the shows. To the public, Palin can be simplified to “hot mom” and Clinton a man in a woman’s body. News reports toe the line about these stereotypes, but cannot truly express it. The celebrity factor of all major candidates often trumps the issues, so comparing their satirical selves often provides a different view on how well they are accomplishing creating a positive image of themselves. Also, it allows the comedians to dish out a level of honesty that is only allowed because it’s said in humor – a fact that I think draws people to this type of show.

  2. Emily Rosenfeld Says:

    I’m not surprised that SNL felt the need to be fair; I think that political/news comedy often walks a thin line between making fun of public figures and attacking them, but can’t step over that line. Similar to most other news sources, comedy that is unfairly biased could be seen as a “cheap” form of joke and also may alienate viewers.

    In response to the previous comment made, I don’t think that Comedy News Shows can be seen as a source for getting news, but rather as an incentive to stay informed. If you are informed about current events, you are able to really understand the jokes John Stewart, SNL, etc. make. Otherwise, the sketches might still be funny, but you would most likely not understand the true joke behind them.

  3. Brandon Greenspan Says:

    I think that this is being overanalyzed. A principle in improvisational and sketch comedy is to share the space and work off of each other. The sketch wouldn’t be as funny if it were completely one-sided.

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