Vassar College Digital Library
Access Note

Archive Only - cataloging information entered is public, but attached documents and media may only be viewed by members of the Vassar community in a controlled environment, and copies may not be made without permission. Those interested in viewing this item should email to request access. Upon receipt of a request the Digital Scholarship and Technology Services team will confirm the status of the item being requested and then contact the Special Collections Library who will coordinate access.

Under the cloak of a character who is as ignorant as he is conservative, Stephen Colbert delivers snaps-worthy "truthiness"-insights that often shine a light to mainstream systemic forms of oppression by embodying their very nature. In my thesis, I acknowledge efforts made by Stephen Colbert to deconstruct mainstream political news media in a way that highlights its oppressive and often propagandistic qualities. I argue that satire, compared to other forms of entertainment, is unique in that it allows for astute social commentary through comedy, appealing to a wide range of audiences from those who are interested in being entertained, to those looking for a space of catharsis in an otherwise problematic stream of news and entertainment. I focus on the way in which <em>The Colbert Report </em>addresses topics of race, gender, and sexuality through his satirical portrayal of real life examples of bigotry, and what this means for the state of political news media. My research includes social psychological studies that investigate the effects of political satire on its consumers, as well as criticisms of the show and Stephen Colbert's specific comedic methods. I ultimately argue that <em>The Colbert Report</em>'s method of interweaving social critique and humor is a powerful tool in corralling public engagement in political dialogue for the sustenance of America's egalitarian democracy, whether the satirist aims to incite social change or provide an artistic outlet for criticisms.
Degree Name
Department or Program
Document Type
Peer Reviewed
Not Reviewed
Publication Date
Class Year
Repository Collection
Document Type
Access Level