In honor of Super Tuesday. Famed parodist-satirist The Onion, has recently started offering video clips. As in this clip, the impersonation of actual news can be so deftly performed that it’s sometimes hard to watch actual news afterwards without thinking the parody button is still on. Here, though, and especially on a day such as today, I’m interested in how this clip does something that the news rarely dares to: criticize voters’ reasons for voting. Of course, in a commercial media system, few journalists will risk alienating their audience by, for instance, using exit polling data to pick apart and critique reasons for voting. But when so much of the media fetishizes voting as the sole or at least primary act of citizenship, then mustn’t it criticize and analyze the choices behind those votes? Good parody and satire interrogates those in power, which in a democracy, on days like Super Tuesday, includes voters. Thus shouldn’t good parody and satire not just accost journalists and politicians (as this clip also does, and as parodists and satirists such as The Onion are famous for), but also accost the voter, thereby adding a rare yet needed dimension to political discourse? Or does the ironic format limit the scope of the criticism, and if so, where (else) can we expect to find this dimension within a commercial media system?
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