“Do conservatives not understand that Stephen Colbert is joking?” said Steve Johnson in the Chicago Tribune. A new study out of Ohio State University found that political leanings had a predictable effect on whether undergrads took the “faux-foaming right-winger” at face value or got his “deadpan satire.” The study’s authors say it isn’t that conservatives don’t get the joke—they think the joke’s on the liberals whom Colbert openly pillories. (watch Stephen Colbert's anti-gay-marriage ad)
“Talk about a vast right-wing conspiracy!” said Mande Wilkes in FITSNews. If I have this straight, Republicans think Colbert is using his right-wing “shtick” to “infiltrate and undermine the leftist media” through a type of “dog-whistling”—only conservatives hear the true humor. Did we need more proof that the GOP is “way out of touch”?
What the study really shows, said Lee Drutman in Miller-McCune Magazine, is that Colbert is “so pitch-perfectly ambiguous” that people see in him a reflection of themselves, like a “fun-house mirror to the deepest recesses of your political soul.” So conservatives see a conservative? That just means Colbert is a talented satirist.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi dismantles another ObamaCare myth
- Is the Republican Party in danger of dying out?
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