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Predicting the Consumption of Political TV Satire: Affinity for Political Humor, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report

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Content analyses have focused on the messages offered in political TV satire, and the communication discipline is amassing solid empirical evidence concerning a range of effects derived from this style of programming. However, there is remarkably little understanding of who is tuning in to view political TV satire beyond the audience being dominated by a younger demographic. It is imperative to have a better understanding of the audience for these programs in order to place any effects in their proper context. A statewide survey (N=305) was conducted to identify predictors of political TV satire viewing. Analyses identify four variables which are particularly important in predicting political TV satire exposure: age, exposure to satirical sitcoms, exposure to liberal cable news programming, and the newly explicated and operationalized Affinity for Political Humor scale.

Keywords: Political Entertainment; Political Humor; Satire; The Colbert Report; The Daily Show

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2011


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