Bears, Baby Carrots, and the Colbert Bump: An Analysis on Stephen Colbert's Use of Humor to Set the Public's Political Agenda
School of Communication and Digital Content
Master of Arts in Communication (MA)
Cliff W Kelly
Primary Subject Area
Political Science, General; Mass Communications; Journalism
2008 presidential election, Agenda setting, Colbert bump, Satire, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report
Broadcast and Video Studies | Communication | Critical and Cultural Studies | Journalism Studies | Mass Communication | Political Science | Social Influence and Political Communication | Television
McKay, Dominique, "Bears, Baby Carrots, and the Colbert Bump: An Analysis on Stephen Colbert's Use of Humor to Set the Public's Political Agenda" (2012). Masters Theses. 218.
In recent years, political satire has risen in popularity and recognition as an effective means of transmitting political news to a younger generation of voters. This recent development brings forth new questions about the role of political satire in setting the public's political agenda. Using Agenda-Setting Theory as a framework, this study takes The Colbert Report, one of the most popular satire television shows of this generation, and analyzes it for a possible political agenda. In the end, what this study finds is that in the six weeks leading up to the 2008 U.S. presidential election The Colbert Report chose to significantly and primarily focus on the issue of economics, therefore setting a political agenda to its audiences. The effects of this political agenda are yet to be measured.
Broadcast and Video Studies Commons, Critical and Cultural Studies Commons, Journalism Studies Commons, Mass Communication Commons, Political Science Commons, Social Influence and Political Communication Commons, Television Commons