2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

And That's the "Word": Political Affiliation and 2008 Presidential Candidate Preference of Stephen T. Colbert
Rebecca L. Hadley* and Vivienne L. Creamer
Dr. Karon Speckman, Faculty Mentor

After the last two Presidential elections, the political coverage by fake news shows has been considered some of the most influential, especially on younger age brackets. Fake news provides humorous commentary on politics, with specific regards to the 2008 Presidential election, and presents arguably the purist form of news by recognizing a bias. As host of the fake news program The Colbert Report, Stephen T. Colbert espouses his viewpoint from that of a republican pundit character that shares his name. This is in contrast to other fake news programs, which use the host's actual viewpoints as commentary. Viewers of The Colbert Report, on the surface, receive only the viewpoint of Colbert's alter ego, however deeply rooted in each joke or segment is the actual viewpoint of Stephen T. Colbert. Due to his prevalence and potential influence on American voting brackets, this research seeks to explore Colbert's political affiliation and 2008 presidential candidate preference by rhetorically criticizing juxtapositions found in his "Word" segments.

Keywords: The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central, Fake news, 2008 Presidential Election, Humor, Politics, Rhetoric


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 45-5
Location: OP 2115
Time: 3:45

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