When The Colbert Report first started airing, Stephen almost hoodwinked me. He’s such a good satirist I thought he might actually be conservative for an episode or so.
Turns out that, being a dirty flaming librul, I should’ve had no doubts:
The Irony of Satire
This study investigated biased message processing of political satire in The Colbert Report and the influence of political ideology on perceptions of Stephen Colbert. Results indicate that political ideology influences biased processing of ambiguous political messages and source in late-night comedy. Using data from an experiment (N = 332), we found that individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions of Colbert’s political ideology. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert’s political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.
I’m sorry, but that cracks me up. It’s an awesome demonstration of cluelessness.
Oh, and in case you’re worried the liberals are the ones seeing only what they want to see, you can rest easy:
Although by his own account he was not particularly political before joining the cast of The Daily Show, Colbert is a self-described Democrat. In an interview at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard Institute of Politics, he stated that he has “no problems with Republicans, just Republican policies.”
(One of us! One of us! One of – ahem, sorry.)
All of this just goes to prove my point. Satire is currently impossible. But I’m glad that hasn’t stopped Stephen.
Join me in an enthusiastic tip o’ the shot glass to George, who sends me the most awesomest things.