A Non-satirical Blog Post about Satire.
Oftentimes news can be pretty depressing. News can cover anything from obituaries to storm wreckage with few hearts and rainbows in between. Even when news is of the happier tone, it is rarely written with the intention to entertain audiences, just entertain or inform them. There is an often overlooked form of news that almost always tends to be amusing to some degree. This type of news is called Satirical News.
What is Satire?
According to dictionary.com. Satire means the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc” (dictionary.com). This is exactly what satirical organizations and news reporters apply to news in order to make it satirical.
The Onion is a news source that calls themselves “America’s finest news source.” To an uninformed first time reader, The Onion’s articles could be startling and confusing. The current feature is an article about a dance studio owner, Hayley Caslin and her studio. The title itself is definitely different- “Woman Always Dreamed Of Opening Her Own Sparsely Attended Dance Studio.” The photograph is of a woman looking irritable at the camera in a studio with two students dancing in the background. In the interview Caslin says; “Just a year ago, I could have never imagined I’d leave my promising dance career in New York, come back home, and sink my life savings into a studio space that’s so bare and empty that the sight of it makes even interested potential patrons uncomfortable,” she continued. “But look at me now: I’m two months behind on rent and I’ve made myself physically ill from stress and lack of sleep. It’s like a fairytale” (The Onion). Who would say that statement? No one in their right mind of course. This is an example of how Satirical news works.
The Trouble of Satire
Although The Onion covers news stories like the prior mentioned and expands to just about any topic imaginable, most popular satirical news sources are politically based. Nationalreport.com is another satirical news site that focuses on more political satire stories than The Onion. The National Report does discuss other satirical news as well. Their news site is set up to look like a non-satirical news source site. In fact apparently the site and journalism was so convincing that FOX news ran a story on television that was written for the fake, satirical site. The article claims that President Obama busied himself by using his own pocket money to open a Muslim Museum during the government shut down period.
“Folks, this is a time to focus on things that are important to us in America. Sure, we would all like to see the government open, it just is not that simple. What is simple is me funding the International Museum of Muslim Cultures so it will remain open during this horrible time in our nation’s history…” (National Report)
If this didn’t catch the attention of Fox news as satirical, who knows what would. Does this misinterpretation mean anything? Could satirical news be having a negative effect on society? Matt Hammer believes so in his article about how satirical news affects society. Hammer stated; “However these newer shows are negatively affecting society and taking away from more “newsworthy” sources.”
Hammer has a point. If news listeners are tuning in more closely to these satirical newspapers, shows, and sites instead of real news, are they clear of what the real news even is? Fox news is a trustworthy source of news in the United States. If even they made the mistake of believing a satirical source to be real, there could be some problems.
Satirical News sources can be fun and entertaining to read. Occasionally they may present a way of thinking of something that one might not have considered before. But they are primarily a form of entertainment, not reliable news sources. The inhabitants of this world need to be careful of what they read and believe. They should feel free to read satirical news stories fora good laugh, but they should always keep in mind that they need to stick to the reliable and REAL news sources for the facts.