Satirical News' history is intertwined with dissent and democracy in the United States. 
This interactive thesis explores the various functions of news satire and satirists. 

Play the introductory video.

What's this all about?

This interactive thesis will distinguish and elevate the function of satirical news by analyzing the genre from a historical, legal, and observational perspective.

The First Amendment implies the necessity of a healthy, vibrant press.  However, today’s media are often antagonistic of the informative and debate-encouraging mission of the First Amendment.  Today, satirical shows, like
The Daily Show, have stepped up to fulfill that mission.  These satirical shows not only encourage deliberative democracy, but also perform the truth-revealing function formerly typical of the news media.

Clicking through the pages, you will discover a timeline displaying the evolution of satirical news on TV, links to shows discussed, legal analysis of relevant cases, and discussion of the "satirical shield" comedians pull out when they claim that they were only joking. I recommend moving from left to right on the menu.

What questions did you ask in your research?

(1) What roles does satirical news play in American society?
(2) Is the intention of satirists to encourage genuine intellectual discussion and dissent?
(3) How has political satire evolved in the past century in the United States?
(4) Why is satire, in particular satirical news, afforded preferential treatment under the First Amendment? 
(5) Does the entertainment feature of the satirical news programs detract from the political value of the message?
(6) Is satirical news recognized for its contributions to the political education of society?
(7) What can the mainstream media learn from satirical news in order to better educate the public?
Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, hosts of Laugh-In, with Richard Nixon at a campaign stop in Burbank, California, 1968. The duo's show featured a satirical news segment called 'The News of the Past, Present, and Future.'