This webpage is the
baby of CYOU Group Awesome. In it, we'll explore how Political
Humor affects and represents different historical events,
concentrating on the last 50 years.
You can browse by era by clicking the buttons to the right.
Reading for the week is on the right of every webpage, consisting of
and cartoons. Related links contain video from Saturday
Night Live and other sources, audio from NPR, as well as more
<> EXECUTIVE SUMMARY <>
We studied political humor from the 1960s
present. In the past fifty years, political humor has become the
cynical jester of the times. Political humor parallels every president
we studied, as well as shows the liberal viewpoint of the times.
The change in political humor reflects the change in culture and
politics, and the increasing ability to attack a politician's personal
characteristics and actions. The line between the public and
private lives of leaders has been blurred, as political satirists
consider everything fair game. Political humor also pushes the
conventional boundaries of our society. Political humor is increasing
in popularity, through such venues as the Daily Show, the Tonight Show,
the Onion, and thousands of websites. There is a noticable corrolation
between increases personal vindictive attacks on the president's
character with times of rising civil unrest.
cartoonist has incredible influence- a theme we can see through
history, as the
New York State legislature considered passing anti-cartoon laws to
cartoonist Thomas Nast’s influence in the turn of the century, (http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/artwood/aw-political.html) as General
Patton tried to censor Bill
military cartoons, and as Nixon had
cartoonists watched and placed on his enemies
Ford recognized the power of political cartoons. “President
Gerald Ford acknowledged the stature of the comic
the 1970s saying "There are only
major vehicles to keep us informed as to what is going on in
televison, the print media, and
not necessarily in that order.” 3
importantly, political cartoonists present meaning
behind events in a form that is
easily understood, and quickly digested.
Thus, politics become relevant to the masses. (an
Furthermore, cartoonists have much more leeway than
journalists, as this excerpt from Dr. Parker's webpage
shows. "Cartoons are, by some, considered to "invoke not
only truth but a higher artistic truth, above the ethical parameters of
the printed word" (Fischer, 16), even if the facts are not consistent
with their pictorial representation of the situation. Political
cartoons have "the ethical imperative which lifts transitory journalism
into transcending art" (Fischer, 3). Their methods of effecting public
opinion and "alter[ing] for the better the course of human events"
qualifies them to make statements in picture that would be considered
false if they were statements in print." (http://www2.truman.edu/parker/research/cartoons.html)
Therefore, political cartoons and other forms of political humor
can show the 'truth' behind historical events without having to
play the 'fact' game- and as Nixon showed, facts can be misguiding.
All Songs Considered: Political Satire and Song"
Political Satire Shapes People's Opinions
Comment on their profession
DOCUMENT OF THE WEEK:
of the week
Use the menu at the top of the page to navigate through the
On the homework page, you'll find the Film, writing assignment, review
questions and lecture outline.