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Comedy as an instrument for change: A look at U.S. political television satire during the Trump presidency. -AND- Fake news: A look at deception and facts in the U.S. during the 21st century.

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This essay examines television satire, why and how it is used in politics, as well as its efficacy in shedding light and awareness on serious topics. Also, it explores the potential of satire to motivate people to act and influence change. The essay includes examples of satirical television since the election of President Trump up to the release of the Mueller Report using content from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight and Stephen Colbert’s Late Night with Stephen Colbert. And. This essay looks at fake news in its recent evolution primarily in the United States since the turn of the 21st century, highlighting the phrase’s social construction before and after Donald Trump became president. Comparisons of modern-day fake news to media hoaxes, advertising, propaganda and public relations are outlined to provide historical perspective. Furthermore, fake news is examined using two recently published frameworks using dimensions of facticity, intention as well as mis- and disinformation. Lastly, the implications of the new fake news are explored.
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