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Blog #11–Marisa Pooley

Both the Wall Street Journal and The Colbert Report reported on the story of Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi’s charges. Berlusconi has been indicted on charges of paying a seventeen-year-old girl to have sex with him. In his report, Stephen Colbert stated that the girl went to Berlusconi’s penthouse for a ‘Bunga Bunga Party.’ He used quotes and displayed a picture of a news article to add credibility to the Bunga Bunga account, however I think it is disputable whether this is in fact true. Needless to say, The Wall Street Journal article did not talk about “Bunga Bunga Parties.” Also, The Wall Street Journal did talk about Berlusconi’s attempt to cover-up the crime, but did not go in detail. The Colbert Report gave more information of the cover-up. It said that the seventeen-year-old girl stole some money, and Berlusconi proceeded to help hide that fact. He alleged that the girl is the granddaughter of Hosni Mubarak. Again, it is hard for me to believe this story entirely, probably due to Colbert’s satirical and humorous style of reporting news.

Stephen Colbert could be considered a yellow journalist because of his over-dramatization of stories. He also makes parts of the story up, such as saying that the girl in question could not be Mubarak’s granddaughter, because his granddaughter is named “Heidi Mubarak.” This statement was followed by a picture of Hosni Mubarak, wearing blond braids. Because The Colber Report is not a “real” news station, he does not seem to have to balance his stories. He can represent sides of the story unequally to give the story his own spin. He frames the story in a comedic way which invokes pessimism and disbelief in the audience.

The Colbert Report could be considered alternative journalism. This is different from conventional journalism because of the tone. While most other news vehicles take on a more neutral, serious lens, The Colbert Report uses satire and a mocking tone.

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