The Colbert Report Analysis
The story that I viewed on The Colbert Report was titled, “Mr. Smith Goes to the State Legislature, Then Later Possibly Washington – Ron Gould”. In this clip Colbert discusses someone who could potentially be a Presidential candidate. Ron Gould is a state senator in Arizona. He has proposed new legislation in regards to firearm control. This installment of The Colbert Report falls right between the distinctions of yellow journalism and sensational journalism. This is because Colbert highlights all of the aspects of the legislation that are clearly not safe, and for the most part the parts cited by Colbert are illogical in relation to firearm control. I would say that Colbert leans more towards sensational journalism rather than yellow journalism because even though he is eliciting a response based on the dramatic presentation of the legislation, he is not completely fabricating the story. I would say that Colbert did not approach this from an objective viewpoint in that he was clearly mocking the legislation, and did not believe that Gould could be a good presidential candidate. The bias was quite clear in the video clip.
The news article that I found that went along with the legislation critiqued by Colbert is on Arizona’s CBS news page, channel 5. The story is titled, “State Senator Wants To Loosen Gun Laws”. This article frames the story really well. The Tuscon shootings are still fresh in many minds, and the journalist takes advantage of that and reminds everyone of the recent event. Framing the story in that way does not skew the objectivity of the story though. The facts were stated, and there was no clear bias one way or the other.
This story qualifies as news because it is relevant to the citizens of Arizona, and especially those who were impacted by the shootings. Also, the story has potential to develop into something larger, maybe even the presidential race.
The Colbert Report that critiques the legislation definitely brought forth aspects of the legislation that were not discussed in the article from the CBS story. After viewing the clip, I would not be as likely to support the legislation. That also may be because nothing positive was mentioned in the clip.
I would say that The Colbert Report embodies the principles outlined in the libertarian theory, the social responsibility theory, and the Soviet theory. The authoritarian theory does not really apply to the show in that the government does not directly rule over what is aired. Colbert clearly exercises the rights that fall under the libertarian theory. This is because he says whatever he wants even if it does cast a negative light on the government and its actions. Also, Colbert does his best to inform the citizens. However, it does not exactly fall under the social responsibility theory because his viewpoint is not impartial. The Soviet theory holds true as well in regards to The Colbert Report because the government does not own the show, and it is made available to all, including the working class.