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Speech and Rhetorical Studies Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2008

Rhetoric

Broadcast and Video Studies

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Full-Text Articles in Speech and Rhetorical Studies

Comedy In Unfunny Times: News Parody And Carnival After 9/11, Paul Achter Jul 2008

Comedy In Unfunny Times: News Parody And Carnival After 9/11, Paul Achter

Rhetoric and Communication Studies Faculty Publications

Comedy has a special role in helping societies manage crisis moments, and the U.S. media paid considerable attention to the proper role of comedy in public culture after the 9/11 tragedies. As has been well documented, many popular U.S. comic voices were paralyzed in trying to respond to 9/11 or disciplined by audiences when they did. Starting with these obstacles in mind, this essay analyzes early comic responses to 9/11, and particularly those of the print and online news parody The Onion, as an example of how “fake” news discourse could surmount the rhetorical chill ...