Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver. Those are the few parody news show hosts that are out there. Now, I’m familiar with a lot of them but the only one that I ever cared to watch (and even then it’s not all the time) is Jimmy Kimmel. And it’s usually because an entertainer that I like is a guest star. The humor can be funny but most of the time it usually goes over my head. Case in point, Colbert’s testimony at the U.S. House’s subcommittee hearing in where he testified as a “egotistical right-leaning pundit.” I’m sure the intent was supposed to be humorous but it didn’t come off that way to me. Maybe it’s just me thinking too much into it. I do have the tendency to do that. 😉
Now, my experience with parody news is limited. While it can be entertaining I tend to get my news from other sources such as CNN. They’re a little more reputable but sometimes turning on parody news can be entertaining in a world that is besieged with dark news stories almost everyday. As Kanye West says in one of his songs, “Ain’t nothin’ on the news but the blues.” So I can understand the popularity of parody news shows. But as for their value? In my personal opinion, there really isn’t that much value in them. The way I view them is that they’re geared more for entertainment to get laughs with maybe some news reporting thrown in. As with the Sun Moon hoax back in 1835 it was described as “the first truly sensational demonstration of the power of the mass media that had come into existence after the introduction of steam-powered printing presses.” But over 180 years later now with comedic parody news shows it’s not really considered to be the truth or even good journalistic reporting. But I can also understand that people use them as a valid news source.
As John Oliver says in describing parody talk shows as “petting zoos with a desk,” there’s a whole lot of worthlessness and not a lot of value. At least that’s how I see them. But, as with a lot of other things, it’s all subjective. Just because I view them as worthless doesn’t mean that everybody else does. And yes, I admit, the humor can be quite funny at times. As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine. 😉