The Authenticity of Play

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Employing the heuristic of space, target, media, rhetoric, and time, this chapterreexamines US scholarship on contemporary television satire. What we seerepeatedly are struggles over what constitutes legitimate and illegitimate formsof public speech, language, and actions within televisual and non-televisualspaces. Satire has emerged, employing various forms of fakery and a rhetoric ofplay, to challenge the representative roles that politicians and news media haveclaimed for themselves, including the language of authority that undergirdstheir positions of power. Play and fakery invite popular participation and directforms of representation, including across media forms. Finally, satire, parodyand irony are seen as more authentic forms of public language and critiquein an age dominated by the professionally packaged and managed discoursesemployed by politicians and commercial forces.


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