TV Satire and its Targets

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The question of the relationship between satire and its targets is also one ofboth mediality and politics. When it comes to television political satire, thatrelationship is extremely intimate. This might in turn make it difficult for satireon television – a notoriously top-down medium – to be very critical of politics.Building on investigations into “new political television”, this chapter comparesthe relationships of three very different British satires, namely Have I got Newsfor You, The Thick of It, and Brass Eye, with their political targets, asking to whatextend they are collusive, incorporative or antagonistic. Is it possible for TVsatire to be truly subversive?


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