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The increasing popularity of political satire TV programs raises new questions about their function within the information-media landscape. In this paper, I rely on theoretical discussions of how satire can sometimes function as disinformation in order to understand the growth of such programs over the last two decades. Political satire is unique in that the humorous content allows truth to be disseminated in a more palatable way. In some cases, it may be the only way to safely criticize corrupt power structures and those who control them, while in others, it can hide harmful deceit. My analysis of where The Daily Show with Jon Stewart blurs the boundaries of disinformation and satire can help us understand their function in political discourse.



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The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: A Case Study of the Growth of Satirical Television and Disinformation