While reading The Media Ecosystem, I was really struck by something on page 53. López is discussing media control mechanisms and says this about shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report:
While it’s true that these programs offer more critique of media than anywhere else in the offerings of the media cartels, the very fact that their criticism is contextualized as irony and comedy means that we can maintain emotional distance from critical issues without having to act on them. They serve as pressure valves that give the appearance that oppositional viewpoints are tolerated. Indeed, hegemony creates space for critique and alternative cultural practices, as long as they can be absorbed and contained within nonthreatening perimeters
This was really interesting for me to think about, because I am an active consumer of shows like these. Now that I see these shows to be simply another part of the hegemonic system, I will have to reconsider what it means to enjoy them. I am also curious what López would think of Trevor Noah’s recent interview with Tomi Lahren.