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The Swiss "Tina Fey Effect": The content of late-night political humor and the negative effects of political parody on the evaluation of politicians


Matthes, J; Rauchfleisch, A (2013). The Swiss "Tina Fey Effect": The content of late-night political humor and the negative effects of political parody on the evaluation of politicians. Communication Quarterly, 61(5):596-614.

Abstract

This article investigates the content and effects of political humor on late-night television. Besides conducting a systematic content analysis of a Swiss late-night show, this article examines the effects of late-night political parody on competence evaluations of politicians. An experiment manipulated the televised parody of a politician and measured political knowledge. Results show that exposure to a televised political parody decreased competence ratings of politicians only for individuals high in political knowledge. The reason is that viewers must already have an understanding of current political affairs to “get the joke”—that is, the implicit message transported by the parody. The implications of such a negative “Tina Fey Effect” are discussed.

Abstract

This article investigates the content and effects of political humor on late-night television. Besides conducting a systematic content analysis of a Swiss late-night show, this article examines the effects of late-night political parody on competence evaluations of politicians. An experiment manipulated the televised parody of a politician and measured political knowledge. Results show that exposure to a televised political parody decreased competence ratings of politicians only for individuals high in political knowledge. The reason is that viewers must already have an understanding of current political affairs to “get the joke”—that is, the implicit message transported by the parody. The implications of such a negative “Tina Fey Effect” are discussed.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:07 Feb 2014 08:23
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 03:05
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0146-3373
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/01463373.2013.822405

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