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Could a randomly selected tree make a better president than Donald Trump? Bruce Irschick/flickr

Democracy needs more trees and less Trump

If people are starting to look much worse in democratic terms, trees are starting to look much better. We are learning that plants engage in meaningful and, more to the point, truthful communication.
People wait in line for Stephen Colbert’s debut on The Late Show. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Stephen Colbert’s Late Show feasts on political fare

In shedding the caricature of a conservative pundit, Colbert can have more substantive conversations with his guests, while still employing his unique brand of satire.
Jon Stewart’s tenure at The Daily Show may ultimately be remembered more for how he skewered the mainstream media than for the laughs he generated. Jason Reed/Reuters

The Daily Show was never ‘real’ news – but came (depressingly) close

Jon Stewart’s Tuesday night announcement that he’ll be leaving the Daily Show garnered an audible cry of disbelief from his live studio audience. Stewart himself was visibly emotional: “What is this fluid…
Stephen Colbert created an extraordinary character: a right-wing, bloviating pundit who was both outrageous and adorable. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The Stephen Colbert legacy

If you were following politics over the last few election cycles, you were most likely getting some of your information from satire. In fact, research has shown that in today’s political climate, satire…
Comedian Stephen Colbert at the 2010 Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. Reuters

Satire might not sway votes, but that isn’t the point

John Oliver’s new program Last Week Tonight is the most recent addition to the parody news genre. Like its predecessors, the show frequently mocks American politics; for example, an attention-grabbing…
Will we recognise the “real” Stephen Colbert when he discards his persona to become the host of The Late Show? EPA/Paul Buck

Stephen Colbert the persona is ending – and I will miss him

What happens when an actor who has built an amazing persona is called upon to reveal a truer self? When Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, discards his right-wing talk show host persona and takes…
Some Republicans may be yearning for a return to the gold standard, but the idea has lost its lustre among the vast majority of economists. Image from www.shutterstock.com

The gold standard of truthiness: a bad idea that feels good (to some Republicans)

A few years back, mock-conservative TV pundit Stephen Colbert famously introduced the notion of “truthiness” into the political lexicon. As Colbert put it, truthiness pertains not to whether beliefs are…

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