The Jesting Accountant

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A presentation about the philosophical underpinnings of John Stewart's use of satire.

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The Jesting Accountant

  1. 1. The Jesting Accountant Faris ChebibIntroductionSome The Jesting AccountantPhilosophyPorter: How John Stewart’s use of satire “accounts” forAccountingDaston:Impersonality contradictions in network news mediaAppendixWorks Cited Faris ChebibWorks Cited Simon Fraser University February 7, 2011
  2. 2. Some Concepts The Jesting Accountant Faris ChebibIntroductionSome 1 Godwin’s Law: “As an online discussion grows longer,PhilosophyPorter: the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or HitlerAccountingDaston: approaches 1.”ImpersonalityAppendixWorks CitedWorks Cited
  3. 3. Some Concepts The Jesting Accountant Faris ChebibIntroductionSome 1 Godwin’s Law: “As an online discussion grows longer,PhilosophyPorter: the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or HitlerAccountingDaston: approaches 1.”ImpersonalityAppendix 2 Satire: A genre in which short-comings and abuses areWorks Cited held up to ridicule with the intent of shaming individuals.Works Cited
  4. 4. Some Concepts The Jesting Accountant Faris ChebibIntroductionSome 1 Godwin’s Law: “As an online discussion grows longer,PhilosophyPorter: the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or HitlerAccountingDaston: approaches 1.”ImpersonalityAppendix 2 Satire: A genre in which short-comings and abuses areWorks Cited held up to ridicule with the intent of shaming individuals.Works Cited 3 Ad hominem:“an attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise”
  5. 5. The US Media Landscape The Jesting Accountant Faris Chebib Fox News: Constantly use false terms of objectivity.Introduction Claim to be unbiased. Fox News also holds triple theSomePhilosophy market share of other network news organizations in thePorter:Accounting US.Daston:ImpersonalityAppendixWorks CitedWorks Cited
  6. 6. The US Media Landscape The Jesting Accountant Faris Chebib Fox News: Constantly use false terms of objectivity.Introduction Claim to be unbiased. Fox News also holds triple theSomePhilosophy market share of other network news organizations in thePorter:Accounting US.Daston:Impersonality The Daily Show: Never intended to be a serious newsAppendix show, but after 11 years is one of the most importantWorks Cited voices in US politics.Works Cited In 2004, “21% of 18–34-year-olds regularly learned about the 2004 presidential campaign from comedy programs.” In the same poll, a nearly equal percent of respondents reported getting their campaign information from other network news sources (Feldman, 2007, p. 276).
  7. 7. Clip: Fox, John Stewart, and Nazis The Jesting Accountant Faris ChebibIntroductionSomePhilosophyPorter:AccountingDaston:Impersonality Why is Stewart such a popular news source?Appendix Let’s examine an incident from 3 weeks ago. . .Works CitedWorks Cited
  8. 8. Clip Review The Jesting Accountant Faris ChebibIntroductionSomePhilosophyPorter: Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) compared RepublicanAccountingDaston:Impersonality rhetoric to Joesph Goebbels’s Nazi propaganda techniques.Appendix John Stewart rebuked the congressman for the comparison onWorks Cited the previous night’s show. He examines the hypocrisy of FoxWorks Cited News’ response – particular the response of Megyn Kelly.
  9. 9. The Jester The Jesting Accountant Faris Chebib A quote from “Fools are Everywhere”:Introduction “The jester everywhere employed the same techniquesSomePhilosophy to carry out this delicate role, and it would take anPorter:Accounting obtuse king or emperor not to realize what he wasDaston:Impersonality driving at, since ‘other court functionaries cookedAppendix up the king’s facts for him before delivery; theWorks Cited jester delivered them raw.’ An informal survey ofWorks Cited the man in the street has shown that most people will pinpoint the jester’s right to speak his mind as one of his salient characteristics” (Otto, 2001). Note that the jester takes on a role of historical reflection.
  10. 10. Tying Together Philosophy: Porter The Jesting Accountant Faris ChebibIntroduction A key observation: John Stewart does not directly attackSome those he satirizes. Instead, he relies on his news staff toPhilosophyPorter: vigilantly watch and assemble documentation about theAccountingDaston: individual being ridiculed.ImpersonalityAppendixWorks CitedWorks Cited
  11. 11. Tying Together Philosophy: Porter The Jesting Accountant Faris ChebibIntroduction A key observation: John Stewart does not directly attackSome those he satirizes. Instead, he relies on his news staff toPhilosophyPorter: vigilantly watch and assemble documentation about theAccountingDaston: individual being ridiculed.ImpersonalityAppendix By keeping a constant watch on public individuals,Works Cited Stewart is in a way practising a form of accounting – videoWorks Cited documentation (in the name of satire) as opposed to double-entry bookkeeping.
  12. 12. Tying Together Philosophy: Porter The Jesting Accountant Faris ChebibIntroduction A key observation: John Stewart does not directly attackSome those he satirizes. Instead, he relies on his news staff toPhilosophyPorter: vigilantly watch and assemble documentation about theAccountingDaston: individual being ridiculed.ImpersonalityAppendix By keeping a constant watch on public individuals,Works Cited Stewart is in a way practising a form of accounting – videoWorks Cited documentation (in the name of satire) as opposed to double-entry bookkeeping. This form of accounting is a key part of Porter’s conception of methods of objectivity (Porter, 1992).
  13. 13. Tying Together Philosophy: Daston The Jesting Accountant Faris Chebib “The values of aperspectival objectivity are undeniably curious ones, and may well be of dubiousIntroduction merit. But moral values they undeniablySomePhilosophy are. . . ” (Daston, 1992, p. 121).Porter:AccountingDaston:ImpersonalityAppendixWorks CitedWorks Cited
  14. 14. Tying Together Philosophy: Daston The Jesting Accountant Faris Chebib “The values of aperspectival objectivity are undeniably curious ones, and may well be of dubiousIntroduction merit. But moral values they undeniablySomePhilosophy are. . . ” (Daston, 1992, p. 121).Porter:AccountingDaston:Impersonality Stewart’s self-belittlement allows him to play the part ofAppendix an observer. This builds trust with his audience.Works CitedWorks Cited
  15. 15. Tying Together Philosophy: Daston The Jesting Accountant Faris Chebib “The values of aperspectival objectivity are undeniably curious ones, and may well be of dubiousIntroduction merit. But moral values they undeniablySomePhilosophy are. . . ” (Daston, 1992, p. 121).Porter:AccountingDaston:Impersonality Stewart’s self-belittlement allows him to play the part ofAppendix an observer. This builds trust with his audience.Works CitedWorks Cited By acting as a broadcast journalist, Stewart is able to parody network news reporters. (The character of Stephen Colbert takes this method to its logical extreme).
  16. 16. Tying Together Philosophy: Daston The Jesting Accountant Faris Chebib “The values of aperspectival objectivity are undeniably curious ones, and may well be of dubiousIntroduction merit. But moral values they undeniablySomePhilosophy are. . . ” (Daston, 1992, p. 121).Porter:AccountingDaston:Impersonality Stewart’s self-belittlement allows him to play the part ofAppendix an observer. This builds trust with his audience.Works CitedWorks Cited By acting as a broadcast journalist, Stewart is able to parody network news reporters. (The character of Stephen Colbert takes this method to its logical extreme). By using the video medium, Stewart is able to effectively allow his targets of satire to ridicule themselves
  17. 17. A final word on impersonality The Jesting Accountant Faris ChebibIntroductionSomePhilosophyPorter: Even with all the news to be garnered, The Daily Show isAccountingDaston:Impersonality still a form of comedy: it doesn’t have to be “right”.Appendix A majority of Stewart’s targets are that of the media, notWorks Cited politicians(Feldman, 2007). What does this say about hisWorks Cited role in the methodology of journalistic objectification?
  18. 18. Appendix: Stewart’s “Proof” The Jesting Accountant Proof. Faris ChebibIntroduction P1 Kelly is a hypocrite iff she states that she is against anSome action which she has done before.PhilosophyPorter: P2 Kelly claims that she is against equating politicians to theAccountingDaston:Impersonality Nazis.Appendix P3 Kelly claims that no such rhetoric has occurred on herWorks Cited programme.Works Cited P4 Kelly has hosted a guest who made equivalence relations to the Nazi party (as evidenced in the clip. This is arguable, as the guest spoke of “Brown-shirted brutes”; Stewart points out that this is not a complete comparison) C1 Kelly is a hypocrite (P1, P2, P3, P4).
  19. 19. The Jesting Accountant Faris ChebibIntroduction 1 IntroductionSomePhilosophyPorter:Accounting 2 Some PhilosophyDaston:Impersonality Porter: AccountingAppendix Daston: ImpersonalityWorks CitedWorks Cited 3 Appendix 4 Works Cited
  20. 20. The Jesting Daston, Lorraine (1992). “Objectivity and the Escape from Accountant Perspective”. In: Social studies of science 22.4, p. 597. issn: Faris Chebib 0306-3127.Introduction Feldman, L. (Aug. 2007). “The news about comedy: YoungSomePhilosophy audiences, The Daily Show, and evolving notions ofPorter:Accounting journalism”. In: Journalism 8.4, pp. 406–427. issn: 1464-8849.Daston:Impersonality doi: 10.1177/1464884907078655.Appendix Otto, B.K. (2001). Fools are everywhere: the court jesterWorks Cited around the world. University of Chicago Press. isbn:Works Cited 0226640914. Porter, T.M. (1992). “Quantification and the accounting ideal in science”. In: Social studies of science 22.4, p. 633. issn: 0306-3127.

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