The power of political satire

And speaking of satire.. Another interesting report from Hearts and Minds‘ Julia Paul on the power of political satire here and in the US. [Is that a nomination for next year’s awards? – Ed] You betcha!

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  • Ulsters my homeland

    When you’re talking about satirical comedy, the television series ‘Give My Head Peace’ was hugely influential in keeping IRA/Sinn Fein at the negotiating table by undermining their enemies, the loyalists, as knuckle daggers and portraying the IRA as a very organised yet ruthless organisations. The program helped keep IRA/Sinn Fein egos high while they delved into unfamiliar territory of abandoning the gun for law and order.

  • percy

    Folks on the Hill is just about as good as it gets

  • Ri Na Deise


    You just get fcukin better by the day.:-D

  • latcheeco

    It seems Julia’s been reading Slugger for ideas on what to report.

  • Mick Fealty


    That’s actually a classy piece of journalism in and of itself. If she was inspired by something she saw here she’s done a helluva lot with it to make it her own.

  • latcheeco

    Stop hiding your light under a bushel Mick. You don’t need to ingratiate yourself with the old media. Slugger leads the way:)

  • Ooh, ooh,
    Round and round and round.

    And we never listen to them,
    We know that they’re the fools
    We don’t like them,

    The fools on the hill
    See the sun going down,
    And the eyes in their heads,
    See the world spinning ’round.

    Round and round and round

    with apologies to The Battles

    (Have I got that right, ed?)

  • Ulsters my homeland


    You just get fcukin better by the day.:-D

    Posted by Ri Na Deise2[/i]

    Give My Head Peace in collusion with the forces? who would have thought?

  • It’s not false modesty Latch. This from JP:

    “When I hear the word audience I get irritated or the word content, I get irritated. I don’t have an audience and I don’t want an audience. Content are assets and audience is about the distribution of assets, but new value only gets created when there is an engagement.”

    As for the most worrying aspect of this report is that the Daily show is rapidly becoming the most trusted outlet on policts. No harm to Jon Stewart (he’s great), but satirists get paid to burst bubbles not blow them…

    What does that say about politics and the media?

  • latcheeco

    Is Julia Paul satirising Candy Crawly on CNN? They’re a button for each other. Is that deliberate? Will Julia bring Candy down the way Tina brought down Sarah?
    It was an Mick. Don’t mean to be churlish or begrudge but as a layman I’m not sure it deserved such gushing praise. Who was Fortesque the media critique in the glasses looking all windswept, authoritative and interesting?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    So what’s the next political satire after Folks on the Hill?

  • Pete Baker


    To riff on “satirists get paid to burst bubbles not blow them…” and Noel McAdam’s comment in the report –

    The US has too many people successfully bursting bubbles, here we have too many still blowing them.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    what’s the Ulster for ‘you go girl, grab it’?

  • Rory

    I think it’s “Put the tay on, wull ya?”

  • ulsters my homeland

    “Put the tay on, wull ya?”

    De ye think i’m some sort of hussie, i’ll be making ne tea for any rory.

  • Pete Baker


    Don’t feed the trolls.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    fuck sake Pete, you need better info to feed the trolls.

  • latcheeco

    That’s true perhaps only in political satire. Northern Ireland people will burst your bubble for you quicker than anybody. American people not so much. As regards satire (and I’m prejudiced of course) I’m not sure everybody in N.I’s bubbles get burst with equality :). Depends often who is paying the satirist’s wages. Remember that show a few years ago on UTV that lasted one or two episodes before Big Ian forced the plug to be pulled.

  • Jobless rates today bolted to an eye-popping 6.5 percent. This tells of many things but 2 things in particular – 1) Businesses both large and small are struggling and 2) after we reach the bottom of this recession, there will be many positions to be filled by companies, large and small.

    Listen to the tone of airwaves, minus the recent election of President-elect Obama, everything has been so negative! Honestly, think about how negatively our society portrays almost every situation. Acquiring a negative perspective is easy, but stand up and make a statement about yourself – tell yourself you will not victim to this negative jargon! If you find yourself in a hole, ask yourself this question: what will more likely improve your chances of being successful – continuing with a negative outlook or transforming your thought patterns into a positive outlook?

    I work with many high level c-level executives that have experienced tremendous success in their life. The one binding characteristic between all of them is that they do not let external, uncontrollable factors influence their inner dialogue and visions for future success. In fact, many of these people use a vision board – a collage of images that symbolize personal goals success – to help them keep focused on their positivity and desired outcomes. I might suggest using one yourself if you are currently in a rut. You should look at the helpful information on how to make one over at

  • latcheeco

    Cheers for the reply, gracious as always.As awesome as the Daily Show is, compare their viewing figures with Fox News’s high figures (unfortunately 🙁 and I appreciate they too can easily be mistaken for jokers). I’m not sure I believe the hype about Stewart and co’s effect on the mainstream outside a particular demographic compared with say Letterman and Leno etc.

    Olberman and Maddow on MSNBC might be better examples of effective humor/satire/news t.v. programs because of their recent growth. But they’re in the tank for one side of course and one man’s satire is another man’s black propaganda.The bubble bursting here too is often selective, preaching to the choir, and not necessarily truth to power all the time. I think SNL is still the main vehicle for satire here in terms of audience and fairly equal in what they dish out and I’d contend after last month still very effective. I’d contend Palin’s figures dived not just because of Katie Couric, but even more because of Tina Fey.

    I think journo’s (and I know you ride two horses) probably rely on blogs like yours now as much as, if not more than, anybody. Although they won’t admit it, you know they’re out there (especially now the Theipval press office is retired)sitting in their cubicles,eating mars bars, reading Slugger; watching, waiting, staring, hoping UMH will do their work for them.

  • kensei


    In fairness to both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, I don’t think they see themselves as blowing anyone’s bubbles:

    STEWART: I remember people used to say, “What are you gonna do when Clinton leaves?” And I’d say, “I’m really OK not having to make another intern blow-job joke in my life.” And it’ll be the same with these guys. I’d much prefer these guys to leave than to have to continue to make Lord Vader jokes about Cheney. I have great faith in institutional absurdity

    COLBERT: Then we’ve succeeded. We want people to be in pain and confused. I make up facts left and right. Liberals will come on the show and say, “Well, conservatives want this to be a theocracy.” And I’ll say, “Well, why not, the Founding Fathers were all fundamentalist Christians.” And they’ll say, “No, they weren’t.” I say, “Yes, they were. And, ladies and gentlemen, if I’m wrong I will eat your encyclopedias.” And the person folds, ’cause they don’t realize I have no problem making things up, because I have no credibility to lose.

    STEWART: Or that it has an agenda of social change. We are not warriors in anyone’s army. And that is not trying to be self-deprecating. I’m proud of what we do. I really like these two shows. I like making ’em. I like watching them. I’m really proud of them. But I understand their place. I don’t view us as people who lead social movements.

    Plus I believe he came up with the term “Satrical-Industrial Complex” which is inspired to give anyone a pass.

  • latcheeco

    Thanks Ron,
    And as Jim more effectively and convincingly said in Wayne’s World 2 ” Book them and they will come.” (Sorry if the cynical negative waves screwed up your montage mucker).

  • Greenflag

    ‘The US has too many people successfully bursting bubbles, here ( Norn Iron ) we have too many still blowing them. ‘

    Inadvertently Pete and with a serendipitious touch your witty one liner has opened up a possible solution to the biggest and most serious problem facing Northern Ireland. The choice of a future ‘anthem’ no less to be used for all occassions -sporting , ceremonial , political etc etc . May upset some of the of the Cockney cousins though 😉

  • latcheeco

    Classic LMAO!