Abstract

This study builds on research about political humor, press metacoverage, and intertextuality to examine the effects of news coverage about political satire on audience members. The analysis uses experimental data to test whether news coverage of Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC influenced knowledge and opinion regarding Citizens United, as well as political trust and internal political efficacy. It also tests whether such effects depended on previous exposure to The Colbert Report (Colbert’s satirical television show) and traditional news. Results indicate that exposure to news coverage of satire can influence knowledge, opinion, and political trust. Additionally, regular satire viewers may experience stronger effects on opinion, as well as increased internal efficacy, when consuming news coverage about issues previously highlighted in satire programming.

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