Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Political appropriation: “Barack Hussein Napoleon Pol Pot Obama”

I’m in the middle of reading Jeff Rice’s The Rhetoric of Cool, and the section on appropriation made me think of this bit from last Wednesday’s Daily Show:

Writing about appropriation, Rice notes that while it often associated with advertising and commerce—such as the appropriation of youth culture by corporations to sell products—it can also be used

to learn the methods of persuasion conducive to new media (61).

I think Stewart and Co.’s riff on Obama’s “Hussein problem” is an example of this persuasive appropriation. The method is typical of The Daily Show: by taking the right-wing smear campaign aimed at Obama’s middle name to a ridiculous extreme, they show that it is merely ridiculous.

In other news, I’m excited that Stewart and Colbert are on Hulu now. It retrospect, it is easy to see why Hulu beat Jotspot. The service that makes linking and embedding easy is much more likely to catch on online.

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