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Last Week Tonight

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When Comedy Meets Muckraking: “Fake” News Gets Investigative

You’ve probably seen the spoof broadcasts of The Daily Show and similar “fake” TV news programs: the realistic sets, the bogus “live” shots from overseas hot spots, the absurd interviews. While steeped in wisecracks and satire, the shows have a hard political edge and often stir controversy. Increasingly, in the absence of serious news from the “real” news media, they also are getting into actual journalism, prompting one scholar to call the phenomenon “investigative comedy.”