Throughout history, there has been many examples of Satire, or as it is more commonly know today as Fake News. You hear and see it all over the place whether it be on TV or on Facebook and other things like that. They use catchy titles and then once people are in they give them information that they know is either true or false but the reader doesn’t always know. In today’s day and age, there is so many places to get news from but because of that people don’t know whether it’s real or fake news. With all of this this you may wonder, is Satire protected under the first amendment? In 1988, there was a magazine named Hustler Magazine that posted pictures of nude women and political satire among other things. They posted a head shot of a man named Jerry Falwell and put certain words together that he actually said but in a different order about a sexual accouter. Falwell claimed it ruined his reputation and tried to sue Hustler for publishing it. The Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in favor of Hustler because he did nothing wrong and no one in their right mind would believe the story to be factual.
Many people use Satire for their shows or blogs so people read them or watch them. In turn, if people read and see something they don’t like or agree with, they automatically call it fake news. Nobody knows what is true or not but to be fair, a lot of what you see is satire. People make livings off of satire, such as Stephen Colbert. A lot of people believe everything he says to be true.
“Hustler Magazine V. Falwell.” En.wikipedia.org. N. p., 2017. Web. 3 Oct. 2017.
Gioria, Ted. “The Death of Satire.” July 2015.
Satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. We see satire all around the media today from The Onion to TV shows like John Oliver and The Daily Show. These are primarily examples of satire, but what makes these satire instead of fake news? Fake news is one of the biggest things on social media nowadays. Fake news is false information that refers to propaganda and false information under the guise of being authentic news. The first amendment states, under freedom of speech, that the government must respect citizens’ rights to express themselves, therefore satire is protected by the first amendment. The main reason for media is for people to be informed on what is going on in the world. Is fake news protected by the first amendment or is it an example of slander/libel? Many past presidential elections have been won because of fake news. For example, many Republican websites posted claims about Hillary Clinton this past election helping boost Trump’s support.
The question is: What is the difference between fake news and satire, and what separates the two? Satire is used for a corrective purpose to point out why things are wrong. One of satire’s purposes is to inform viewers on what is actually going on in today’s world. When comparing satire and fake news, the title of fake news says it all. Fake news is fake with no purpose to inform whatsoever. In a study by the website “techdirt” called, Yet Another Study Shows US Satire Programs Do A Better Job Informing Viewers Than Actual News Outlets., many surveys have been done showing that satire news has better informed people than regular news stations like Fox and CNN. Instead of choosing the left or the right side of politics, satire shows all sides of every story. Fake news is false information that misinforms many people and can be very dangerous.