Presentation Title

The Jon Stewart 9/11 Monologue: Unity, Prophetic Dualism, and the Newfound Role of Satire

Presenter Information

Carlos PelayoFollow

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Alyssa A. Samek

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:30 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

Location

Markstein 306

Session

oral 2

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

On the set of The Daily Show on September 20, 2001, Jon Stewart addressed the tragedy of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by encouraging nationwide unity and allowing television audiences to understand tragedy through satire. In this rhetorical analysis I examine the Stewart monologue and argue that he used patriotic symbolism, employed a Juvenalian satirical tone, and rejected the interpretive framework employed by President George W. Bush to explain the 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, Stewart juxtaposed the attacks as a conflict of ‘light’ and chaos,’ resulting in a shared cultural understanding where first responders could be celebrated as heroes. This analysis contextualizes the monologue with accounts of Stewart’s early career, his efforts to build The Daily Show’s satirical ethos of delivering meaningful social commentary through humor, and the historical moments that shaped the public’s approval of Western hegemony against terrorism. In his monologue, Stewart seized upon the “death of irony” proclaimed by journalists in the week following the crisis and introduced his brand of satire that could be sensible, topical, and humorous.

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Nov 23rd, 10:30 AM Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM

The Jon Stewart 9/11 Monologue: Unity, Prophetic Dualism, and the Newfound Role of Satire

Markstein 306

On the set of The Daily Show on September 20, 2001, Jon Stewart addressed the tragedy of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by encouraging nationwide unity and allowing television audiences to understand tragedy through satire. In this rhetorical analysis I examine the Stewart monologue and argue that he used patriotic symbolism, employed a Juvenalian satirical tone, and rejected the interpretive framework employed by President George W. Bush to explain the 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, Stewart juxtaposed the attacks as a conflict of ‘light’ and chaos,’ resulting in a shared cultural understanding where first responders could be celebrated as heroes. This analysis contextualizes the monologue with accounts of Stewart’s early career, his efforts to build The Daily Show’s satirical ethos of delivering meaningful social commentary through humor, and the historical moments that shaped the public’s approval of Western hegemony against terrorism. In his monologue, Stewart seized upon the “death of irony” proclaimed by journalists in the week following the crisis and introduced his brand of satire that could be sensible, topical, and humorous.