We Are The Disease

Spreading the Viral Phenomenon

Archive for the category “Politics”

#CancelColbert: Racist or Not?

Stephen Colbert has made a living parodying controversial right-wing pundits.  Now he has his own controversy.  Last week, Colbert mocked The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation by creating his own racially insensitive foundationTheChing-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.  Shortly after the segment aired, @ColbertReport, a Twitter account not run by Stephen Colbert, posted this tweet:


The world took notice and the hashtag #cancelcolbert went viral last weekend.  People called for Colbert to be fired over the segment, claiming it was racist.  However, Colbert had a lot of supporters, with fans pointing out that the tweet was taken out of context and his foundation was mocking the Redskins for their hypocritical foundation.  So why did it go viral?

Today we live in a culture of sensitivity.  Every December, we hear the complaints that we cannot say “Merry Christmas” anymore; instead we must say “Happy Holidays” to accommodate for those who celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanza.  The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux were forced by the NCAA to change their name, despite a lawsuit from the local Sioux tribe who felt honored by the nickname and wanted UND to keep the name (they lost the lawsuit).  Some argue that even the Redskins’ name controversy may be an overreaction; a poll by the Annenburg Public Policy Center in 2004 found that 90 percent of Native Americans do not consider the term “redskin” offensive and several Native America high schools use “redskin” as their nicknames.  Colbert aired his response last night, in which we defended the organization but agreed to shut it down, and brought Asian chief foundation officer James out to tell him he was being laid off. So was cancel Colbert and overreaction in an oversensitive culture, or do people have a legitimate point?


Source: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9689220/redskins-name-change-not-easy-sounds


Your Ad Here

The Tea Party Republicans have produced some colorful characters.  Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, and Rick Perry among others have caught plenty of airtime with their personalities, whether for better or for worse.  Mitch McConnell is not one of them.  His low monotonous voice almost puts people to sleep.  But that all changed over night with one ad.


The ad is already weird enough.  It has no words.  Instead it is a slideshow of McConnell going through everyday tasks for a politician and sometimes simply giving a creepy smile into the camera.  It is enough to make anyone do a double take.  Then along came Jon Stewart.


Stewart mocks McConnell’s ad, which comes as no surprise given that his job is to mock (usually Republican) politicians.  But then he gave his loyal viewers some homework.  He says the video can work with any song and with a week off next week he tells his viewers to create their own mash-ups, with the hash tag #mcconelling.  With 1-2 million viewers on any given night, this hash-tag went viral.  As we learned last week in our readings, copyrights do not cover parodies, so McConnell’s ad is free to use by anyone wishing to make a hilarious mash-up with McConnell’s ad.

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