The Wørd: Fearless Speech and the Politics of Language

In Aaron Allen Schiller (ed.), Stephen Colbert and Philosophy: I Am Philosophy (and So Can You!). Open Court. pp. 115-30 (2009)
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Abstract

Does “The Colbert Report” promote democratic values in American political dialogue? If so, does it encourage substantive criticism of political orthodoxy? Or does it just encourage the politics of cynicism, like so many other cable news shows? We claim that Stephen Colbert's style of political satire promotes democratic values of free, open, and critical speech because it reflects an ethical commitment that evokes the earlier spirit of criticism embodied by the ancient Greek philosophical tradition of _parrhesia_, or "speaking the truth" fearlessly in public.

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Author Profiles

Kory P. Schaff
California State University, Los Angeles
Michael Tiboris
University of California, San Diego

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