Although I want to go into the entertainment PR industry, I have always been interested in politics. While I would never consider it a career path for myself, I find the best way to stay up-to-date on what’s going on by religiously watching The Colbert Report. It may not be the most serious or reliable news source, but hey – neither is Fox News.
Political satire became a huge part of American culture back in the early 2000’s when The Daily Show was taken over by Jon Stewart and President George W. Bush was unintentionally feeding us comedic gold. With thanks to Colbert and Stewart, politics and entertainment truly have become integrated in pop culture.
Last month, President Obama made a stop at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to “Slow Jam the News“, where to the sounds of R&B, Obama and Fallon addressed issues regarding the rising prices of interest rates on student loans. I think this was an awesome campaign move for the President. Who’s going to care about rising interest rates on student loans? The students. Are college students more likely to remember a calculated and stiff speech given in a newsroom or a catchy song on late night television? The answer is obvious.
President Obama is often targeted by republicans for being the “cool” vote – we all remember 2008 Republican candidate John McCain calling Obama “the biggest celebrity in the world“, comparing him to the likes of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. By appearing on shows like Late Night and SNL, Obama appeals more to the younger voters. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this tactic – this year with the heated debates over gay marriage and women’s rights (issues younger voters are increasingly passionate about) it is especially important for Obama to know and attract his different audiences. I think that combining entertainment and politics – when appropriate – is an excellent way to gain media coverage and the attention of voters as well as humanize important political figures that are generally viewed as stuffy and conservative.