“I’ve been asked over the years a lot for the potential of humor to bridge these divides and I have not figured out a way it work. …. Unless you’re someone who is willing to targets the machinery that creates the division in the first place.” – Dannagal Young

Today I interviewed Dannagal Young.

Dannagal G. Young (Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, 2007) is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Delaware where she studies the content, audience, and effects of political humor. She has authored over forty academic articles and book chapters exploring themes related to political entertainment, media psychology, public opinion, and misinformation. Her latest book “Irony and Outrage” examines satire and outrage as the logical extensions of the respective psychological profiles of liberals and conservatives (Oxford University Press, 2020: available here).

Young is a Research Fellow with the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication and was awarded the University of Delaware’s Excellence in Teaching Award  in 2014. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center and an Affiliated Researcher with the University of Arizona’s National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD).  Young is also a co-editor on the 2019 NICD volume: “A Crisis of Civility: Political Discourse and its Discontents”

In this episode we speak about:

  • How our media landscape is a direct consequence of changes in media legislation.
  • The coronavirus response is actually the opposite of how we’d expect conservative and liberals to act.
  • Comedians more often lean left and yet conservatives think that liberals can’t take a joke.
  • People’s perception of how they get information and what they know are often different.
  • Because of how liberals and conservatives are oriented affects the type of programming they seek out.
  • True satire comes from people without a stake in the system.
  • We no longer have a mass media to unite people so we have to find other ways to unite people.

Then my character Melania Trump asks how we can make Donald more funny.

To catch up with our guest:

  • Read her book Irony and Outrage: The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States
  • Follow her @dannagal