Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Politics and Government: Political Science

First Advisor

Carl Palmer


The Colbert Report was a satirical, political, and “fake” news show that lasted for almost a decade on the Comedy Central Network. Although many scholars have argued the program was less impactful and influential than Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, phenomena such as the “Colbert Bump” show a definite impact on the political lives of many Americans. Using four quantitative surveys from 2008 to 2012, this thesis investigates the effects of watching The Colbert Report on individuals’ political knowledge and political participation. Results indicate non-Republican viewers increased their political knowledge, but not participation, from watching the show. The educational effect was more prevalent than The Daily Show and other political news programs. Results indicate a divide based on partisanship regarding how media educates and incentivizes participation in politics.


Imported from ProQuest Canfield_ilstu_0092N_10990.pdf


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