The Jon Stewart Legacy

After 16 years behind the desk and in front of the cameras of the Daily Show, comedian and political satirist Jon Stewart has left the set. His final programme was star-studded, with tributes and digs in the ribs from celebrities, former collaborators, and leading politicians such as past and present foreign ministers Hillary Clinton and… Continue reading

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Why can’t tyrants take a joke?

Writing on the Al Jazeera website today, Hamid Dabashi, Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, asks why politicians and tyrants throughout the world can’t take a joke. ‘Why are powerful generals, murderous tyrants, and stuck-up theocrats so incensed when someone makes fun of them?’ He notes that a Malaysian cartoonist was… Continue reading

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Attack on media freedom in Paris

The murder of 12 people at the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on January 7th has a bearing on several themes dealt with in the book. Responses by political elites, journalists, ordinary people and the producers of popular culture produced a wealth of primary source material almost overnight. Reporters Without Borders condemned the attempt by gunmen… Continue reading

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