Sophia A. McClennen

What I'm watching

The Surprising Takeaway from the 2015 Oscars—And Why Sean Penn's Joke Fell Flat

Many of us expected the Oscars to open up a conversation about our nation’s identity, but it’s unlikely that we expected the conversation to be about immigration, Mexicans and cultural diversity. With two films nominated for Best Picture that drew directly on important national events—“American Sniper” and “Selma”—and with the whitest list of nominees since 1995, this round of Academy Awards seemed to be a battle between civil rights and American exceptionalism. And yet it would be a film about a middle-aged, washed-up white actor that would spark a conversation about not just the role of Mexicans in Hollywood, but about the cultural identity of our nation.

Read the rest at Alternet

(Photo Credit: Youtube)

Craig Robertson reviews Is Satire Saving Our Nation? —and he uses GIFs.

Is Satire Saving Our Nation? is a book which exists among a collection of writings on post-9/11 America that detail the events of a time where war was not only waged on the vague notion of terror, but also between unquestioning patriotism and critical thinking, moderate views and fundamentalist beliefs, old and new media.

Read the rest at “Cut Your Teeth”

I dared criticize *American Sniper.* You'd be horrified by the response from aggressive, deluded “patriots”

I dared criticize “American Sniper.” You’d be horrified by the response from aggressive, deluded “patriots”

Read the rest at Salon

(Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment/Salon)

Sophia McClennen’s “Is Satire Saving Our Nation?”

Sophia McClennen talks with Radio Times for NPR affiliate WHYY on Is Satire Saving Our Nation? and the role that Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and satirical news in general has played in shaping national discourse.


You had me at hello: how Jon Stewart’s first episode gave birth to his brand of satire

On January 11 1999, when Jon Stewart took over as host of The Daily Show from Craig Kilborn, no one could have predicted that, 16 years later, Stewart would become an icon of satire.

Read the rest at The Conversation

Who will factcheck Fox News now? We’re lost without Stewart and Colbert

Jon Stewart redefined what it meant to do political satire in our nation. Rather than simply riff off of the news, his show became the news. And, rather than entertain viewers after they had heard the news in a serious format elsewhere, he often was their first stop and their most trusted one. This is why the revelation that he has decided to step down as host of “The Daily Show” is such devastating news. It signals not just a loss for satire, but also a threat to the health of our democracy.

Read the rest at Salon

Jon Stewart’s Brian Williams dilemma: How will “Daily Show” handle a friend becoming a punchline?

Much has been made recently about thAmidst controversy over whether the depiction of Chris Kyle in “American Sniper” was accurate, we now know that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams misrepresented his experience in Iraq. The revelation has called the NBC anchor’s career into question and forced him to step down – at least temporarily. In contrast to the divisive debate over whether Kyle deserves to have his career scrutinized, Williams is unlikely to enjoy any breaks. And that is because the lack of respect the American public has for the TV news media.

Read the rest at Salon

(Photo Credit: Comedy Central)