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London Financial Times Reviews Jones' Latest Book on Political Satire

"Entertaining Politics: Satiric Television and Political Engagement," the new book by Jeffrey Jones, associate professor of communication at Old Dominion University, was reviewed in the Feb. 20 edition of the London Financial Times.

Originally published in 2005, the updated version of "Entertaining Politics" builds on Jones' research in the first book by examining the continued and increasing influence of the entertainment television genre on mainstream media and the political arena. He makes an argument for how new political television offers citizens a way to become more engaged in the political process by introducing the concept of play as engagement, rather than detract from it as some critics have claimed it does.

In the review, "Power and the Press," John Lloyd considers the evolution of the role the media has played in the British political arena during the past 50 years and reviews three new books within that context, Jones' book among them.

Lloyd refers to "Entertaining Politics" as a "fascinating account of [satire's] rise … in the political media's repertoire … in the US." He seems to struggle, however, with the viewpoint that he assigns to Jones - that of a proponent of entertainment television serving as a viable and reliable source of political analysis and information - but does concede that satire television serves to "bring in a new audience to public affairs."

Jones expressed excitement about having his book reviewed, but pointed out that in one particular instance Lloyd misread his viewpoint, specifically, when he claims that Jones wants satire to "replace what he sees as devalued 'straight' news media."

"Satire is a valuable and important means of social and political critique, but it neither can nor should 'replace' journalism. But I'm not sure the 'straight news' today is doing a very good job of engaging in 'journalism.' That's an important distinction, and one that programs like 'The Daily Show' routinely point out," remarked Jones.

This article was posted on: February 23, 2010

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