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Tom Walker doesn't necessarily believe political satire should be politically correct. The rants by Walker's fictional TV news reporter, Jonathan Pie, have racked up millions of views online making him a social media sensation while raising the ire of people across the political spectrum. In one of Pie's more famous takes, he lampooned leftists who were surprised by the election of US President Donald Trump, accusing them of succumbing to a discourse that, he believes, has become too sensitive.
"Not everyone that voted for Trump is a sexist or a racist", says Walker as Pie. "How many times does the vote not have to go our way before we realise that our argument isn't won by hurling labels and insults...that the key is discussion?"
Others, like American cartoonist Garry Trudeau, have argued that political satire has been, traditionally, a tool to comfort the afflicted and effective when punching against those in power.
"People who are targets merely for existing are already operating at an inherent loss; the real gold is in taking a shot at someone who thinks they’re invincible", writes Scaachi Koul for Buzzfeed News. "At comedy’s core is risk, and there’s no risk in making fun of the already-mocked."
In this episode, Tom Walker joins The Stream alongside comedian Kristina Wong and AJ+ Correspondent Francesca Fiorentini to discuss the power of political satire. Join us for the discussion at 19:30 GMT.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Tom Walker @JonathanPieNews
Actor & Satirist
Kristina Wong @mskristinawong
Francesca Fiorentini @franifio
Performance artist & Comedian
The Abuse of Satire - The Atlantic
How Trump changed everything for The Onion - Politico
The Gospel of Reductress - Newsweek
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.