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1500-1700 words worth 300 points (final paper)USE DIRECTIONS AND ANNOATED BIB BELOWSources are providedBuild on inquiry question and annoated rhesis


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W170 Performing the News
Spring 2019  
Essay 3: Research-based Analysis
Total Points:
Due Date:
1,500-1,700 words, plus an MLA-formatted works cited page
Rough draft due Tue. 4/23; Final draft due Thur. 4/25 (hard copies
due at the start of class)
Write an essay that chooses a segment from a news-based late night comedy show or
news parody show and considers how the segment represents an issue or topic of
public concern and what effect the show’s portrayal had on the public debate about that
issue. Drawing on the sources you’ve found for your annotated bibliography and the
inquiry question you’ve framed, you’ll write a paper that uses these sources to conduct
a conversation about this topic and the way it’s represented in the media.
Evolving thesis: Your evolving thesis should be a response to your inquiry question
that has guided your work in the unit thus far, but this question may have changed as
you conducted research. Above all else, your thesis should evolve in complexity and
should offer a claim about how the segment represents an issue and how people and
the media have responded to that representation.
Secondary sources: Use your secondary sources primarily as lenses to analyze the clip
you’ve chosen. Consider how each source helps you extend or complicate the claims
you’re making. Put the sources in conversation about the segment: where would they
agree or disagree, or how could their ideas build on each other?
Analysis: Employ the categories of film analysis we discussed in class to consider how
the segment is constructed. You do not need to account for every detail; instead, be
selective and say more about less. What makes the clip funny? What audience does the
show seem to address? What assumptions does it make? How have other people
responded to this same issue differently?
Criteria for Evaluation:
1. Does the essay have an evolving thesis about how the segment represents an issue or
topic of public concern?
2. Does the essay incorporate appropriate sources to support, complicate, and extend
the thesis? Does the essay present a conversation among its sources?
3. Does the essay analyze the clip using the tools for film analysis? Does it consider how
the clip was put together, what assumptions the show made about its audience, and
about the topic it represented?
W170 Performing the News
Spring 2019  
4. Does the essay exhibit coherence through a logical flow of ideas and the use of welldeveloped paragraphs? Does it adhere to MLA format and citation standards and
contain few, if any, grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors?
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Jeremy Hock
Public Shaming
In the wake of diminishing public trust in news media, people are left wondering on the
factors that may be leading to enhanced skepticism towards the popular media and lack of trust
by the public on the press. One of the factors that have influenced these perceptions is the role
played by news parody designed as a way of criticizing the media. Typically news parody like
Last Week Tonight is seen to give both direct and implied analysis with regards to the media
sector and the staff. Perceptions of the significance of the press meaningfully affect elements of
media trust. This essay will focus on the segment of public shaming which was aired on Last
Week Tonight and drew a lot of attention in the social networks and mainstream media. Indeed
the segment was the subject of discussion for long after being aired. John Oliver in the segment
had a discussion on public shaming and asked Monica Lewinsky about her encounters with
public shaming.
On the HBO show Last Week Tonight, the comedian, John Oliver, talked of the
increasing cases of popular individuals being held publically responsible for their character and
demeanor. “Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to pile onto a public shaming,” he
said. “Oliver described people as goldfish who are always looking for something on the online
platforms to criticize and complain about. They are always following the popular people to call
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them to account for any actions they take and digging into their past. People can no longer spend
their life privately as the online community is always intruding. He acknowledges that most of
the famous people have developed thick skins from this and gotten used, however the nonpopular one experience so many difficulties once they find themselves trapped amidst public
shaming. He quotes the case of a woman described as “worst aunt ever” because she took legal
action with regards to her nephew aged eight years who happened to break her wrist after a hug.
Yet, the authentic news as concerns this matter was not as shocking and not extensively reported
(Last Week Tonight). Oliver communicates to all people and acknowledges that one some point
in one life, public shaming is inevitable. Monica Lewinsky was the subject of public shaming
when her sexual relationship with Bill Clinton was publicized. Oliver took aim at the late-night
comedy at the time that slut-shamed and humiliated her, particularly from Jay Leno. While In
the show Monica confessed to Oliver that when so much hatred was poured on her, she went
through such pain and humiliation. This shows the extent to which public shaming can have
consequences and how it can psychologically affect a person. Asked about her feelings, she said
that despite making regrettable choices in life she was proud of herself. Oliver uses comedy to
react to the news by saying that the punishment of public shaming is many times not proportional
to the offense committed. The show has been put together visually as demonstrated in

Part 2: Inquiry Question
What are the Negative impacts of Public Shaming?
Part 3: Sources/Annotated Bibliography
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Nagle, Angela. “Introduction: From Hope to Harambe. In Nagle, A. Kill All Normies:
Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right. Zero
Books, (2017). pp. 1-9
The book speaks to a period cultural sensibility have been replaced with popular ideas
fronted by viral internet content. It compares the highlights the 2008 presidential campaigns
which were characterized with messages of hope for the people and whereby everyone
applauded Obama for rising against all odds from the minority to become a political powerhouse.
It compares the campaigns with the 2016 presidential campaigns which were characterized by
messages of division, unethical competition and racism perpetuated by online users. The hatred
spewed online was on another level between the two presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and
Donald Trump supporters. With increased online wars, every event was identified with a certain
subcultural norm. The media used memes to demonstrate how each person was angry with the
other. Nagle’s chapter relates too well with the issue of public shaming and its effects mainly on
the American society demonstrated through many instances, for example when she quotes how
the guards reacted to very well meditated tragedies with unreasonable pranks and irony.
Harambe drew a lot of public attention with so many people trying to understand the joke. It
became viral as it happened at a time when a type of humorless social media sentimentalism had
hit ridiculous levels.
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Leask, Phil. “Losing Trust In The World: Humiliation And Its
Consequences.” Psychodynamic practice vol. 19,2 (2013): 129-142.
Leask singles out shaming as a particular and many times traumatic method of exercising
authority, with a series of constantly happening elements and foreseeable effects; one of them is
losing trust in other people. Leask describes the effects as severe and long-lasting and explains
that they have a tolling effect mainly on one’s psychological health. Through citing a few
examples the author identifies himself with the problem and explains that solutions need to be
found towards saving the already toxic online community which is always ready to throw
tantrums. By acknowledging that it is impossible to reverse a humiliating act, Leask says that
humiliation is a first blow that needs a lot of energy to deal with, maintains one’s self-esteem and
match on. The article thorough connects to the research question in that it directly addresses the
effects of public shaming and goes ahead to give recommendations towards a better future free
from public shaming, especially by the media.
Ronson, Jon “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. Riverhead Books”; (2015) Reprint edition
Ronson writes about the interviews he has had with victims of public shaming. The
author aims at getting a deeper understanding of what really is public shaming and how it can
affect a person. He achieves his goals by conducting a series of interviews with people who have
not been lucky to escape the trap of public humiliation. Through focusing on both the victim and
the perpetrator of the act, Ronson persuades the victims of media shaming to re-immerse share
with him what was mostly their most painful moments in life and open up about how they
recovered from the trauma. He discovers that some of those whose most awful moments were
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publicized all over successfully escaped and maintained their pride. Among his interviewees is
Jonah Lehrer, an author who was humiliated for fabricating quotes, Phil Zimbardo and Jim
McGreevey a previous New Jersey governor.
Ronson’s work relates well with the subject of public shaming and its effects as it
provides hands-on confessions of real people who faced public shaming and brings to light its
Leopold, Todd “The Price Of Public Shaming In The Internet Age”. CNN. April 16, 2015.
Available at
Leopold starts his article in a rather emotional way by asking the readers whether they
still believe in the power of forgiving each other. He proceeds to give an example of Victor
Alvarez who was fired from his job months after been publicly humiliated despite the fact that he
had issued an apology. His apology worsened matters making his the target of online trolls. He
then gives the example of Justine Sacco who too lost her job after her tweet about visiting Africa
went viral and people criticized her for identifying Africa with Malaria. The fact that she was
working in an international company as a public relations officer earned her more hatred with
people saying that she must have been in a better position to know what to say and when to say
it. According to Leopold, one can be accountable to their actions, but the notion that they will be
reminded of the wrongs they did for the rest of their lives is outrageous. This article brings to
light the cost of public shaming, how it has seen many people lose jobs, not because what they
did was inexcusable but because of the online trolling paints the companies they work for in a
bad light destroying their reputation.
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Ronson, Jon. “Monica Lewinsky: ‘The Shame Sticks To You Like Tar” The Guardian.
April 22, 2016. Available at
Ronson interviewed Lewinsky who was at one time one of the most publicly ashamed people in
the 20th century. She was ridiculed all over the world and has since grown to be a respected
woman and an anti-humiliation campaigner. Ronson explains that it took him so many attempts
for Lewinsky to finally accept to do the interview. Amidst the interview, she cried uncontrollably
when memories of what she had to go through in the hands of global media hit her memory. She
explained how the whole incident took a toll on her emotional wellbeing and that she was finally
in a path to rediscovering herself through giving talks on how to show some compassion on the
social platforms. She Is an example of a success story from bullying to gaining back her selfregard and standing tall against the impunity of public bullying.
This article relates well with the research topic as it opens up the experiences of one of
the famous people who had to withstand humiliation and finally won against it.
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Works cited
Last Week Tonight. “Public Shaming: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)” Youtube
26:44. Accessed at
Leask, Phil. “Losing Trust In The World: Humiliation And Its Consequences.” Psychodynamic
practice vol. 19,2 (2013): 129-142. doi:10.1080/14753634.2013.778485
Leopold, Todd “The Price Of Public Shaming In The Internet Age”. CNN. April 16, 2015.
available at
Nagle, Angela. “Introduction: From Hope to Harambe. In Nagle, A. Kill All Normies: Online
Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right. Zero Books, (2017).
pp. 1-9
Ronson, Jon “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. Riverhead Books”; (2015) Reprint edition
Ronson, Jon. “Monica Lewinsky: ‘The Shame Sticks To You Like Tar” The Guardian. April 22,
2016. Available at

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