TOPIC #2: Propaganda, Free Speech, and Satire

Propaganda is biased and misleading information; it is typically used to sell or promote something, such as a product or an idea.

Free Speech in the United States is grounded in the First Amendment of the Constitution.  It was further defined by the Supreme Court.  For example,  Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall  explained in 1972 that:

[A]bove all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content. [Citations.] To permit the continued building of our politics and culture, and to assure self-fulfillment for each individual, our people are guaranteed the right to express any thought, free from government censorship. The essence of this forbidden censorship is content control. Any restriction on expressive activity because of its content would completely undercut the ‘profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.’ [ Police Dept. of Chicago v. Mosley408 U.S. 92 (1972).]

Satire is exaggerative riducule, intended to expose the foolishness and other flawed thinking on particular topics.  It employs exaggeration, silliness, irony, and other types of humor.

A Few Words on Bias: It is almost impossible not to have a bias.  However, one should strive to be as factual as possible, to be able to support statements with evidence as much as possible.  The below chart has a history of being a reliable indicator of media biases.  In other words, I will not evaluate your writing for your bias; however, I will evaluate it for how strongly you support it.  (For the record, my own bias tends to be more on the liberal skew, but that doesn’t mean I always agree with that skew, especially if it is not supported with solid argument and evidence!)

Media Bias Chart

Here is an example of satire:


DIRECTIONS: Read any one of the below selections.

NOTE: You may have trouble accessing some of these works.  If that happens:

  • Go to the KSU Libraries home page.
  • Copy and paste the title of the article you wish to find into the search box.
  • Click on “Search”.
  • Locate the article by its title.
  • Click on the “Find It!” button.  
  • Select the periodical (newspaper, journal, etc.).  Note: you may have to find the one to which KSU has access.
  • Login to KSU Libraries with your Flashline username and password.

If you continue to have trouble accessing any of the below links, please email me ( right away!


NOTE: Viewing the below is optional.  Citation information for videos is usually provided at the start and/or the end of a video.  To find more information for the Works Cited or References part of your paper, click on the YouTube icon located at the bottom right corner of the frame of the video.

Short of the Week: Best Satire Films

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