in on the joke instead of the punch line because many satirical
shows relied on viewers understanding the complex relationships
among politicians, the media, and the public. Satirical shows also
give politicians a chance to mend the relationship between the
government and the public. Many political figures, including
Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump have
partnered with satirical television programs to let their hair down
and show off their senses of humor while connecting with the
American people on a human level.
The HBO sitcom Veep (2012-) also satirizes the American
government, but it does not give politicians the type of direct voice
they find on other series, despite the claim of many D.C. insiders
claim the show is actually quite an accurate depiction of
Washington. Show runner Armando Iannucci reportedly turns
down politicians who have requested to be on the show because it
would raise too many questions. The writers’ only aim for the series
is to make fun of politicians, especially the ones who watch the
show and refuse to believe they are the butt of the joke (“D.C.
Insiders Call Veep the Most Realistic Show About Politics” 2014).
Writers also play with issues of race, gender, and foreign relations
on the series because there is no way to rightfully avoid them, but
these hot button issues are mere buttresses to the show’s overall
message: American politicians survive on contradictions to create
the illusion that they long to serve the greater American public
when, in truth, their greatest concern is their personal success.
American nationalism leads viewers to believe politicians should
be loyal to their constituents before anyone and anything else. They
should be willing to make any sacrifice for the betterment of
American citizens and to pursue government positions because
they feel a calling to do so, not because officials feel it will benefit
them personally, especially monetarily. In actuality, this is not the
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