“Was Stephen Colbert funny?” by Ana Marie Cox
One of my models of great journalism is an article written by Ana Marie Cox five days after Stephen Colbert’s infamous white house correspondent’s speech. Right after Colbert made the speech roasting the Bush administration, chaos occurred in the media. No one knew how to react, so a multitude of opinions on the speech were flying around in this way and that. Cox lays out every opinion for the reader, while effectively instilling her own opinion in the perfectly constructed column story for TIME magazine.
First of all, with limited sources, Cox still acquired an adequate amount of information in order to lay out the different opinion’s on Colbert’s speech. Cox stated herself in this story, only the New York Times and the Washington Post published a story covering the speech. Still, Cox understood the opinions by thoroughly researching them. She also made the opinions more understandable to the reader by providing analysis of why certain people thought what by relating a person’s opinion back to typical conservative and liberal opinions.
Secondly, Cox uses humor and wit PERFECTLY in this story. The title of the story is, “Was Stephen Colbert funny?” which is ironic because the story itself is ridiculously funny. Cox lightly teases a conservative opinion to show the liberal side of the story, and vice versa, which further provides the reader with a deeper analysis. Although the article is slightly sarcastic at times, it is easy to pick up on the tone and understand what point she is trying to get across.
Lastly, Cox includes her opinion in the perfect amount. She clearly looks at each opinion on Colbert’s speech, and then shows her opinion, which tells us that it is a well thought out, respectable opinion. She’s not simply ranting on how she hates/loves Colbert’s speech, nor is Cox overstating the situation.
Overall, Cox calms down the confusing situation by constructing her argument in an organized way while also including humor to lighten the mood. For me, Cox’s story will be used as a template when a hectic situation occurs similar to, I don’t know, maybe a reporter severely insulting the President of the U.S. at his own dinner.
I would have included sources from moderate Americans. Unless a student bashes on the principal in front of the whole school, I doubt I can write a story like this for the Prospector.