The Depiction of Politicians in The Simpsons

Part of book or chapter of book English OPEN
Woodcock, Pete (2008)
  • Publisher: University of Huddersfield
  • Subject: BF

Due to its longevity (almost 400 episodes and 18 years), and the sheer number of\ud supporting characters that appear on it, the writers and producers of The Simpsons\ud has created a model of society which can be exploited by the political theorist. This\ud paper aims to explore the social and political ramifications of this model of, especially\ud the accusation that the programme in inherently conservative in its portrayal of\ud gender and the nuclear family.\ud \ud \ud This paper will also look at the depiction of politicians in the programme (for example\ud fictional politicians such as Mayor ‘Diamond’ Joe Quimby and Sideshow Bob as well\ud as real politicians Bill Clinton and George Bush snr), and suggest that whereas The\ud Simpsons may appear to mock all politicians, this is not in fact the case, and that The\ud Simpsons does provide us with examples of the types of qualities that are admirable\ud in a politician. It will be argued that the writers of The Simpsons only mock two types\ud of politicians; actual living politicians (it is from this fact that it gets its reputation for\ud being impartial), and dishonest metropolitan-type politicians. Local, hard working\ud politicians (most notably Governor Mary Bailey and former Sanitation Commissioner\ud Ray Patterson) are exempt from their criticism, suggesting that they prefer local\ud substance over glitz and style.
  • References (10)

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    McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum (2006) Americans' Awareness of First Amendment Freedoms, http://www.rrmtf.org/mtf/pressroom/2006/Survey_ Results_Report.pdf, accessed Friday, 16 February 2007.

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    Singh, Robert (2002) 'Subverting American Values? The Simpsons, South Park and the Cartoon Culture War' in Robert Singh (2002), American Politics and Society Today, Cambridge, Polity, pp.206-229.

    Snow, Dale E. and Snow, James J. (2001) 'Simpsonian Sexual Politics', in William Irwin, Mark T. Conard and Aeon J. Skoble (2001) The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! Of Homer, Chicago and La Salle, Illinois, Open Court, pp.126-144.

    Woodcock, Pete (2006) 'The Polis of Springfield: The Simpsons and the Teaching of Political Theory' in Politics, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp.192-199.

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