Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Muckrakers Are Back!

On a recent episode of Glee, titled "Rumors," they mocked modern day journalism and reporting. The very opening scene of the episode shows Brittany, a member of the Glee club, hosting her own online television show. On this show, she discusses gossip stories about the other high school students and teachers. On this episode, she says that her best friend "plays for the other team," implying to her guests on the "show" that her friend is a lesbian. 

This rumor spreads like wildfire through the high school. I thought this was interesting not only because it portrays how a rumor or even the truth that is revealed online can go viral in minutes and becomes public before it really should be, but it also shows how someone with no credentials can be spreading news. This also reminded me of what happened recently when Osama bin Laden was killed. The public did not find out about it when President Obama spoke. Rather it became public news when someone twittered about it. 

Similarly, in this episode, Sue Sylvester, the villain of the show, decides to bring back the school newspaper, The Muckraker. Sue tells her student journalists, "The newspaper is making a come back at this school, and like print newspapers everywhere, we're leaner and meaner. No longer concerned with facts, fact checking, integrity or facts. The Muckraker motto, 'If I heard it, it's probably true, or something.'"

Glee is famous for its exaggeration, and although this is another case of classic Glee exaggeration, I think that this is not too far from the truth. This is especially fitting with our most recent media bias projects, where we saw that the news does not just tell the facts. Glee portrays an interesting and comedic commentary on modern day media.

Check out the episode on Hulu:


  1. It is interesting that such a topic was taken up by "Glee." They are one of the most watched shows on TV and have a huge fan base. I wonder if this episode will get people thinking about the news in a new way and if it will lead to anything. More likely, people will laugh during the show and will believe that the show is satirizing the news but in reality, they do not do what the shows says they do. However, if this episode goes viral, we may see some changes in news media if people believe that the episode is telling the truth.

  2. I was wondering if someone would post about this. You beat me to it.