Laugh, but Don’t Seek: A Reassessment of the Gateway Hypothesis

Michaele D. Myers, Jay D. Hmielowski


In this article we revisit the gateway hypothesis, which argues that political satire programs open the door to people using more hard news content. Using over-time survey data, we examine whether use of satire leads people to use more cable news. Although our cross-sectional analyses replicate previous results attempting to assess the gateway hypothesis, our over-time data suggest that satire does not lead to increased use of news programming on cable outlets. However, we did find support for the gateway hypothesis when looking at a mediation model where political attitudes serve as the intervening variable between satire use and cable news use.


gateway, political satire, over-time analysis, news use

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