Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Thank You Stephen Colbert

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s been such an uproar about Stephen Colbert’s performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner this past weekend. I watched it and thought he captured the spirit of the event and delivered a stellar performance, it was hard hitting, accurate and most importantly, laugh out loud funny, even if the people in the room didn’t think so, but then again, why would they, they were the targets.

The job of the press is to speak truth to power, to be a check on the government and to serve the interest of the public, not the politicians they cover. Stephen Colbert did just that, he showed the balls that the press has lost and that seems to have pissed them off enough to ignore his performance altogether or to dismiss it as, “inappropriate”. Greg Mitchell at Editor & Publisher makes the case that Bush’s performance two years ago, laughing while searching under tables for Iraq’s missing WMD, was far more inappropriate considering he himself had sent men and women to die for weapons that were never there.

So if you haven’t seen it already, go have a look (Crooks & Liars has the second half of the performance here). It’s well worth the time and Colbert deserves a heartfelt thank you for having the guts to do what so many of us dream of, giving Bush a good tongue-lashing for his incompetence, deceitfulness and arrogance in how he handles the awesome power that he has taken for himself. Thank you Stephen, you’ve done us proud.

12 Comments:

Blogger Yellow Dog said...

I was hoping that you'd write about this. Big. Brass. Balls. Man, I was nervous forhim. He was unfazed. Surgical. I've never seen anything like it. Fuckin' right!!!!!!!

3:47 PM  
Blogger jae said...

Mr. Colbert already had the Heartfelt Thank You....

http://www.thankyoustephencolbert.org

3:52 PM  
Anonymous exelizabeth said...

I haven't seen much of the criticism-- and I just caught the tail end of the dinner flipping through the channels and finding it on C-SPAN. What is the MSM saying?

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Betty Cracker said...

Way to go, Colbert, for speaking truthiness to power!

5:56 PM  
Anonymous geocrackr said...

exeliz -- That's just it, the MSM isn't saying anything at all about it. They're still smarting from being bitch-slapped for 20 minutes on national television, and they're pretending the only story from the dinner was how "hilarious" AWOL's more benign twin was. It's Wingnutistania, from Faux News down throughout blogsylvania, who are up in arms about it.

One of the interesting things I've been trying to puzzle out about his performance is what his intent was. Typically comedians will play to the audience in the room, but Stephen clearly wasn't doing that. So what was he doing then? Was he playing to a different audience? It could be he figured the press would report it and his TV audience would hear about it. I doubt he was relying on C-SPAN to get the word out, or that he was really expecting such a wave of hosanahs from thousands of people who weren't there. Or was he just sticking to his schtick and damn the torpedoes? His TV show character is established, it's no secret -- even if whoever hired him expected him to forego it for more traditional material.

My pet theory is that he just figured he'd been given this one shot to give the people who've done so much to damage our country the finger for 20 minutes, and he was going to milk that opportunity for all it was worth. That's what I'd like to think I would do if given the chance, and that very rationale seems to be the motivation behind most of the praise I've seen about it. But even that's just speculation -- he doesn't seem to be talking about it (yet). What do you guys think?

6:18 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

The fact that he stayed in character through all the uncomfortable silence...

he's the man.

Colbert rocked that dinner.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous geocrackr said...

Seeing the Forest had a post yesterday on the Colbert address media blackout and what it says about the state of de facto censorship that has evolved since Reagan's elimination of the Fairness Doctrine. Worth a look.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous geocrackr said...

This comment could just as easily go in the Where Do We Go From Here? or We’re Not Whining, We’re Just Not Settling For Mediocrity This Time threads, but since it's in reference to Colbert's address I'll put it here.

It seems one of our fearless Dems -- the House Minority Whip no less -- are actually defending Mr. ThinSkin because he thought Colbert kicked a little too much sand in the preznit's face. This man holds a leadership position in the same party that you expect to stand up to hold the criminals organization known as the Republican Party to account, and he's claiming AWOL "deserves some respect" and that Colbert "crossed the line" into "bad taste."

Sounds like one of those jokers who can't tell the difference between Mary Scott O’Connor and Ann Coulter. Of course, he was also probably laughing it up until he looked around and noticed how pissed everyone else was.

But the bottom line is, it's exactly the kind of attitude that signifies we shouldn't expect anything in terms of justice or accountability should the Dems manage to win back Congress despite themselves.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Mark Hoffman said...

"The job of the press is to speak truth to power," writes Liberal Girl. Colbert went even further. He spoke "truthiness" to power, and had me laughing--and George W steaming--for days. You can't ask for better yoks than that!

12:42 PM  
Blogger Scott Bass said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Scott Bass said...

Truth to power? That sounds great and all, but you might want to explicate you terms before using them. Truth? You feel that the media has obtained some truth that they are elevating in some way to check the government? Bullshit. It is all about the almighty dollar. Whether liberal or conservative, Politician or anchorman. They are out for a buck. Colbert is a genius-little-bitch. I'll give him that. But he is far from the truth. Truth holds no biases because of its grounding in empirical fact. It is empirical fact, metaphysically speaking. Truth has never and will never be obtained. This is why I have to hear two drastically different stories from CNN and FOX everytime I turn on the tube or open a newspaper. Colbert had a good little run on the people that are in power. That is the fad. It has been since Reagan. Returning to my original statement, familiarize yourself with the words you use so that your statements are less rhetorical and more informational.

8:05 AM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Thanks for the English lesson Scott, and your advice would be helpful if I were a reporter but I'm not, I'm a blogger.

Everything I write is colored by my truth. I like to think that my truth is based on facts, but I am by no means objective. Perhaps more objective than the White House press corps, but I have an agenda just like they do, only mine isn't sucking up to power to advance my career or keep my job.

No one pays me so I get to write the truth as I see it and I don't have to give equal time or consideration to "the other side" when their ideas are ridiculous in an effort to achieve some bizarre idea of balance. Ain't it great?!

9:41 AM  

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