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Speaking Truthiness to Power

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Stephen Colbert is not just a brilliant comedian, but one of the bravest people this year (in media, you know) after his electrifying speech in front of the National Press Club last weekend. If you haven't seen the video, this tribute page has been set up to guide you to the links. With our fascist "leader" only a few chairs away, Colbert flayed the administration and its lapdog press in his parody Right Winger persona. It was just great, and I won't ruin any of the jokes by printing them here, as they'll lose their effect. Why does it take a comedian to do the press' job, eh?

UPDATE: Graphic found (and presumably created by the fellow) here.

Comments

I've had this conversation with other friends, and I seem to be in the minority, but still...

I don't see what's so amazing about it. I'd have been more impressed if it had been like Jon Stewart on Crossfire - ditching the persona and just telling it straight.

Yeah, he had a few digs at Bush and the press, but to be honest the digs seemed no worse than the digs Bush made at himself beforehand with the Bush impersonator.

Apparently a lot of the assembled media folk were annoyed with Colbert afterwards... well it sounded like plenty were laughing along too.

Maybe it's just that Colbert was (in his roundabout having-to-do-it-in-character way) saying what I take as given that it doesn't seem remarkable. Maybe if I was American and was more used to the other consensus (things in Iraq are just dandy, thanks) it would have seemed more shocking. But from here... pffff.

You're correct on the last part--British media does not suck up to the party in power--we certainly don't have anybody like Jeremy Paxman, or politicians who would put up with such questions (see the way Rumsfeld reacted to such an interview early on in 2003--he tore off his earpiece and walked off). Britain also has a variety of newspapers represented a variety of political viewpoints. We have less and less newspapers each year, and the ones that exist are being bought out by conglomerates, pushing the party line.

Yes, Jon Stewart might have done a Crossfire, but maybe not. (He's always an amicable host, and probably would have acted like one, unlike his role as guest on Crossfire.) Colbert is a satirist like Twain, and the most effective satire is not debating an opposition, but agreeing with it so much that the ideological lies it is built upon begin to creak and groan. And that's what Colbert does so well. The BushJunta and its lackeys in the press love the argument and the screaming matches, they don't have to debate core issues, just call the other party traitors. Colbert beats them at their own game. For an example, watch last week's interview between him and Bill Kristol, author of PNAC. "I agree with your position whole-heartedly...back it up!" Colbert said to Kristol, and Kristol couldn't do so--he's never asked to. Link here.

The problem with Colbert, and I believe the reason he wasn't perceived as funny by those who ... didn't think he was funny, is that he's too intelligent. Sure, he says what's already been said, but that's the point. He says it while he's poking you in the eye with a big stiff finger.

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