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May 02, 2006


I thought it was funny, but especially relevant. He hit every significant story to deal with the Bush White House, did some parody of news that got more blog buzz (Scalia's gesture), and even took the media to task. I thought he was a master of snark.

Colbert was devastating.

Did his performance ring true? It strikes me as incredibly prescient that the typical response from detractors has been one of two things, "he wasn't funny" or "he wasn't in keeping with the tenor of the event".

Which is precisely what I believe the crux of his "opinion" was railing against. When is dissent acceptable?

I found his performance as funny as I found it uncomfortable. If he can make this former republican laugh hysterically and wince at the same time, I have to conclude that his performance was masterful.

The reason so many people are fired up about Colbert's performance is that he DID NOT bow to pressure and give the president a verbal hand job and the press a reach-around with a polite suckling performance. He went in with daggers and stabbed them repeatedly.

Colbert's performance was a case-study of satirical DISSENT. This president and his lap dog press corp have so effectively swept dissenting opinions under the rug that people actually believe there is never a time and place when any dissent is appropriate. What made Colbert's fearlessness so impressive is that he voiced his opinion DIRECTLY to the very people he was condemning ... and everyone one in that room deserved every last biting word of it, including our so-called president.

Stephen Colbert deserves all of our thanks, because the vaunted press corps has behaved EXACTLY as he described their roles.

I have to admit I didn't find Colbert's performance all that funny myself. But to say it's symptomatic of an emerging "Stalinist aesthetic" just seems like one more attempt to paint "liberals" as humorless and out-of-touch.

Nonsense. Stalinist aesthetic, what bunk. Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner was nothing more than a rehash of the same jokes he has been telling for months on his show. The "political content" is supplied by the cable news pundits whom Colbert is satirizing. If people like O'Reilly did act like such a buffoon, Colbert's shtick would just be ridiculous. You either dig the irony or not.

If the humor cuts a little too close to the bone, it is probably because it uncovers certain truths some people -- i.e., Scheiber -- don't want to face up to.

Thanks to Patrick, could not be said much better (similar accounts were in slate and salon). But what about Brendan? "The Daily Show and Colbert are increasingly focused on telling jokes that make liberals feel good about themselves." Excuse me, did you ever actually watch one of the recent shows? I saw most of them and noticed quite a bit of liberal bashing (mainly for ineffectiveness and lack of spine) on the daily show ... and I cannot remember any moments on Stewart's or Colbert's show that liberals can feel good about as a group. Now, what did Steven Colbert say that liberals could feel good about at the correspondent's dinner? Did he praise nonexistent recent electoral successes, Feingold's call for censure or Hillary Clinton ? No, on the contrary, he criticed the supposedly independent and watchful press and did not mention the opposition at all. If individual, stinging, satirical criticism of the Bush administration and the press corps is labeled as liberal conformism and leftist feel-good activity, then Otto Wells' speech in front of the Reichstag in 1933 ... well, I am of course exaggerating a little, but you get my drift.

Nice name calling.

Brendan didn't think it was funny so people who do must have a Stalinist aesthetic?

Very disppointing.

This kind of linking a matter of taste with a mass murderer is what you usually criticize. I haven't seen the Colbert footage and I don't know whether I think it's funny or not, but this Stalinist aesthetic shit is disgusting.

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