[Marxism] Stephen Colbert mocks the president

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Apr 30 07:52:45 MDT 2006

(Stephen Colbert was originally on Jon Stewart's television show, but now 
has his own which is a satire on Bill O'Reilly's Fox-TV ultraconservative 
talk show. Colbert adopts a rightwing persona in order to attack the 
rightwing. You can see him in action at: 

Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President Does 
Not Seem Amused
By E&P Staff

Published: April 29, 2006 11:40 PM ET

WASHINGTON A blistering comedy “tribute” to President Bush by Comedy 
Central’s faux talk show host Stephen Colbert at the White House 
Correspondent Dinner Saturday night left George and Laura Bush unsmiling at 
its close.

Earlier, the president had delivered his talk to the 2700 attendees, 
including many celebrities and top officials, with the help of a Bush 

Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly 
supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval 
ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known 
liberal bias.”

He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White 
House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This 
administration is soaring, not sinking,” he said. “If anything, they are 
re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.”

Colbert told Bush he could end the problem of protests by retired generals 
by refusing to let them retire. He compared Bush to Rocky Balboa in the 
“Rocky” movies, always getting punched in the face—&ldquoand Apollo Creed 
is everything else in the world.”

Turning to the war, he declared, "I believe that the government that 
governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we 
have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."

He noted former Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the crowd, just three tables 
away from Karl Rove, and that he had brought " Valerie Plame." Then, 
worried that he had named her, he corrected himself, as Bush aides might 
do, "Uh, I mean... he brought Joseph Wilson's wife." He might have "dodged 
the bullet," he said, as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wasn't there.

Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, “photo ops” on aircraft 
carriers and at hurricane disasters, melting glaciers and Vice President 
Cheney shooting people in the face. He advised the crowd, "if anybody needs 
anything at their tables, speak slowly and clearly on into your table 
numbers and somebody from the N.S.A. will be right over with a cocktail. "

Observing that Bush sticks to his principles, he said, "When the president 
decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday - no matter 
what happened Tuesday."

Also lampooning the press, Colbert complained that he was “surrounded by 
the liberal media who are destroying this country, except for Fox News. Fox 
believes in presenting both sides of the story — the president’s side and 
the vice president’s side." He also reflected on the alleged good old days, 
when the media was still swallowing the WMD story.

Addressing the reporters, he said, "You should spend more time with your 
families, write that novel you've always wanted to write. You know, the one 
about the fearless reporter who stands up to the administration. You know-- 

He claimed that the Secret Service name for Bush's new press secretary is 
"Snow Job." Colbert closed his routine with a video fantasy where he gets 
to be White House Press Secretary, complete with a special “Gannon” button 
on his podium. By the end, he had to run from Helen Thomas and her 
questions about why the U.S. really invaded Iraq and killed all those people.

As Colbert walked from the podium, when it was over, the president and 
First Lady gave him quick nods, unsmiling, and handshakes, and left 

E&P's Joe Strupp, in the crowd, observed that quite a few sitting near him 
looked a little uncomfortable at times, perhaps feeling the material was a 
little too biting--or too much speaking "truthiness" to power.

Asked by E&P after it was over if he thought he'd been too harsh, Colbert 
said, "Not at all." Was he trying to make a point politically or just get 
laughs? "Just for laughs," he said. He said he did not pull any material 
for being too strong, just for time reasons. (He later said the president 
told him "good job" when he walked off.)

Helen Thomas told Strupp her segment with Colbert was "just for fun."

In its report on the affair, USA Today asserted that some in the crowd 
cracked up over Colbert but others were "bewildered." Wolf Blitzer of CNN 
said he thought Colbert was funny and "a little on the edge."

Earlier, the president had addressed the crowd with a Bush impersonator 
alongside, with the faux-Bush speaking precisely and the real Bush 
deliberately mispronouncing words, such as the inevitable "nuclear." At the 
close, Bush called the imposter "a fine talent. In fact, he did all my 
debates with Senator Kerry."

Among attendees at the black tie event: Morgan Fairchild, quarterback Ben 
Roethlisberger, Justice Antonin Scalia, George Clooney, and Jeff "Skunk" 
Baxter of the Doobie Brothers--in a kilt.

E&P Staff (gmitchell at editorandpublisher.com)

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