Tag Archives: The Colbert Report

Super coincidence

Darn you, Stephen Colbert.

On Tuesday I had jotted a blog idea on the back of an envelope and had only to fill it out. This, you recall, was the day the nation’s policymakers approved the creation of a Super Congress of 12 members, to hammer out solutions to the federal budget crisis later in the year.

I had outlined some thoughts about the notion of a “super” Congress. My mind spun the notion into a “Super-duper” Congress, beneath an “Über” Congress. I swear I wrote this, even if you don’t believe me.

As I fleshed out the outline in a hotel room Tuesday night, I flipped on Comedy Central for a little bedtime snack of super-reality.

I found Stephen Colbert interviewing New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt. Near the end of the interview, Colbert recited the very notes I had just typed in. Great minds.

You’ll notice, if you follow the link to the interview, you might or might not experience a problem with the audio. On one computer, I could get the audio; on another I could not. I did a search on “why can’t I get audio on Comedy Central?” and learned that plenty of people experience this same technical glitch.

Among them is a young person whose conservative father has cut off all of his/her access to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert; this young person was trying to find a work-around.

As a parent of a former sneaky teen, I sympathize with well-meaning parents who want to control access to inappropriate content. But The Daily Show and The Colbert Report? Seriously?

So, I correct myself. Not “Darn you, Stephen Colbert.”  So he unknowingly stole my idea. He got there first. Plus, he has a few more followers than I do. He has millions. I have hundreds.

I say, “You, go, Stephen Colbert. You’re a super, a super-duper, even an über role model.”

Oh, and I’m not even going to bother with “Satan sandwich.”

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Filed under All Things Wordish, Movies, Television and Radio, News, Politics, Technology and Social Media

Keeping fear alive

Over the last few days, we’ve seen more than enough of Stephen Colbert’s recent testimony before Congress, and read or heard volumes of commentary on his daring comedic prank. It’s Monday, so we need to lower the curtain on this farce.

And we will, after I’ve had my say.

But first, allow me to preface my own commentary with a few biases.

  1. I think Stephen Colbert is a talented, albeit outrageous, humorist.
  2. I appreciate good political satire. Those who know my family history know that political satire been berry berry good to me (as Chico Escuela, SNL’s Garrett Morris’ Dominican baseball player, would say).
  3. I was a lobbyist in Washington for 15 years and continue to have both a healthy respect and healthy cynicism for the political process.

So about Colbert’s appearance: I was appalled and here’s why.

There are far too many people in the United States who believe what they believe based solely on what they see on television. These are often the same people who want to vote their senators and representatives out the day after they’ve voted them in. The last sound bite they hear is what they believe; it’s upon which they base their political beliefs and voting behavior.

Many people already think Washington is a big joke. Stephen Colbert gave them every reason to keep laughing, and to go on believing our public servants are little more than monkeys flinging dung at one another. For what? Innocent playfulness? Ratings? To use his faux-conservative persona to further confuse television viewers on an issue that already has made dung-flinging an Olympic sport?

I have staffed many Congressional witnesses over the course of my career. I have written their testimonies, both the prepared statements and the oral remarks which, by the way, are supposed to match, except in length. I have prepared witnesses by helping them anticipate questions and criticism. I have gotten them involved in coalitions and congressional meetings, not only to help them advance their business agendas, but also to give them a better understanding of our nation’s governing process.

I watched these executives set their cynicism aside and approach their roles with dignity and respect. After having participated in the political process, they said they gained an appreciation for the hard work and integrity most of our elected officials take to their difficult jobs. I wish all Americans could have this vantage point.

Stephen Colbert is a funny guy who has only made matters worse for a system in serious need of confidence and trust, by making figurative armpit noises from the congressional witness chair.

Maybe when he comes back October 30 for his “March to Keep Fear Alive,” he’ll make apologetic visits to some Hill offices, sans the video of his colonoscopy.

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Filed under Rants and Raves, Uncategorized