"You are a feminist icon, sir."
April 27, 2012 3:32 AM   Subscribe

"Some critics have said in response to this that if the Catholic church's insurance does not cover Sandra Fluke's birth control, it shouldn't cover Cardinal Dolan's Viagra. Oh, no, no, no, that's called celibacy plus. That's how the pros do it. Because chastity is one thing, but it shows true commitment to uphold your vows when you are sporting a crook you could hang a miter on. Oh, wow, see you at mass on Sunday, sir? I hope he doesn't become Pope. I'm a Catholic, it's okay. I go to confession, it will be fine. "
- Stephen Colbert, speaking at the TIME 100 Gala, in front of Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan

The Time 100 Most Influential People list could be considered the runners-up for its annual Person Of the Year, but then they were all invited to a Gala Event in New York, many of whom did attend and a few of whom either spoke or performed, most notably Stephen Colbert. In his most outrageous/gutsiest/looniest performance since the White House Correspondents Dinner, he did an almost 'celebrity roast' for the TIME 100, zinging, among others, Chelsea Handler ("The horrible, horrible things that were said about you, tramp, gutter skank, and a lot of those were you talking about yourself."), Tim Tebow ("they really should've put Jesus on the list because, according to Tim, he did all the work, and you know Jesus would have shown up to this dinner.") and especially David Koch ("Little known fact, David's brother Charles Koch is actually even more influential. Charles pledged $40 million to defeat President Obama, David only $20 million. That's kind of cheap, Dave. Sure, he's all for buying the elections, but when the bill for democracy comes up, Dave's always in the men's room. I'm sorry, I must have left Wisconsin in my other coat. ... By the way, if David Koch likes his waiter tonight, he will be your next congressman.")

While TIME has not provided a video of Colbert's entire speech, like they did for Hillary Rodham Clinton, he does appear on the '2 Minute Highlight Reel', along with Raphael Saadiq, Secretary Clinton, Matt Lauer, Rihanna, Cardinal Dolan, Barbara Van Dahlem and Freeman A. Hrabowski.

In other video, TIME's Joel Stein did embarrassing Red Carpet interviews with Louis CK, 'Robot Guy' Henrik Schärfe, Jeremy Lin, Claire Danes, Spanx's Sara Blakely, a TIME executive, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Tilda Swinton, Domestic Rights Activist Ai-Jen Poo and Athlete Victor Cruz (unavoidable editorial comment: if these are the highlights, what do the outtakes look like?)
posted by oneswellfoop (83 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was pretty hilarious.
posted by Apoch at 3:45 AM on April 27, 2012


you know, i occasionally wonder how Colbert keeps getting invited back to these types of things.

and then i remember why: it's because, to the power elites, our legitimate beefs about their oppression and hypocrisy are really funny.
posted by fetamelter at 3:52 AM on April 27, 2012 [36 favorites]


and then i remember why: it's because, to the power elites, our legitimate beefs about their oppression and hypocrisy are really funny.

That's not why.
posted by eugenen at 3:58 AM on April 27, 2012 [14 favorites]


I've spent the better part of this past week indulging in watching roasts from the current "Comedy Central" era, all the way back through the Friar's Club (When they still used the name) and the Dean Martin epoch, and I'm loving this.

And apologies to Deano and company, but with few exceptions, y'all were nowhere NEAR as funny as the shit that goes on today, you debased faux-drunk guinea spray-tan kiss-ass joke stealing hack.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:59 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


After reading the front page bit, I was left wondering if Cardinal Dolan's Viagra is a real thing, or a truthy thing. Google isn't helping.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:00 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dean Martin was not funny in any context. Watch one of the Matt Helm movies. The first one is supposedly the best of them, and it"s unbelievably bad.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:02 AM on April 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


That man has tremendous guts, and/or a keen sense of whose opinion of him he doesn't care about.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:24 AM on April 27, 2012 [19 favorites]


The man's either a sociopath or goes home each day and unloads his pants.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:33 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cardinal Dolan's Viagra is a real thing, or a truthy thing.

It's soon to be a blockbuster book by Dan Brown!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:35 AM on April 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


And apologies to Deano and company, but with few exceptions, y'all were nowhere NEAR as funny as the shit that goes on today...

The roasts of Deans era (and before) that were on tv were staged and, of course, tailored to that era's tv censors. Back then, the actual Friars Club roasts were private, invitation-only affairs. From what I understand, they were as completely unleashed and "blue" as today's roasts. Just behind closed doors and never for public consumption.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:42 AM on April 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


That was great, thanks. Loved this part:
I was particularly excited to meet David Koch earlier tonight because I have a Super PAC, Colbert Super PAC, and I am -- thank you, thank you -- and I am happy to announce Mr. Koch has pledged $5 million to my Super PAC. And the great thing is, thanks to federal election law, there's no way for you to ever know whether that's a joke.
posted by MegoSteve at 4:55 AM on April 27, 2012 [116 favorites]


And I now love Colbert just that little bit more.
posted by gaspode at 4:59 AM on April 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


From what I understand, they were as completely unleashed and "blue" as today's roasts. Just behind closed doors and never for public consumption.

I've always wondered about that. I mean, we all heard about the Ted Danson "minstrel show" thing he did with Whoopie Goldberg at the Friar's Club, but that was before any "uncensored" stuff ever came out of there.

I love the Dean Martin roasts for their kitsch and nostalgia factor, along with some occasionally REALLY funny stuff, but I do have to wonder what it would be like to see an uncensored version. (let's face it, most of the jokes from that era were laboriously un-funny)
posted by ShutterBun at 5:09 AM on April 27, 2012


and then i remember why: it's because, to the power elites, our legitimate beefs about their oppression and hypocrisy are really funny.
Well, the thing is different elites have different agendas. There are lots of elites who donate to the ACLU and so on. Remember this? People paid $76k to heckle the president at a fundraiser about Bradly Manning's treatment.

There's also the issue of denial. Various elites probably recognize the problem and think that, you know, all the other stuff is bad but they, specifically aren't the problem.

There probably are some people who do laugh about this stuff, though. On the other hand you always hear wallstreeters bitching about how they're not respected. So there are a lot who are bitter about these jokes.
posted by delmoi at 5:10 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


One example might be that Catholic guy. The catholic bishops bashed the Ryan plan as being bad for the poor - so he might find jokes at the expense of 1% funny, but obviously not jokes about his opposition to birth control.

On the other hand, you might have a socially liberal rich guy who still wants to oppress the poor, but doesn't have a problem giving them birth control
posted by delmoi at 5:13 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great band name:
"Cardinal Dolan's Viagra"
posted by From Bklyn at 5:15 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


A drunk that smelled like a brewery got on a bus one day. He sat down next to a priest. The drunk's shirt was stained, his face was full of bright red lipstick and he had a half-empty bottle of wine sticking out of his pocket. He opened his newspaper and started reading. A couple minutes later, he asked the priest, "Father, what causes arthritis?"

"Mister, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, and contempt for your fellow man," the priest replied.

"Imagine that," the drunk muttered. He returned to reading his paper.

The priest, thinking about what he had said, turned to the man and apologized: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?"

"I don't have arthritis, Father," the drunk said, "but I just read in the paper that the Pope does."
posted by netbros at 5:16 AM on April 27, 2012 [61 favorites]


As usual, he owned that gala.
posted by Renoroc at 5:18 AM on April 27, 2012


"But perhaps the most influential person on the list is here, Sara Blakely. The inventor of the Spanx. Give it up.

No one, no one has done more to control women's bodies, except maybe Cardinal Dolan."

Nice.
posted by Eyebeams at 5:23 AM on April 27, 2012 [39 favorites]


Dolan's not one of the ones who condemned Ryan. He's all about bringing the Catholic Church into the political conservative fold, and has been studiously silent on the issues of poverty, inequality and human rights. Indications are that he subscribes to the Prosperity Doctrine heresy, which under the current Vatican regime, is quietly tolerated. Heaven help you if you're a nun who votes Democrat, tho.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:24 AM on April 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


[A couple of things: A) Not a thread about the Catholic church; B) Can we please, please forbear using ethnic slurs? This isn't YouTube.]
posted by taz at 5:36 AM on April 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think Colbert's bravery is a bit overstated. People like the audience at this event, and the targets of his humor, do not get to that level without being able to take a joke with considerable equanimity. It would take a lot more than some comedian's jibes to rattle them.
posted by jayder at 5:44 AM on April 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


The man's either a sociopath or goes home each day and unloads his pants.
From the front or the back?
posted by highwayman at 5:53 AM on April 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think Colbert's bravery is a bit overstated. People like the audience at this event, and the targets of his humor, do not get to that level without being able to take a joke with considerable equanimity. It would take a lot more than some comedian's jibes to rattle them.

He doesn't have to rattle them for his jabs to have value, go back and watch Bush's face while Colbert talks about rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. That may be one of only a handful of times when someone outside the formal power structure got to offered a hard hitting criticism of the man to his face and he had to sit and take it. Even if his criticism has to be couched in a veneer of satire, he's performing a valuable service taking bits like "No one, no one has done more to control women's bodies, except maybe Cardinal Dolan" and throwing the consequences of monstrous positions these oligarchs hold in their faces, letting them know that the little people see what they're doing and don't approve. In the normal course of their lives, that rarely happens, or it comes from a source like Code Pink that they can instantly discount as 'the enemy' or 'fringe' and keep right on going. Now they probably don't actually care what Colbert or the little people think (that's how they got where they are to begin with), and it might only make them pause briefly and wonder why all the other oligarchs in the room are laughing at their expense, but that's about as much real power as most people can ever expect to wield in American these days, and Colbert is wielding it with superior skill and genius level insight into modern problems on a grand stage.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:57 AM on April 27, 2012 [80 favorites]


jayder, name anyone in the US media who routinely confronts power as often as Colbert does in the presence of those people. He said the following a few feet away from then President Bush in 2006:
"Now I know there's some polls out there that say this man has a 32 percent approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in 'reality.' And 'reality' has a well known liberal bias."

"Pay no attention to people who say the glass is half empty...Because 32 percent means it's 2/3 empty. There's still some liquid in that glass, is my point. But I wouldn't drink it. The last third is usually backwash."
...
"I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers, and rubble, and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message that no matter what happens to America she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo-ops in the world."
He's also the guy who challenged a Georgia congressman to name the Ten Commandments he was trying to place in all government buildings. The congressman could only get to four or five.

If you know of someone who does a more consistent job confronting the powerful, often in their presence, I'd like to know who they are. I'm not being snarky; I love journalists who actually work to tell the truth instead of sell ads.
posted by deanklear at 6:04 AM on April 27, 2012 [49 favorites]


I think Colbert's bravery is a bit overstated. People like the audience at this event, and the targets of his humor, do not get to that level without being able to take a joke with considerable equanimity. It would take a lot more than some comedian's jibes to rattle them.

This is not really true at all. In fact, the more powerful you get (often by having money, connections, or skill that others need) the less likely people are to needle you in earnest and to your face.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:07 AM on April 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


I have this theory that Colbert kind of wants the SuperPAC thing to actually cost him his job. If it means that the idiocy of Citizens United is squashed to some degree.

Sure, he's super funny, but he's shown time and again he's willing to actually state his beliefs, and argue for them in a way that's missing from today's media circus. (e.g. His testimony to congress, the Bush roast, a good half of the interviews on his show, this new speech)
posted by DigDoug at 6:10 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


You forgot some tags.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:14 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


you know, i occasionally wonder how Colbert keeps getting invited back to these types of things.

and then i remember why: it's because, to the power elites, our legitimate beefs about their oppression and hypocrisy are really funny.


Ahh, humor. Double-edged sword. It facilitates critical discussion by taking the teeth off, but by doing so makes the criticism all too easy to dismiss. Am I laughing at this because I think he has an important point, or am I laughing at this ironically? You'll never know, and I'll feel safe to change my mind if I want to.
posted by mantecol at 6:29 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone who would show up to a "top 100 influential people" gala deserves to be shit on. What a fucking pathetic event.
posted by any major dude at 6:30 AM on April 27, 2012


Guinea? Really? Hmm.....
posted by karlos at 6:33 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


How would the SuperPAC cost him his job?
posted by spicynuts at 6:34 AM on April 27, 2012


I think Colbert's a genius. At least a comedic genius anyway and like Daniel Tosh he gets away with criticizing people to their face in part, because he's so, very, very amiable. He is the good natured, impish, boy-next-door who is superficially in simpatico with his victim. He offers his veneer of approval, suggesting his complicity and their tacit agreement and then always smiling, he incisively points to their hypocrisy, publicly undressing them, leaving us to see that "the king has no clothes." Finally, he insists, that they looks damn good anyway.

Brilliant set-up, gets me every time.
posted by noaccident at 6:37 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Karlos: olive oil voice, too.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:38 AM on April 27, 2012


Guinea? Really? Hmm.....

I think Deano would be more offended by the "Faux-Drunk" accusation.
posted by spicynuts at 6:40 AM on April 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


It would take a lot more than some comedian's jibes to rattle them.

Lewis Black has a bit where he talks about being coached by GWB's handlers for the White House Correspondents dinner. Apparently, there was a large amount of things he wasn't allowed to say in front of the president. His confounded reply:

"He's the president, the leader of the free world, and I am shmucky the clown!"
posted by griphus at 6:42 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but Tosh is just an asshole.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:43 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Daniel Tosh is amiable? And here I thought he was a privileged little shit, how wrong have I been.
posted by lydhre at 7:06 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


"He's the president, the leader of the free world, and I am shmucky the clown!"

Bush had weird sensitivities. The lowest point of his presidency was when a rapper called him racist.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:07 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think we are beanplating this. These folks aren't tolerating anything. They aren't even aware of it.

Look at it this way. 50% of people are below median thoughtfulness. You don't have to be thoughtful, insightful, considerate, empathetic to be rich and powerful. You can be intelligent - cunning - without being particularly understanding.

These people are ambitious and craven. Colbert gets invited to these things because he is popular on television. "Haha! I got roasted by Colbert." It feeds their egos.

I have said this before, and I'll say it again: they are like dogs. There is no reasoning with them. They respect only power, status, and wealth. If you stamp on their faces with a muddy boot, they will only admire you for your power, and they will seek your friendship.
posted by Xoebe at 7:08 AM on April 27, 2012 [61 favorites]


Xoebe, may I please add a +10 Faves to that?
posted by NiteMayr at 7:13 AM on April 27, 2012


My favorite part of Tosh.0 is where he mocks the crippled people. That shit is HI-larious. So amicable, he. Kinda made me want to bend his own fucking knees backwards and make HIM walk around while we all point and laugh and abuse him. Don't care for the man.
posted by Edogy at 7:17 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


"He's the president, the leader of the free world, and I am shmucky the clown!"

To be fair, Dubya was a little of both.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:17 AM on April 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


They respect only power, status, and wealth.

yeah, looks like Bill and Melinda Gates can't be reasoned with - they are too blinded by their craven and ambitious self interest to worry about providing clean water across the globe or driving educational initiatives. Let's not slap the giant tar brush around. Groups of people aren't monoliths, despite how much you might have a hard on for hating them.
posted by spicynuts at 7:22 AM on April 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


jayder: "I think Colbert's bravery is a bit overstated. People like the audience at this event, and the targets of his humor, do not get to that level without being able to take a joke with considerable equanimity. It would take a lot more than some comedian's jibes to rattle them."

On the other hand, it was probably one of the only times in his recent memory that the Cardinal had heard been addressed in a public forum about clergy genitalia and erections without the inclusion of the phrase "sex scandal."

So there's that.
posted by zarq at 7:43 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Like a mongoose, Colbert uses his mental agility and superb timing to rip the throats of various sociopathic cobras. And, believe it or not, he fights for truth, justice and the American way.
posted by ahimsakid at 7:45 AM on April 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


yeah, looks like Bill and Melinda Gates can't be reasoned with - they are too blinded by their craven and ambitious self interest to worry about providing clean water across the globe or driving educational initiatives. Let's not slap the giant tar brush around. Groups of people aren't monoliths, despite how much you might have a hard on for hating them.

Let's not forget that Bill Gates' rise to the top is littered with anti-trust lawsuits and the putrefying carcasses of the companies he stole from or gutted with underhanded business practices. It's only after he became the single richest man in the world that he began to give back (and even then, not in a way that would affect his lifestyle of ridiculous overconsumption).
posted by a debt owed at 7:48 AM on April 27, 2012 [13 favorites]


Tosh comes across reasonably respectful and charming in the web redemptions. Now if you'll excuse me, I must throw up for defending that fucko.
posted by fleacircus at 7:49 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


go back and watch Bush's face while Colbert talks about rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic

Colbert is practically Lear's fool. Apparently, the powerful love it too.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:50 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's only after he became the single richest man in the world that he began to give back (and even then, not in a way that would affect his lifestyle of ridiculous overconsumption).

Yes and you know why he has gone that route? Because he has the thoughtfulness to maybe feel obligated to return the massive amounts of good fortune he has reaped from that behavior. The comment was made that 'these people' are not capable of thoughtfulness, self-reflection, or compassion/empathy. I offered a counterpoint.
posted by spicynuts at 7:54 AM on April 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have said this before, and I'll say it again: they are like dogs. There is no reasoning with them. They respect only power, status, and wealth. If you stamp on their faces with a muddy boot, they will only admire you for your power, and they will seek your friendship.

You very seriously underestimate "them".
posted by Bovine Love at 8:00 AM on April 27, 2012


I think we're missing the larger issue here. Namely, that Chelsea Handler is one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
posted by rocket88 at 8:16 AM on April 27, 2012 [16 favorites]


Let's not forget that Bill Gates' rise to the top is littered with anti-trust lawsuits and the putrefying carcasses of the companies he stole from or gutted with underhanded business practices. It's only after he became the single richest man in the world that he began to give back (and even then, not in a way that would affect his lifestyle of ridiculous overconsumption).

Don't forget that much of his education reform adgenda is thinly veiled union-busting and privatization.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:18 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


How would the SuperPAC cost him his job?

Only in that there could be pressure from Viacom to do one thing or the other. I don't mean he'd be arrested or anything. Just that the people who sign his checks would feel like they weren't worth the increased scrutiny, or in keeping with their corporate creeds, or whatever.

I don't think it will happen, because they make money off of him. But one giant FCC / FEC inquiry might not make it so tenable.
posted by DigDoug at 8:18 AM on April 27, 2012


Yes and you know why he has gone that route? Because he has the thoughtfulness to maybe feel obligated to return the massive amounts of good fortune he has reaped from that behavior.

Melinda Gates is the prime mover at the Foundation. The very privileged Bill never showed any particular interest in philanthropy before his marriage.

Be that as it may, the Colbert Nation has worked with the Gates Foundation on charitable donation project for the Stephen and Melinda Gates Foundation. Colbert knows when to bite the hand that feeds him and when not to.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:21 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love the Dean Martin roasts for their kitsch and nostalgia factor, along with some occasionally REALLY funny stuff, but I do have to wonder what it would be like to see an uncensored version.

You can't see it but you can hear it:

http://www.amazon.com/Vol-2-Celebrities-at-Their-Worst/dp/B0000WM81M/ref=pd_sim_m_1
posted by keys at 8:27 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyway, it is a true honor for all of us to be on the list, and a great business decision by TIME because given the state of the publishing industry, this might be the only way to guarantee selling 100 issues of a magazine this week.

Oh, and thank -- for the first timers, remember to keep your TIME 100 pins, it gets you 15 percent off of any hot entree at participating Applebee's.
Colbert has better than anyone else of his stature tuned into the vapid, collapsing horror that is contemporary America. On some level it's a message directed to the oligarchs and sociopath celebrities: "this is your kingdom"
posted by crayz at 8:31 AM on April 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


These folks aren't tolerating anything. They aren't even aware of it. ... I have said this before, and I'll say it again: they are like dogs. There is no reasoning with them. They respect only power, status, and wealth. If you stamp on their faces with a muddy boot, they will only admire you for your power, and they will seek your friendship.

This strikes me as terrifyingly blind sour-grapesing. I'm not particularly bothered by this dehumanization of the powerful, but this underestimation of their ability to think seems a bit like self-soothing at the expense of vigilance.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:37 AM on April 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yeah, but the thing is that being exceptional in one way doesn't insure one will be exceptional in another. So, to be exceptionally good at acquiring wealth in no way suggests one will be especially good at avoiding the ethical corruption that comes with wealth.
posted by Trochanter at 9:07 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


you know, i occasionally wonder how Colbert keeps getting invited back to these types of things.

It's because elites are often out-of-touch and probably have no idea who Colbert is. Elites on the business side of things often have a very limited sense of humour or irony. Colbert is essentially invisible to them, until times like this.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:10 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


"You know, it's actually a bit dangerous to have this many influential people in the room. What if something should happen? It would wipe out the world's supply of influence. That's why some members of the TIME 100 are not here tonight, we have sequestered Warren Buffett and Viola Davis and in an undisclosed location in case we need to repopulate the world with influentialness."


And that's him and his writers again demonstrating why I like them so much. That's just a riff on language.
posted by Trochanter at 9:24 AM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can we please stop calling these people 'elites'. They are mostly not elite at anything. Call them what they are "successful" or "wealthy" or "powerful". People who are elite are actually awesome at something. Like Colbert. He is an elite satirist. Let's not be the Tea Party and turn elite into meaning something bad.
posted by srboisvert at 9:36 AM on April 27, 2012 [12 favorites]


Let's not forget that Bill Gates' rise to the top is littered with anti-trust lawsuits and the putrefying carcasses of the companies he stole from or gutted with underhanded business practices. It's only after he became the single richest man in the world that he began to give back (and even then, not in a way that would affect his lifestyle of ridiculous overconsumption).
He could give away 99% of his wealth and ... he'd be left with about as much money as Mitt Romney has now (about have $500m or so). It still wouldn't affect his lifestyle, because there simply are no consumption items one can buy with that kind of money.
Don't forget that much of his education reform adgenda is thinly veiled union-busting and privatization.
He actually gave money to ALEC, same group that wrote the "Stand your Ground" laws. But they've since cut off funding. I'm pretty sure the majority of what they do is 3rd world health and development, though. The U.S. stuff is only a small component
Lewis Black has a bit where he talks about being coached by GWB's handlers for the White House Correspondents dinner. Apparently, there was a large amount of things he wasn't allowed to say in front of the president. His confounded reply:
Bush was probably a special case. If you'd said that stuff to him in 1999, he probably would have brushed it off. I think the enormity of his failure really started to get to him.
It's because elites are often out-of-touch and probably have no idea who Colbert is. Elites on the business side of things often have a very limited sense of humour or irony. Colbert is essentially invisible to them, until times like this.
What? The people are chose based on their influence on the public dialog, as determined by the Time Magazine editorial staff. The people at this thing were artists and "intellectuals" as well as politicians, not business people.

I mean, Chelsea handler was there. The list also included Jeremey Lin and Rihanna, Louis CK, Kristen Wiig, Adele, Claire Danes. If you're on the list, you get invited to the party.

It also included Ayatullah Khamenei and Anonymous. I'm guessing they didn't show up. Of course they know who Colbert is. In fact, earlier in his show he would have his audience stuff Times online poll so he could get top billing. For a couple of years it was a contest between him and Korean pop star Rain. They obviously know who he is.

The idea that they didn't know who he was is absurd. In fact, he's probably done more to promote the list over the years then anyone not working for Time.

The list, btw even supposed to be about being "powerful" but "influential". It isn't necessarily all elite business people.
posted by delmoi at 9:39 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


The man's either a sociopath or goes home each day and unloads his pants.


Colbert was quoted in the interview from this post previously:
There's this game I used to play of getting on amusement rides—the more terrifying the ride, the better—and getting on and complaining about something the entire time and never letting the ride affect me. So I thought I could do an impression because I trained myself to not let the ride affect me, so who would be the least likely person—that's how that sketch came about.
I would posit a third option: the man's done some hard work.
posted by Quonab at 9:40 AM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


My favorite part of the Time 100 is seeing who they picked to do the write-ups. I can't be the only one who thinks it's funny they tapped Bill Bain to do the write-up on Mitt Romney, or Howard Stern for Matt Lauer.
posted by ckape at 10:48 AM on April 27, 2012


And apologies to Deano and company, but with few exceptions, y'all were nowhere NEAR as funny as the shit that goes on today, you debased faux-drunk guinea spray-tan kiss-ass joke stealing hack.

ShutterBun, I'm offended.

His name is spelled "Dino". (Really - it's his actual birth name.) (Deano was his son.) (Really) (Not really offended)
posted by IAmBroom at 12:11 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's possible of course that Bill Gates sees his philanthropic Foundation as an investment--by paying a small (to him) amount of money, he gets a wealth of public relations benefits, and does a huge amount of repair to his reputation, and offers an easy rebuttal to any criticism that he is indifferent or selfish.
posted by overglow at 12:22 PM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


overglow, Bill has made several public verbal commitments to donate essentially all of his wealth upon the death of he & Melinda. Nothing's done until it's done, of course, but given his track record so far, I tend to believe him.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:25 PM on April 27, 2012


Xoebe:
I think we are beanplating this. These folks aren't tolerating anything. They aren't even aware of it.

Look at it this way. 50% of people are below median thoughtfulness....

These people are ambitious and craven....

I have said this before, and I'll say it again: they are like dogs. There is no reasoning with them. They respect only power, status, and wealth. If you stamp on their faces with a muddy boot, they will only admire you for your power, and they will seek your friendship.

ster·e·o·type. n. 1. A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:30 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom:
That's kind of overglow's point. Bill gets to say "I'm donating all my money! After I die!" then turn around and spend vast sums of money on being wealthy and privileged beyond the comprehension of most mere humans. It's like having cake and eating it too, he gives away "all" his money, only after that "all" gets considerably shrunk for his own enjoyment.

You put it "nothing's done until it's done, but given his track record so far, I tend to believe him." Bill's bought your respect for free.
posted by eurypteris at 1:46 PM on April 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Time invited him because they wanted to sell magazine and web page views. The elite came because they like to be called influential by Time magazine.
posted by humanfont at 4:39 PM on April 27, 2012


The man's either a sociopath or goes home each day and unloads his pants.

The man is a Second City trained improv actor who has developed a character which he can inhabit like a second skin. When he's being "Stephen Colbert", he can say or do anything as that character and not have it be coming from the actual Stephen Colbert at all.
posted by hippybear at 4:55 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it's hilarious that poor people feel the need to come to the rescue of Bill Fucking Gates because he is supposedly wrongfully accused of being in it for money, power, and wealth.
posted by patrick54 at 5:03 PM on April 27, 2012


That's kind of overglow's point. Bill gets to say "I'm donating all my money! After I die!" then turn around and spend vast sums of money on being wealthy and privileged beyond the comprehension of most mere humans. It's like having cake and eating it too, he gives away "all" his money, only after that "all" gets considerably shrunk for his own enjoyment.
Right but, so what? He would also "get" to do whatever he wanted even if he didn't give away all his money. He's out there advocating higher taxes on the rich. The foundations endowment is currently 33 billion dollars They give away 1.5 billion a year. How, exactly is bill gates getting a 'return' on that 'investment'? Are you saying you think gates is profiting by $1.5 billion dollars a year by running the foundation?

"Investment" implies a return. How is it possible for him to get a return on giving away all his money? Are you saying you think by pledging to give away all his money, more people are going to buy Microsoft products?

I think some people either don't understand how much money he's given, or are really bad at math.
I think it's hilarious that poor people feel the need to come to the rescue of Bill Fucking Gates because he is supposedly wrongfully accused of being in it for money, power, and wealth.
First of all, that makes no sense. How can you get money and wealth by giving away billions of dollars?

Second of all what does it even matter? If your kid gets a vaccination paid for by the gates foundation money, do they somehow not not polio?
posted by delmoi at 5:43 PM on April 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


This comic explains the Bill Gates Syndrome pretty well, although even the artist might not think it fits him personally.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:46 PM on April 27, 2012


How, exactly is bill gates getting a 'return' on that 'investment'?

He gets a chance to buy the future he wants to see happen.
posted by jsturgill at 5:51 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Several people demurred from my earlier comment.

I think that people who have ascended to the level of being in the Time 100 have internalized the common criticisms of themselves, are so immersed in what people think of them and what their role in the culture is, that you would be surprised at how unfazed they are by seemingly scathing criticisms. I think of my own field, law, and how it is probably a plaintiffs' personal injury lawyer who would laugh the hardest at a seemingly brutal routine about the sleaziness of ambulance chasing shysters. We are often tempted to conclude that highly accomplished, famous people are humorless and two dimensional stuffed shirts, but I have found that they often have a very nuanced view of what they do that makes them very open to good natured ribbing even if it seems brutal. These sorts go through so much rough stuff in their daily job that a famous comedian ridiculing them at a fancy dinner is probably not even the harshest thing they've heard that week. It's probably a welcome reprieve. I just do not think many people are upset by Colbert's routines and I don't think he's particularly brave for saying this stuff. That's not minimizing his work -- I think he's hilarious -- but I just think his targets are made of much sturdier stuff than we often imagine.
posted by jayder at 5:53 PM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


This comic explains the Bill Gates Syndrome pretty well, although even the artist might not think it fits him personally.
Oh yeah, look at all those poor people who bill gates poisoned with toxic software while he was making his money!
posted by delmoi at 6:11 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


How can you get money and wealth by giving away billions of dollars?

You can get status that way, and can cause yourself to be remembered more fondly by future generations. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Ruthlessly dominate the industry of your choice, then spend some fraction of the money on a great show of self-righteousness.

I will say that what Gates has been doing with his money is praiseworthy. He's made an old-fashioned Gilded Age robber-baron of himself, a far finer path to follow than that of our Galtian overlords.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:12 PM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah, look at all those poor people who bill gates poisoned with toxic software while he was making his money!

That's what I meant by "even the artist might not think it fits him personally," but instead other rich fuckers who became post-retirement Philanthropists. I had previously linked it in the Wendell Berry thread referring to his talking about the founder of Duke University. Gates is certainly less literally toxic than the founder of a tobacco empire, but there are others who have qualified for the Time 100 who are more perfect fits... hey, look! The Koch Brothers! They're giving more money to fight cancer than they are to buy elections! (Of course, that's because one of them HAS cancer)
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:36 PM on April 27, 2012


Oh yeah, look at all those poor people who bill gates poisoned with toxic software while he was making his money!

Computer Virus Costs Reach $10.7 Billion This Year

... Before I could download the patches needed to block Blaster, which takes advantage of a flaw in XP, probes from infected machines found the system I was configuring and infected it in less than 10 minutes.

I thought this was basic econ - Profit is the money used to purchase the product, minus the money spent making it. Every dime in Bill's pocket is money that could have prevented these sorts of problems - Which, granted, aren't melting off orphans' faces, but are real problems, suffered by real people, every day of the year.
posted by Orb2069 at 12:22 PM on April 28, 2012


Stephen Colbert with Cardinal Dolan at the Time 100 banquet. Dolan looks deeply offended.
posted by jayder at 5:38 AM on April 29, 2012


IAmBroom:
That's kind of overglow's point. Bill gets to say "I'm donating all my money! After I die!" then turn around and spend vast sums of money on being wealthy and privileged beyond the comprehension of most mere humans. It's like having cake and eating it too, he gives away "all" his money, only after that "all" gets considerably shrunk for his own enjoyment.

You put it "nothing's done until it's done, but given his track record so far, I tend to believe him." Bill's bought your respect for free.


eurypteris, you seem to be pretending that Bill is waiting until his death to give away any of his money.

He has already set up a HUGE philanthropic organization, with the single largest philanthropic grant in history, out of his personal wealth. That appears to count for nothing in your books, because he hasn't given away everything yet.

What would make you happy? Would it be enough if he gave it all away now, got a job in a department store, and moved into half a duplex?

Bill bought my respect for over $30,000,000,000. Your claim that he "bought it for free" is absurd, and your inability to appreciate goodness in those you dislike is ugly.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:37 AM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


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