Truthiness to Power
April 30, 2006 12:05 AM   Subscribe

Steven Colbert (TruthyMan!) headlines the White House Correspondents Dinner -- and Bush is not amused. Will there be fallout? C-Span focused on Bush expression (lack of) during the slamming ... (link to story with video).
posted by Surfurrus (384 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
How weird is it that I Tivo'd something on C-SPAN?
posted by SkinnerSan at 12:16 AM on April 30, 2006


[This is awesome.]
posted by jmhodges at 12:23 AM on April 30, 2006


Damn. That was harsh. Colbert is awesome.
posted by chunking express at 12:26 AM on April 30, 2006


The "Gannon" button in the interview tape made me snot out my nose.
posted by Popular Ethics at 12:27 AM on April 30, 2006


Colbert is like unto a god to me. He flubs his lines with clockwork regularity, but that just makes me like him more.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:28 AM on April 30, 2006


The C&L video is incomplete -- for the full show, try http://www.mininova.org/tor/296239.
posted by nmiell at 12:29 AM on April 30, 2006


Colbert is awesome. I'm surprised he got away with that. Don't they have people read the scripts beforehand?

The part where he pretends to be the President's press secretary was bogus, though.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:32 AM on April 30, 2006


The lack of response at the beginning of the video is stunning. How the hell did he get on there in the first place?
posted by jmhodges at 12:35 AM on April 30, 2006


That dinner was so weird. Bush's act was "I am a dumb idiot" however he was so dumb that he had to hire a professional comedian to help him with it. (sorta like Bush can only testify to the 911 commission if Cheney is there to hold his hand).

Then Colbert gets up and states or alludes to all sorts of things that Bush's handler bubble has been protecting him from.

I'm sure Bush is furious and I wonder if a White House maid will sell out to the National Enquirer and reveal stains in his underpants.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 12:35 AM on April 30, 2006


Brilliant.
posted by jefbla at 12:38 AM on April 30, 2006


nmiel -- I don't have 'torrent-ability' but you are right, the 'crooks and liars' video is incomplete. Skinnersan's idea is best -- Tivo CSpan -- When I saw this on CSpan this evening (it is repeating in the morning) the camera view of Bush's face was boxed in the corner of the screen while Colbert talked!
posted by Surfurrus at 12:43 AM on April 30, 2006


That takes major intestinal fortitude. Props to Colbert, it's just a shame that the most outspoken against this administration have to be comedians.
posted by banished at 12:45 AM on April 30, 2006


When is this being re-broadcast on CSPAN? I just updated my TIVO schedule, and I'm not seeing it in the next 24 hours...
posted by Dunwitty at 12:48 AM on April 30, 2006


05:30 AM EST (that is in an hour and a half) according to their schedule
posted by jmhodges at 12:54 AM on April 30, 2006


C-SPAN 05:30 AM EDT 1:00 (est.)
White House Correspondents Dinner

My guide only shows a 5 hour block of "Public Affairs", so I've set up a manual recording.
posted by omarr at 12:55 AM on April 30, 2006


I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things, like aircraft carriers, rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong mesasge that no matter what happens to America she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world!
posted by pruner at 12:59 AM on April 30, 2006


One more thing ... I predict this is going to be another demonstration of the huge gap between internet voices and the media. So far all the media reports on this are 'canned' stories (AP) with identical quips about Bush and his hired double. None of them bothered to watch it themselves? What about the reporters who were there? Are they going to just pretend it (Colbert as raptor) didn't happen?
posted by Surfurrus at 1:00 AM on April 30, 2006


god bless TiVo.
posted by scody at 1:00 AM on April 30, 2006


This administration is not sinking! This administration is soaring! If anything, they're rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenberg!

I've had a man-crush on Colbert since well before he got his on show. However, this only reaffirms why I would bear that man's children, were I so equipped.
posted by sparkletone at 1:02 AM on April 30, 2006


Damn, that dude got balls..
posted by c13 at 1:05 AM on April 30, 2006


Wouldn't it be nice if Colbert's performance did for the administration what Jon Stewart's appearance did for Crossfire? Man, I would've loved to have been a fly on the wall in W's limo ride home.
posted by blueberry at 1:13 AM on April 30, 2006


Fox News presents both sides of every issue: the President's side and the Vice-President's side.

He started off strong, but the filim clip was tedious and unfunny.
posted by three blind mice at 1:15 AM on April 30, 2006


Man, I would've loved to have been a fly on the wall in W's limo ride home.

Well someone has to explain the jokes to him.
posted by three blind mice at 1:17 AM on April 30, 2006


Awesome.
posted by juv3nal at 1:18 AM on April 30, 2006


Balls of solid titanium. Damn.

This (like so many other moments) would be a terrible blow to the Admin if the press would actually carry it like they should... but they won't. It'll only reaffirm what those who pay attention in spite of the media already know about the emperor and his lack of clothes.

What I like the most is that he not only hit the Admin with both barrells, but essentially pulled out a second gun and gave two more barrells to the press.

This man's a hero.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:19 AM on April 30, 2006


I just noticed
this link on Wikipedia. (DivX / 640x480 / 26:35 / 200mb)

It's Colbert's full appearance and the video quality is a million times better than the video linked from the URL in the main post here.
posted by omarr at 1:33 AM on April 30, 2006


mayor nagen, id like to welcome to you to washington dc, the chocolate city with a marshmallow center...
this is one of the best routines ive ever seen.
posted by phaedon at 1:39 AM on April 30, 2006


Have to say I found the routine trite and geeky. He is the kind of guy you laugh at, not with.
posted by zaebiz at 1:52 AM on April 30, 2006


I watched it and was rather disgusted.

It wasnt really funny it was more pathetic. As a liberal I feel it did much much more harm then good.

Moronic infact.
posted by Addiction at 1:58 AM on April 30, 2006


hmmm maybe bush wasnt laughing because the guy's timing is all over the place , misses loads of beats , hasnt rehearsed his lines properly , drifts in and out of character etc etc.....shame , could have been a killer blow as well , very good material , i'm guessing he introduced it at a late stage in the game using the press secretary skit as cover, but one must simply be on top of ones lines darling......
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:01 AM on April 30, 2006


I'm sure you could do much better as evinced by the scathingly detailed critique you've just given us.
posted by IronLizard at 2:01 AM on April 30, 2006


(Not you sgt.)
posted by IronLizard at 2:02 AM on April 30, 2006


...aaaaand the Unwinnable War Of What's Funny And What's Not begins.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:03 AM on April 30, 2006


Funny? Who cares? It's one of the most direct attacks on Bush I've seen yet, since our citizen speaker guy (his name and the link elude me at the moment) gave him a dressing down.
posted by IronLizard at 2:05 AM on April 30, 2006


Is no one going to comment on a Doobie Brother in a kilt being at the dinner? Now that is comedy gold.
posted by vagabond at 2:15 AM on April 30, 2006


Heh heh lizard ..... i'm just a wee luvvie who likes to see people take wings and soar once the lead boots are removed...... it's for sure he was switching his material at the last minute though , the amount of times he looks at the script.....Is there a link to bushs doppelganger skit ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:17 AM on April 30, 2006


I watched it and was rather disgusted.

Yeah, the part when he shit into his own cupped hands, sniffed deeply and vomitted onto it, then, screeching like an albino ape, rubbed the mess into Bush's face until the blood came and the resultant filthy matter dripped down into the president's water glass, from which, before he was dragged away and pistol-whipped by the SS, Colbert drank greedily while shouting "I am the living god! I am the alpha and the omega!" -- that was a bit disgusting.

Still, fine and pointed political commentary.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:20 AM on April 30, 2006


Heh heh lizard ..... i'm just a wee luvvie who likes to see people take wings and soar once the lead boots are removed......
My fault, I didn't preview sgt, that's why I added the comment jusy below, I was referring to the previous two posters.
It absolutely looked like he switched, hell he was looking so hard at the script I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote it on a napkin just beforehand.
posted by IronLizard at 2:23 AM on April 30, 2006


man, that was actually quite painful... lotta silence on that tape. Still, awesome that all that was said within 10 feet of the president.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 2:29 AM on April 30, 2006


reality has a well-known liberal bias

Awesome. I guess Larry the Cable Guy wasn't available to make yuck-yucks about gays and ragheads.

Stephen's the man.
posted by bardic at 2:32 AM on April 30, 2006


(And IMO the awkward silences make the performance--he knew it would go down like this. Very Andy Kaufman.)
posted by bardic at 2:33 AM on April 30, 2006


More than Andy Kaufman. It's Kaufman with a purpose. Kaufman was more than willing to have his jokes slid right off his audience because much of his work was for his (and Zmuda's) enjoyment. Colbert knew that much of it would flop, but wanted it to flop and stick. And stick, it will, IMHO. People can't ignore the fact that a comedian went on for over 12 minutes mocking the president while he sat not 10 feet away. That's just too much of a scandal and ratings raiser to ignore.

To adopt an ill-fated buzzword, this is going to go viral even if it isn't picked up by the media companies immediately. There's too much momentum behind Colbert and his comments for it not to be. This is the inverse Dean scream for the American web-left. All of the web-centric Dean supporters hoped and prayed that the damn "YARGH" would be dropped, but it was beyond their control. The web cannot make a story unnoticed but it can (with enough penetration, in the marketing sense) make stories.
posted by jmhodges at 3:02 AM on April 30, 2006


If truth be a bomb, Colbert was MOAB! Loved it.
posted by Dizzy Bint at 3:09 AM on April 30, 2006


i'd sure like a bigger video. this is like watching a postage stamp.
posted by wakko at 3:12 AM on April 30, 2006


Great speech, or greatest speech?
posted by Leather McWhip at 3:15 AM on April 30, 2006


Watching the whole thing live on C-Span, right now.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:17 AM on April 30, 2006


I'm going to go ahead and put you down for "greatest."
posted by Leather McWhip at 3:22 AM on April 30, 2006


He probably knew he had one chance at this thing. Even the slightest Bush criticism would mean hes never come back so he went all out. Bravo. TDS w Jon Stewart is your father's Oldsmobile.
posted by skallas at 3:31 AM on April 30, 2006


wow, that audience was not giving it up. It threw Colbert, but he's a pro and powered through. Washington is a serious city, and I must say watching his routine through their eyes it really gave it gravity and even muted my own laughs. The truthyness almost hurt. Colbert deserves a combat medal.
posted by Blingo at 3:36 AM on April 30, 2006


Interesting how the montage of clips from previous dinners (though I'm not sure that's where the Kennedy and Johnson clips came from) didn't feature the vignette about Bush's hunt for WMDs.

Colbert killed. I'm starting to enjoy his show more than the Daily Show.
posted by emelenjr at 3:37 AM on April 30, 2006


Watching him do that was surreal...

It was hilarious, but I was just too stunned to laugh.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 4:18 AM on April 30, 2006


"As a liberal I feel it did much much more harm then good."

Wow... you support a same-sex marriage ban, agreed that homosexuals are "evil" and gay adoption is an act of "violence", supported sending US troops into Iran, thought that Zell Miller did something "amazing" by backing Bush, called Pfc. Jessica Lynch's statement that the The Pentagon used her, "100% pure garbage", and said that we should "be grateful" that George Bush was there "to save us" after 9/11...

Liberal?! You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means...
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:30 AM on April 30, 2006


normally, i have to say, digging up old comments to beat someone with is low.. but goddamn. calling yourself a liberal sounds pretty dishonest after that.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 4:35 AM on April 30, 2006


"As a liberal I feel it did much much more harm then good."

P0wN3d !
posted by elpapacito at 4:43 AM on April 30, 2006


Yeah, the part when he shit into his own cupped hands, sniffed deeply and vomitted onto it, then, screeching like an albino ape, rubbed the mess into Bush's face until the blood came and the resultant filthy matter dripped down into the president's water glass, from which, before he was dragged away and pistol-whipped by the SS, Colbert drank greedily while shouting "I am the living god! I am the alpha and the omega!" -- that was a bit disgusting.

"And what do you call your act?"

"The Aristocrats!"
posted by Mikey-San at 4:47 AM on April 30, 2006


I can see why C&L cut out the first half... ZZZzzzz.

hmmm, skipped to 13 minutes in, still lame.

If you're making jokes at the expense of a hostile crowd, you've got to really slay them. I am reminded of one joke uttered in Hitler's presence near the end, where an SS attache remarked on the relocation of the Fuhrer's HQ from E Prussia to Berlin:
“Berlin will be most practical as our headquarters : we’ll soon be able to take the streetcar from the eastern to the western front !”
Now that's observational humor.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:49 AM on April 30, 2006


Wow.

Go Stephen.

I really hope he's safe after that.
posted by Raoul.Duke at 4:49 AM on April 30, 2006


Apparently Addiction is very liberal in the use of the word liberal.
posted by Zombie Dreams at 4:55 AM on April 30, 2006


Bush's own routine was.... well, frightening to say the least. It's as if we had a just a momentary glimpse at what really goes on in that twisted little simian mind of his. That bit about Cheney being drunk..... It shocked me until I remembered just who was speaking.
posted by IronLizard at 5:02 AM on April 30, 2006


I'm reasonably sure that Bush didn't write his own material.
posted by trey at 5:09 AM on April 30, 2006


Sad for us that Colbert is completely wiped off the BBC story of the dinner.
posted by nj_subgenius at 5:18 AM on April 30, 2006


...same with the AP wire. Sad.
posted by nj_subgenius at 5:21 AM on April 30, 2006


Sure, he probably didn't write his own stuff, but the Bush 'n' Bush bit was actually really funny, and W delivered his lines well. LOL moments inlcluded the Cheny segment:

"I'm just glad I survived the White House shakeup!!"

and (paraphrasing here):

"The Vice President is a good man, he has a good heart--- well, he's a good man."

Colbert had a VERY tough act to follow.
posted by underthehat at 5:25 AM on April 30, 2006


As a ham and cheese sandwich, I feel it did more harm than good.
posted by wakko at 5:29 AM on April 30, 2006


Al Franken wrote in Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot how he did the White House Dinner one year and made so many cracks at Newt Gingrich that Gingrich threatened to beat the shit out of him after the monologue. Given that I'm actually worried Colbert's going to wake up this morning with an eagle head in his bed.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:39 AM on April 30, 2006


What's an "infact"?
posted by psmealey at 5:49 AM on April 30, 2006


Colbert bombed, and it was admirable and awesome. The first joke was a true clunker, but after that, his "flopping" was more attributable to a hostile audience than anything else. Colbert could have done a better job setting up his character/schtick -- popular though he may be, if you're unaware of his tv persona his satire can be mistaken for blowhardedness.

Most telling of the audience's reaction: Laura wouldn't even get up to shake Stephen's hand.

And, though I can't stand the president, his bit was funny. A tad too long, but genuinely funny nevertheless.
posted by herc at 5:54 AM on April 30, 2006


Well, I wouldn't be so sure that Steven Colbert writes all his own material, either. The little quicktime clip (... hm. let me get out my magnifying glass ...) sure did make it seem like the audience was either too scared to laugh, or dead, or both. I think they could have cut the whole Helen chase scene out, and it would have been funnier.
posted by crunchland at 6:13 AM on April 30, 2006


What's really creepy about this is that if you read through the Google News list of stories on this topic, almost all the article (except, of course, the story as reported on a blog) say the same exact things. it's as if one writer wrote the first story and every other writer performed minor rewrites on that story and published it. (Yet the MSM will occasionally fire reporters for 'plagiarism'). Even creepier and more telling is that the "news" being reported is that Bush's double routine "delighted the media." Do they live in a bubble or what? Do we care what "delighted" reporters? No. But the media's self insulation has become so complete that it seems completely unaware of what average people want to hear, and what democracies and free socities need to know in order to properly function.
It's like those conservative myths about an elite who care not for the concerns of the people to whom they report have come true, only it's not a liberal or conservative elite, but rather an elite dedicated to preserving the status of itself.
I think that probably the Bush adminstration's own reality bubble would not have been possible if the media were not already in a reality bubbble of their own.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:23 AM on April 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I gotta go with the [adjective] balls crowd on this one.

In a time where you can have your patriotism called into question for simply asking "Why, Mr. President?" To do a routine like this in a place where you could make eye contact with the man?

I half expected little red dots of light to appear on his chest a few minutes in.
posted by Cyrano at 6:29 AM on April 30, 2006


2 or 3 funny bits and the rest was...awkward to say the least. I suppose Colbert is being given psychological leeway by people for the mediocre performance because it was in hostile territory with an unprotected President nearby.

Granted there were barbs about all the trigger points but I thought they were pretty lame for the mostpart. He has balls perhaps but overall that wasn't a great or even good performance. And the briefing room segment was crap.
posted by peacay at 6:30 AM on April 30, 2006


MSNBC has said nothing about Colbert this morning (That I've seen) and I didn't find a mention in their on-line story. I have sent them an innocent inquiry asking about it.

Meanwhile, MSNBC on TV is promo'ing that they are about to play the Pres's yuck-fest in its entirety. The news mannequin joked earlier after a Bush/Bush clip that she will have to redo her make-up after laughing so hard.

Of course, she may have been crying. She was off-camera while the clip played.

CNN's on-line written version does mention Colbert, but dismisses him:
Yet it's the Who's Who of power and celebrity in the audience -- invited by media organizations to their dinner tables -- that draws much of the attention.
posted by mmahaffie at 6:32 AM on April 30, 2006


I'm not sure the media is ignoring Colbert's slagging of the president. I think that, for the most part, they're just lazily giving the story of the dinner what they think it deserves -- scant attention. Perhaps they are unaware of how pleased many of us are that someone stood next to Bush and said these things.

"Bush Lampoons Self!" makes for a far easier, sellable headline. Especially when you can show a picture of Bush standing next to imposter Bush. Try selling, "Colbert Crucifies Our Unloved Leader".
posted by neek at 6:33 AM on April 30, 2006


What's really creepy about this is that if you read through the Google News list of stories on this topic, almost all the article (except, of course, the story as reported on a blog) say the same exact thing

You might want to read up on how wire services (AP, Reuters) work.
posted by malphigian at 6:40 AM on April 30, 2006


I'm actually worried Colbert's going to wake up this morning with an eagle head in his bed.

No! Not Stephen Jr. !
posted by arialblack at 6:43 AM on April 30, 2006


OoooooK I managed to download all of it, the prez was good and handled the minor roast fine and....

Colbert was...I still don't know, one word doesn't give an idea of what we have seen

Initially it looked like Colbert was going to start the "I love my Bushy Cudly Bush" persona a-la Bill O'Reilly, so one would have thought "phew he is just going to do the usual routine" and it went on for a while..the NSA stuff at the beginning was acceptable. The "attack" on China was ok...after all ...they are communist aren't they. "And reality has a well know liberal bias.... " that's a viral line foh sureh ! The 68% logical spin is memorable as well :)

The bomb : "the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world" and from now on it's almost vitriol against facts being forgotten, stubborn beliefs and the attacks on the media "just put it throught a spell check and go home" which I think was too oblique for many to understand, probably even for "the media". And the almost final line "I have nothing but contempt for this people, I know how to handle these clowns" and nobody knows how serious he was :)
posted by elpapacito at 6:44 AM on April 30, 2006


It's painful and uncomfortable to watch, which is exactly why it's so fantastic. He had to have known that even some people who think he's funny would be guarding their reaction to his routine, and that he was going to go down in flames. Watching someone walk the plank like that is just riveting.

It comes across as a total black eye on the evening, with the reality of what he's saying being too bitter a pill to be swallowed with just a few chuckles. The fact that it goes on for soooo loooong emhasizes that completely. Which is exactly what they get for asking him to speak-- whoever thought it would be a great idea and made the arrangements obviously didn't have a clue.

I actually stood up in shock when he told them that their grandchildren wouldn't know what a glacier was. Awesome.
posted by hermitosis at 6:49 AM on April 30, 2006


Liberal?! You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means...

There's a faction on the right that does this just so they can pull out a tedious speech on what it means to be a "classical liberal" when someone finally calls them on their bizarre usage, although they don't use that term properly either.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:53 AM on April 30, 2006


The audience didn't uniformly laugh uproariously, but there were plenty of laughs and chuckles at most of his lines, and some lines got a great response. I don't see why everyone is saying the crowd was so hostile and everything went down like a lead balloon... unless Omarr's link had a laugh track added in later.

The video bit at the end didn't do much for me though.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 6:53 AM on April 30, 2006


It seems like some people are not getting it.

This was not a comedy routine. It was a satire. It wasn't even a satire, it was a public execution. And it was an incredibly damning thing. He called the administration out, point by point on all their lies, their crimes and the total and complete absurdity that is the message they expect us to take as truth in a perfect way -- by pretending that he believed it all.

I've never seen anything like it. the fact that he did it right to the man's face is astonishing. The president deserves no pomp or respect, certainly, but Colbert hurt him more than he could have with any insult.... he bounced the man's own agenda back at him over and over and over in a forum where he had to sit there and take it -- his ideas stated so plainly that they mocked themselves. And they were not funny to hear... just shocking because through this a real Truth was revealed.
posted by n9 at 6:54 AM on April 30, 2006


That was good. Thank you Surfurrus.
posted by caddis at 6:56 AM on April 30, 2006


He started off strong, but the filim clip was tedious and unfunny.

I agree. Wow was that press secretary video ever tedious and unfunny.
posted by dobbs at 6:59 AM on April 30, 2006


Interesting that it's not posted on youTube because it's longer than 10 minutes and thus must be pirated.
posted by smackfu at 7:08 AM on April 30, 2006


I'm with the public execution viewpoint. And I think the length it went on served the point. It wasn't just barbed and uncomfortable -- we had to wallow in it. I take pleasure in knowing that the president had to sit through it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:09 AM on April 30, 2006


Wow...the wire stories hardly mention Colbert, and the right wing sycophants are all singing in perfect harmony this morning that "Bush rocked, Colbert bombed." (Seriously, check out Malkin, Captain's Quarters, etc...they all say the same thing.)

I haven't seen the performance yet, but that reaction betrays them. Colbert must be at the top of the talking points fax today. He got to them.
posted by edverb at 7:14 AM on April 30, 2006


I take pleasure in knowing that the president had to sit through it.

And what makes you think he was listening? I bet you he pretty much zoned out.
posted by tapeguy at 7:18 AM on April 30, 2006


Doubtful. He's famously bad at taking bad news and criticism. I imagine the whole experience was one long, slow burn for him.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:28 AM on April 30, 2006


The full video is WAY funnier than the FPP video. The press secretary thing still sucks but the opening routing is spot on. Bush even chuckles during some of it.
posted by dobbs at 7:28 AM on April 30, 2006


I take pleasure in knowing that the president had to sit through it.

And what makes you think he was listening? I bet you he pretty much zoned out.


Seeing how that is how he normally deals with reality, i wouldn't be surprised, either.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 7:30 AM on April 30, 2006


YouTube Link: Part 1, Part 2
posted by blue_beetle at 7:32 AM on April 30, 2006


i can see the exact moment he gets really pissed.... right after the bit about standing on aircraft carriers and rubble. his facr goes to a grim mask at that point.
posted by n9 at 7:33 AM on April 30, 2006


kristol v. colbert :P

a master debate!
posted by kliuless at 7:34 AM on April 30, 2006


Wow...the wire stories hardly mention Colbert, and the right wing sycophants are all singing in perfect harmony this morning that "Bush rocked, Colbert bombed." (Seriously, check out Malkin, Captain's Quarters, etc...they all say the same thing.)

If conservative blogs were around in 1968 when Tommie Smith and John Carlos were stripped of their medals, Malkin and Morrisey would be writing about how their demeanor to the Olympic Committee showed just how silly the idea of civil rights was.

Wait- actually, Malkin and Morrisey are bitching about how silly civil rights are today.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:39 AM on April 30, 2006


I think probably a lot more people in that audience found it funny than actually laughed. I think a lot of people were downright afraid to laugh at him in the presence of the President.
posted by Nicholas West at 7:47 AM on April 30, 2006


I think probably a lot more people in that audience found it funny than actually laughed. I think a lot of people were downright afraid to laugh at him in the presence of the President.

Did no one else notice the lady in the audience who burst out laughing and quickly covered up by facing down to regain her composure?
posted by IronLizard at 7:53 AM on April 30, 2006


Even creepier and more telling is that the "news" being reported is that Bush's double routine "delighted the media." Do they live in a bubble or what? Do we care what "delighted" reporters? No. But the media's self insulation has become so complete that it seems completely unaware of what average people want to hear, and what democracies and free socities need to know in order to properly function.

Hey, eustacescrubb, it is the Whitehouse Correspondence Dinner, it's a party for the press corp - so that's why it's relevant how the media felt about various routines.
posted by ill3 at 7:57 AM on April 30, 2006


I stayed up to watch the Cspan show again. The second showing was different (!!). The box with Bush's face was not there. What happened?

Also, my reaction was different. This second time I sat through the rewards part of the dinner to hear Colbert. It was sickening. These media people were lauding and applauding each other for 'grand achievements' in reporting -- awards for things like breaking the Duke Cunningham story or the appointment of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. Fairly safe stories. THEN they would each run over to Bush (almost bowing), shake his hand and pose for their picture with his arm around them. Bush is good at jumping up for a photo op.

Bush got a standing ovation from this audience for his 'skit'.

No wonder they didn't 'get' Colbert.

How can they look in the mirror in the morning??
posted by Surfurrus at 7:58 AM on April 30, 2006


if you're unaware of his tv persona his satire can be mistaken for blowhardedness

Which is his whole intention, to come off a O'Reilly. He did this perfectly. Those who are "disgusted" must be disgusted with O'Reilly as well...
posted by juiceCake at 7:59 AM on April 30, 2006


What's really creepy about this is that if you read through the Google News list of stories on this topic, almost all the article (except, of course, the story as reported on a blog) say the same exact things. it's as if one writer wrote the first story and every other writer performed minor rewrites on that story and published it.

Yeah, just who is Elizabeth White?
posted by Surfurrus at 8:04 AM on April 30, 2006


Mr. Colbert's testicular fortitude vastly exceeds mine. In fact, from here on out, I will refer to his show as the Carries-His-Huevos-In-a-Wheelbarrow Repor(t).

Stephen Colbert's persona is all about lampooning the pundits. Think of his bits: The Word is right from O'Reilly. Threatdown is Olbermann's Countdown. His self-indulgent cheer-for-me personality on the show comes from, well... most of them, perhaps an echo mostly of Joe Scarborough.

Remember there are people who still manage to grant The Daily Show "serious" interviews, thinking they're a real news program. Stephen Colbert, unless you know his background on TDS, could pass in a lot of minds as a quirky but otherwise dedicated and conforming soldier of the right wing. That's his brilliance.
posted by symphonik at 8:16 AM on April 30, 2006


That was a brilliant performance by Mr. Colbert.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:23 AM on April 30, 2006


Bush is certainly the worst president of my lifetime. Maybe he's the worst ever. But....

Boy, was that not funny. I admire the courage it takes to attack the president to his face like that but it just was not at all funny. I didn't even chuckle once. Just nothing. Yes, it's difficult to be funny when nobody is laughing but then Colbert's "audition clip" was painfully bad, like something high-school kids would put together, and there's no way to blame that on an unreceptive audience. I was embarrassed for him. Imagine what a comedian who was actually funny would have done with an opportunity like that. What a waste.
posted by TimeFactor at 8:30 AM on April 30, 2006


I can't help but feel that, despite Colbert's statement that it was "Just for laughs," people going on about how unfunny it was are completely missing the point.

i.e., The point ----> .







You guys--> .
posted by ludwig_van at 8:36 AM on April 30, 2006


FOOL:
May not an ass know when the cart
draws the horse? Whoop, Jug! I love thee.
posted by taosbat at 8:38 AM on April 30, 2006


I thought it was fantastic. Zing! The "audition clip" portion was so so.
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:40 AM on April 30, 2006


RE: the media are ignoring this story...

Have any of you considered the fact that it's Sunday morning, and the AP story was probably filed before the dinner even happened. Most of the journos who were there are probably still hung over.
posted by simra at 8:42 AM on April 30, 2006


If you're going to pie someone in the face, put on the damn chicken suit. I have no idea how much preparation went into Colbert's bit. But the Helen Thomas video at the end seemed like it was calculated to soften the impact of Colbert's lampooning. What could have been a truly legendary moment ended flat.
posted by horsewithnoname at 8:57 AM on April 30, 2006


Huh, that was really interesting. I didn't find much of it "funny" other than the Scalia bit.

I think it suffered from the opposite problem that the President's infamous "where are those WMDs" schtick from a few years ago did. In that case, it was a powerful man treating his serious failure with inappropriate levity; in this case there almost seemed to be an inappropriate gravitas much of the time. The line about "standing on an aircraft carrier, standing on rubble" is pretty pointed, but it would be more at home in an opponent's stump speech than a routine delivered by a comedian.

The comments directed at the press itself struck me as harsher than those directed at the President. In the latter case, they're comments based on disagreeing with what he's doing; in the former case, they're based on the idea that the press is longer doing its job at all.

There was one brilliant throwaway line that seemed to go by almost unnoticed. At the end of the bit about the President's approval rating, he says the glass is still a third full, but you wouldn't want to drink it because "the last third is mostly backwash anyway". Ouch.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:59 AM on April 30, 2006


The point: Colbert's inability to be funny made the whole thing pointless. Nobody who doesn't already despise Bush is going to see it as a triumph. The choir doesn't need preaching to. When the preacher's a flop it's not going to sway anyone who isn't already in the choir.
posted by TimeFactor at 9:05 AM on April 30, 2006


I'm sure Colbert's script was not a suprise to the Bush camp, they probably read an advance copy.

I thaught Bush and his doppleganger were funny. When Bush calls the UN nuclear inspection team the "EIEIO" that was funny.

Colbert was brilliant up to the crack about Bush's appearances on rubble and flooded city squares being the most powerful staged photo ops. That was aharsh cheap shot given that all presidents have the unenviable obligation to make an appearance at the