01 May 2006

Champion of Truthiness

If you missed Stephen Colbert’s dazzling performance at
the White House Correspondents’ dinner (which wouldn’t
be a surprise considering how the mainstream press are
ignoring it
) do yourself a favor and watch the video at
Crooks & Liars.

Kos has the full transcript.

I mean, it's like the movie "Rocky." The president
is Rocky and Apollo Creed is everything else in
the world. It's the tenth round. He's bloodied, his
corner man, Mick, who in this case would be the
vice president, and he's yelling cut me, Dick, cut
me, and every time he falls [Dick says?] stay
down! Does he stay down? No. Like Rocky he
gets back up and in the end he -- actually, he
loses in the first movie.

OK. It doesn't matter. The point is the heart
warming story of a man who was repeatedly
bunched in the face -- punched in the face. So
don't pay attention to the approval ratings that
say 68% of Americans disapprove of the job this
man is doing. I ask you this, does that not also
logically mean that 68% approve of the job he's
not doing? Think about it.

I haven't. I stand by this man. I stand by this man
because he stands for things. Not only for things,
he has stood 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.

Yes, “this man” is our president, and he was sitting only
a few feet from the podium. But Bush wasn’t the only one
cut to pieces by Colbert’s satire.

But the rest of you, what are you thinking,
reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in
eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very
important reason: they're super depressing. And if
that's your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over
the last five years you people were so good over
tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global
warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and
you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those
were good times, as far as we knew.

But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it
works: the president makes decisions. He's the
decider. The press secretary announces those
decisions, and you people of the press type those
decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them
through a spell check and go home. Get to know
your family again. Make love to your wife. Write
that novel you got kicking around in your head.
You know, the one about the intrepid Washington
reporter with the courage to stand up to the
administration. You know - fiction.

And check out Michael Scherer’s article at Salon.

Colbert is not just another comedian with barbed
punch lines and a racy vocabulary. He is a
guerrilla fighter, a master of the old-world art of
irony. For Colbert, the punch line is just the
addendum. The joke is in the setup. The meat of
his act is not in his barbs but his character -- the
dry idiot, "Stephen Colbert," God-fearing
pitchman, patriotic American, red-blooded pundit
and champion of "truthiness."