NBC's Gregory to Colbert: 'Many People' Think You're Better at 'Getting to Real Truths' Than Media

In a fawning interview with liberal comedian Stephen Colbert on Sunday's Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory praised the Colbert Report host and Daily Show host Jon Stewart: "Why do you think so many people think you and Jon Stewart are more effective at exposing hypocrisy, getting to real truths, than the – than the news media is?"

Colbert replied: "I don't know if that's the case." Gregory insisted: "Well, I think there are certain people who believe that." Colbert observed: "I don't know, I mean jokes make things palatable. I would say that. Comedy just helps an idea go down, that's all."

After airing the taped interview with Colbert, Gregory turned to Tom Brokaw: "I mean, their – their impact is real in terms of shaping opinion, particularly how young people view the political process in government."

Brokaw gushed:

And what these two do so brilliantly is that they cut through the hypocrisy and they say, "Hey, wait a minute," on both sides. And they do play it pretty much down the middle. You know – you know, both partisan groups will say, "Hey, wait a minute, they're more unfair to us than – than the other one."

Brokaw was satisfied with the Comedy Central hosts being a substitute for real news among their audience: "I'm not troubled by young people saying, 'Hey, I think that's where I get my news,' because in fact they do get some news from that. You know, they roll the tapes. They – they point out the differences between what they said yesterday and today. So I – I never miss them."

At one point in the interview, Colbert joked of his faux conservative persona on the show, "I just say the opposite of whatever Rachel Maddow says the night before, and I'm usually good."


Here are portions of the two October 14 exchanges:

11:17AM ET

(...)

DAVID GREGORY: Why do you think so many people think you and Jon Stewart are more effective at exposing hypocrisy, getting to real truths, than the – than the news media is?

STEPHEN COLBERT: I don't know – I don't know if that's the case.

GREGORY: Well, I think there are certain people who believe that.

COLBERT: Okay. They're entitled to their beliefs. I don't know, I mean jokes make things palatable. I would say that. Comedy just helps an idea go down, that's all. And – and it's – and just makes you listen for a minute.

(...)

11:22AM ET

GREGORY: Tom, you know – you know both Colbert and Stewart well. And, I mean, their – their impact is real in terms of shaping opinion, particularly how young people view the political process in government.

TOM BROKAW: Jon came to me when he first started this. I barely knew him. He was a stand-up comic at the time, and he said do you think the country is ready for it? I grew up with the tradition of Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce, and the great political satirists of that time. And what I always thought is that they brought people into the arena. And what these two do so brilliantly is that they cut through the hypocrisy and they say, "Hey, wait a minute," on both sides. And they do play it pretty much down the middle. You know – you know, both partisan groups will say, "Hey, wait a minute, they're more unfair to us than – than the other one." But they have lifted the idea that this is the greatest arena that we have, our political arena. And young people are now engaged in it. I'm not troubled by young people saying, "Hey, I think that's where I get my news," because in fact they do get some news from that.

GREGORY: Mm-Hm.

BROKAW: You know, they roll the tapes. They – they point out the differences between what they said yesterday and today. So I – I never miss them.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC