Stephen Colbert tells his interview guests that they’re about to be interviewed by a moron. Sometimes he sounds like that during the rest of the show. On Wednesday night, Colbert mocked MRC president Brent Bozell and others for allegedly arguing that the shooting of Michael Brown was caused by national media coverage.
It’s a completely inaccurate caricature. Only a fake-conservative TV moron like Colbert would argue nobody would be shot if the media never covered a shooting. The clips that Colbert’s crew snipped were about the incessant coverage of the Ferguson protesting, looting and rioting, not about the shooting. Colbert wants to pretend the press showing up to a violent protest scene has no effect on whether the protests and/or violence continues. (Video, transcript below)
STEPHEN COLBERT: What we do know is the shooting of an unarmed young black man is a story we've heard far too many times before. And the only way to assure we never hear it again is for the press to stop reporting it.
BRENT BOZELL: I think the coverage has been a travesty. Why? Look at it first from the standpoint of quantity. How did this incident justify hundreds if not thousands of non-stop hours of coverage when there is so much going on in the world?
MATT LEWIS: There are a lot of bad things that I think have come from journalists being there and from all the 24/7 media speculation. And I think one is that it's probably made things more volatile.
HOWARD KURTZ: I wrote a column for Fox this week saying, just theoretically floating the idea, what if all the journalists in this town packed up the equipment and left? Would that have had an impact on the violence? A lot of people responded and said yes.
COLBERT: Yes, I respond. It's true. The presence of a camera clearly makes people behave recklessly. Because I don’t believe for a minute that Howie Kurtz would have floated the idea that journalists are to blame for the Ferguson violence if a camera wasn't pointed at him. For his own safety, get this man off of television!
Colbert knows his censorious liberal superfans will scream and clap when you talk about getting Fox people off television. He also ignored Bozell’s fuller point that the “travesty” in the Ferguson coverage came in the media’s apparent certainty that this was some kind of racist “execution” before all the facts came in.
But Bozell and Lewis and Kurtz weren't saying they wanted the press to ignore Ferguson. They were saying the media feeding frenzy wasn't helping calm the situation down.
We have noted that the story snugly fits a liberal narrative about how American remains deeply racist, and there's no doubt that the national media doesn't find this story interesting when the races were reversed, or the story is black-on-black violence.