Late-night comedians historically have relished the opportunity to poke fun at politicians. Sometimes they savage them. In the Obama era, they haven’t been so enthusiastic about any of it. A recent study of political jokes on three late-night shows (Letterman, Leno, and Jimmy Fallon) by the Center for Media and Public Affairs found that Barack Obama’s joke count is “substantially lower than any other president.”
Some of the Obama jokes are actually bipartisan slams. Jimmy Fallon joked that “Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are more mature than President Obama and John Boehner.” This is the classic comedian’s pose, and the safe one, that all the politicians are ridiculous, squabbling poseurs. Still, it’s every bit as much pandering to the public as the politicians are.
Dean Reynolds filed a glowing report on Tuesday's CBS This Morning promoting comedian Stephen Colbert's mock campaign against super PACs. Reynolds led the segment by stating, "Before we say that a comedian could have no serious impact on a presidential campaign, let us remember that six days after a poll came out here showing Stephen Colbert slightly ahead of Jon Huntsman, Jon Huntsman quit the race."
After inflating Colbert's supposed impact, the correspondent continued by claiming that "so far, Colbert's effort is not displaying what you would call a light touch." Reynolds then played a clip from an ad released by the comedian's "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow" super PAC, which blasts GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as a "serial killer. He's 'Mitt the Ripper.'"
ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday proved once and for all what a joke he is.
Not only did the This Week host give twice the airtime to faux political candidate Stephen Colbert as Texas governor Rick Perry, he did so after the Comedy Central star called him "a political operative" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, ABC's George Stephanopoulos responded to host Stephen Colbert's question of why he - as debate co-moderator last Saturday - asked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney about whether states have the constitutional power to ban contraceptives, as he argued that the question revolved around the "right to privacy."
He then suggested that a bet with co-moderator Diane Sawyer motivated him to be so persistent in asking Romney followup questions on the subject. After Colbert asked what it felt like when Romney called it a "silly thing" for Stephanopoulos to ask such a hypothetical question, the ABC anchor responded:
The New York Times Sunday Magazine cover features a profile by Charles McGrath of actor-comedian Stephen Colbert, host of the satirical news show The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, in which Colbert plays a caricature of a conservative political personality.
Once you get past the slightly disturbing cover photo of Colbert in a fat suit as some Daddy Warbucks-type, “Stephen Colbert Wants Your Vote" goes deep into what McGrath terms the three Stephen Colberts, at least two of whom agitate for liberalism, including a fake political action committee, Colbert Super PAC. McGrath enjoyed Colbert's imitation of a "right-wing blowhard," referring to FOX News host Bill O'Reilly:
On Thursday's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, citing a recent article by conservative columnist George Will in which he asserted that Republicans "crave fun" in their presidential campaigns, host Stephen Colbert found amusement in GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum's concerns about partial-birth abortion as the Comedy Central host joked about playing a drinking game based on the former Senator's attention to the egregious abortion procedure.
After reading from Will's article, Colbert declared:
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, New York magazine's John Heilemann - also an MSNBC analyst and formerly of The New Yorker - made a gay joke about GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum as he described the competitive election in Iowa. (Video below)
After host Stephen Colbert, playing the part of committed conservative wanting to pump up Santorum, asked of the Iowa results, "So, Santorum, this is a victory, right? He may have lost, but it's a victory," Heilemann took a shot at the former Pennsylvania Senator in his response:
Remember the OWS protestor, Justin Wedes, who along with his sanity-challenged companion, Ketchup, was featured on the Colbert Report as a spokesman for the Occupy Wall Street movement? Camera hog Wedes was notable for his massive self-righteous chip on the shoulder which caused him to give "down twinkles" to what he claimed as the moral failings of the "One Percent."
Well, down twinkles to Wedes himself who has been exposed in the New York Post as a scam artist forger who tried to cheat the taxpayers out of nearly $5000 for a government grant despite the fact that his "One Percent" family from the plush Michigan neighborhood of Huntington Woods could easily afford to just give him that money:
The "female-bodied person" named "Ketchup" as she identifies herself must have struggled mightily to suppress her inner loon while being interviewed by Stephen Colbert along with her camera hog Occupy Wall Street companion from Zuccotti Park, Justin Wedes. Although she unknowingly delivered a lot of comedy material such as her self-description and silly GroupThink hand, arm, and finger signals, Ketchup presented a rather calm demeanor thoughout the interview (video below the fold). In fact, her dead serious manner was what originally kept me from believing that Ketchup was the same ranting person at the tail end of the infamous Edward T. Hall video despite the identical appearance.
Well, it turns out that according to The People's Cube, Ketchup and the crazed woman, oops, I mean female-bodied person in the Ted Hall video are one and the same.
A truly amazing coincidence happened on Monday night as former President George W. Bush was praised for helping millions in Africa by two separate public figures in two unrelated matters - the fight against AIDS in Africa, and South Sudan’s successful fight for independence - on two different television shows.
As rocker Bono of U-2 appeared as a guest on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, he praised President Bush for helping to save so far five million lives in Africa over the past eight years because of his push to supply treatment to AIDS patients.
And on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, guest and human rights activist John Prendergast of the Enough Project, when prodded by host Stephen Colbert, noted that it was under Bush that America used its influence to help the South Sudanese secure a peace deal with the north.
On Saturday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Wyatt Andrews previewed the Washington DC 'Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear,' organized by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert: "Almost all of the folks we found said they hope it's about the moderates of America....Stewart seems to have touched what you might call the anti-anger nerve."
Andrews went on to chide conservative figures for divisiveness: "In a year when the President was called a liar and when Fox's Glenn Beck labeled the President a power-hungry socialist and a Nazi." He described how: "Stewart took Beck on." Andrews then explained that rally participants "told us they wanted less name-calling in the media and more accomplishment in Washington." However, he failed to make any mention of Stewart's own long list of vulgar name-calling incidents.
While Stelter and Tavernise nailed the political tone as "overwhelmingly liberal," the rally's agenda didn't stop them and other Times reporters from enjoying the rally both in print and through live blogging while hyping the numbers for the gathering held as a response to one held two months ago in D.C., "Restoring Honor," sponsored by Fox News host Glenn Beck.
The print edition story ran with a photo of Stewart and Stephen Colbert with Yusuf Islam, the former singer Cat Stevens, who supported the deadly fatwa against novelist Salman Rushdie in 1989 (more on that later).
Part circus, part satire, part parade, the crowds that flooded the National Mall Saturday for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear made it a political event like no other.
It was a Democratic rally without a Democratic politician, featuring instead two political satirists, Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert, who used the stage to rib journalists and fear-mongering politicians, and to argue with each other over the songs “Peace Train” and “Crazy Train.”
Though at no point during the show did either man plug a candidate, a strong current of political engagement coursed through the crowd, which stretched several long blocks west of the Capitol, an overwhelming response to a call by Mr. Stewart on his “Daily Show.” The turnout clogged traffic and filled subway trains and buses to overflow.
On a special edition of Sunday’s Hannity show, FNC host Sean Hannity informed viewers that Restoring Sanity Rally participant and singer Cat Stevens - who converted to Islam in the 1970s and changed his name to Yusuf Islam - several times declared that Salman Rushdie should be killed after Iranian leader, the Ayatollah Khomeni, issued a fatwa on the British author in 1989 for publishing his book the Satanic Verses.
Hey, it's Friday night. Time to kick back, relax, and have a few chuckles, courtesy Ed Schultz. On his MSNBC show this evening, Schultz, somehow managing to keep a straight face, claimed that NPR is "as down the middle as you can get."
Schultz served up his side-splitter in condemning Jim DeMint and other Republicans for proposing the federal defunding of NPR. In the world according to Ed, the Republican suggestion to withdraw NPR's taxpayer subsidies reflects a GOP plan to "shut down any dissenting voices in this country." Ed, buddy: Dems control the White House and both houses of Congress. NPR is the voice of pro-government flackery, not dissent. The rebels are . . . the Republicans!
Stephen Colbert on Tuesday marvelously chided the cry babies of ABC's "The View" by storming off the set when the topic of Bill O'Reilly and the Ground Zero mosque surfaced.
After the comedian joked about bedbugs being responsible for Whoopi Goldberg jumping out of the couch during last Thursday's much-publicized encounter with the host of Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," the pair got into a discussion of the incident culminating in Colbert's comedic departure (video follows with commentary):
Wednesday's Washington Post carried a Style section article on "when to dump your date," or the "deal breakers" then men and women have. Post reporter Lois Romano used her daughters Jenna and Kristen Holmes. One checks out a guy's bookshelf to see if he's a reader or just has old high school textbooks taking up space. "Guys are getting stupider and stupider," she said.
If Arianna Huffington, an admitted “progressive,” announces she’s offering transportation to individuals that desire to participate in Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s “million moderate march,” can it really be described as “moderate?”
“We are getting a Huff Post bus. If there is anybody unsure how to get there, talk to me,” Huffington said. “[J]ust come to the Huffington Post, 560 Broadway in SoHo. The bus will be there. We’ll take you with us.”
September 2010 might go down in history as the month America's comedians took over the Democrat Party.
From upcoming political rallies by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to the latter testifying before Congress and the media waiting breathlessly for Bill Maher to release another video of Delaware Republican senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell, our world has surely taken a giant step towards the bizarre.
Jumping aboard the crazy train was David Gregory who on Sunday's "Meet the Press" actually played a clip from Comedy Central's the "Daily Show" to mock the Republican "Pledge to America" and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh.) (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Comedian Stephen Colbert on Thursday ridiculed Rick Sanchez, the much-maligned CNN personality that deservedly is the butt of many jokes.
After telling his "Colbert Report" viewers that Jon Stewart's Washington rally next month has been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, Colbert informed them that he too has gotten a "major media figure" in his corner.
Upon learning the endorsement is from Sanchez, Colbert said, "Wow. Rick Sanchez. The coveted Sanchez bump. That could get me tens of supporters."
After showing a clip of the CNNer making a fool of himself on the air, Colbert panicked, "Oh, my God. It's like I'm a freshman and I've just been befriended by a loser upper-classman" (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t Right Scoop):
"When Fox News and talk radio host Glenn Beck comes to Washington this weekend to headline a rally intended to 'restore honor' to America, he will test the strength - and potentially expose the weaknesses - of a conservative grass-roots movement that remains an unpredictable force in the country's politics," staffer Amy Gardner argued in the opening paragraph of her August 26 story.
Gardner's article is but one example of the media's skeptical attitude prior to the Beck rally.
Yet just days after two Comedy Central hosts announced mock rallies for October 30 on the Mall, the liberal media are expecting that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert can easily draw a large crowd.
I noted the breathless anticipation of Newsweek's Daniel Stone last Friday. Now it seems that Matea Gold of the Washington bureau of the Tribune Company is also decidedly optimistic. In her 13-paragraph article, accessible at LATimes.com, Gold quoted a few folks who plan on attending and took the Facebook RSVPs on face value as a signal about potential attendance:
While it seems like so many of Jon Stewart's adoring fans in the media are elated to see a counter-Tea Party, not many have been willing to call this event what it is - an event to belittle people who are exercising their rights as citizens to protest their government.
"So last week Jon Stewart announced he was going to hold a rally of his own in Washington D.C., to restore reason, sanity or whatever," Gutfeld said. "[N]ow, it's a cute idea - not as good as a gay bar next to a mosque [something Gutfeld had proposed in response to the "Ground Zero Mosque"] - but it's an appropriate, hipster response to the tea parties and Glenn Beck's thing. It's exactly the thing that the bald nerdy guy in glasses from The New York Times subscription commercial might attend and feel totally good about himself afterward - which raises an interesting question: would Stewart have announced his event if those other events had a decidedly liberal tilt?"
Remember when American comedians went after the powerful in an effort to bring them down to earth with the sharp satire of accountability? Today, they appear to only protect the powerful. Well, unless the powerful aren't liberal enough. As things stand now you have the likes of David Letterman and Louis C.K. savaging Sarah Palin's family, SNL terrified to rip Obama with any real zeal, cartoonists proclaiming President Teleprompter too cool to mock, and Will Ferrell films flaking for corrupt public unions, all in an effort to protect the corrupted leftist elitists currently holding power.
It's like we now live in an alternate universe you might call ... North Korea.
In desperate Hail Mary moves to protect Obama and Democrats from what's looking like a November rout, three of the left's most beloved Palace Guards have just upped their game considerably. Bill Maher's now openly blackmailing Delaware Republican Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell, threatening a weekly drip-drip-drip of videos he thinks will ruin her candidacy unless she agrees to appear on his show - which is where he'll really pull out the stops to finally win that Emmy by attempting to destroy her:
Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have announced dueling D.C. rallies on October 30 aimed at satirizing the August 28 "Restoring Honor" rally held by rival network Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck.
Newsweek's Daniel Stone is apparently stoked about it, predicting that the gimmick will "absolutely" be a success (emphasis mine):
You’ve got to hand it to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, social critics that they are, for keeping us attuned to the absurdity in our political discourse these days....