Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert on Tuesday actually moderated a debate about global warming.
In fairness, it was less of a debate and more a vehicle for him to make fun of his guests Joe Bastardi of Accuweather and Brenda Ekwurzel of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Regardless of the comedic intent on the part of the host, there were indeed some wonderful moments, in particular Bastardi pointing out that we're going to know in the next five to ten years whether there really is a connection between increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global temperatures (video follows with highlights and commentary):
Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos appeared on Tuesday’s Colbert Report and had to deal with questions about his past as a Democratic operative. Comedian Stephen Colbert bluntly explained, “You’re a Democrat, okay? You worked for the Clintons. I cannot imagine it must have been easy to sit there for the past year and watch Democrats get hammered so mercilessly by the Republicans.”
Colbert jokingly followed-up: “Did you ever want to just jump across the table to one of the Democrats and say, 'Fight back! Fight back, you fools! They’re eating you alive'”? (NewsBusters readers will know that Stephanopoulos has hardly hid his affection for Democrats since joining the show.)
Colbert even quizzed the ABC journalist as to whether taking the morning show job was simply a way for him to become anchor of World News. The comedian grilled, “Is it like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do GMA for a few years and flip the blueberry pancakes and then I get the chair?’ Is there a quid-pro-quo here with you and ABC News?” (Video below the fold - h/t Story Balloon)
The media's hate parade against the former governor of Alaska hit a disgraceful peak Monday night when comedian Stephen Colbert said on national television, "Sarah Palin is a f**king retard."
In a five minute segment bashing the former vice presidential candidate for her remarks at Saturday's National Tea Party convention, as well as her use of crib notes -- surprise! -- the Comedy Central star ended with the controversy surrounding White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's "retard" comment.
After playing a clip of Palin telling Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" that Rush Limbaugh's use of the word was acceptable because it was satire, Colbert concluded, "It is okay to call someone a retard if like Rush you clearly don't mean it" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, vulgarity alert):
On Monday’s edition of The Colbert Report, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman pitched his case for a much more massive "stimulus" of government spending. He said "Things are getting worse more slowly. We were losing, you know, we were losing 700,000 jobs a month. We’re probably now at this point going to be losing 300,000 a jobs a month." When Colbert challenged him to say something more cheerful, he unloaded on the stupid and crazy people of the Bush administration:
KRUGMAN: Let me say something positive. We do actually have people in the White House who understand this stuff. I think they’re not forceful enough, but these are not stupid people. These are not crazy people.
COLBERT: You’re saying that they understand what they did wrong, then.
KRUGMAN: They understand what the problems of the economy are. You know, as I say, they’re not stupid, they’re not crazy, which is a big improvement on previous management. [Whoops and applause]
Meghan McCain was again provided with a national outlet for her "moderate" Republican views with her appearance on "The Colbert Report" on May 18. Host Stephen Colbert said to her, "You're more liberal than President Obama. Is that how you see the future of Republican Party going?"
"I'm liberal on social issues," McCain responded
Later in the interview McCain explained her views: "All I'm trying to say is it can be a party for a 24-year-old pro-sex woman. It can be. I just think that we have people that are in this party that are hijacking it and - trying to make it more extreme."
A self described "pro-sex, pro-life and pro-gay marriage" Republican, McCain would prefer the Republican Party stray away from abstinence only education and drop its support for the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
Here's a rare sight: A host of a major television show forcefully defending the Bible and central tenets of Christianity. It happened recently on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, when host Stephen Colbert - in his own inimitable way - rebutted the assertions of Bart Ehrman, a self-described "happy agnostic" who has written a number of books attempting to discredit the Bible and the central beliefs of Christianity.
By the time the interview was finished, the "happy agnostic" Ehrman wasn't looking too happy. Viewers with an interest in Christian apologetics will surely enjoy this one. (Click for video.)
On Monday night’s edition of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, radical MSNBC/Air America talk show host Rachel Maddow rehashed the antiquated argument that since conservatives do not believe in the existence of government, they should not be allowed to run the government: "I like vegans, but it’s like letting a vegan be your butcher. If you have somebody that is really against the idea of providing you the service that you have hired them for, they are going to be bad at providing that service." (Vegans are the most ardent vegetarians, the ones that don't even consume animal products like milk or eggs.)
Typically letting his conservative disguise slip, Colbert joked that Hurricane Katrina was a Bush success, since they wanted to show "the government was able to do nothing."
Wearing the kind of thick nerdy glasses that advertise her self-described reputation as a "policy dork," Maddow was half-joking that she believes in government, that "we only have one and we should try to make it a good government," sparking this exchange:
The Pew Research Center conducted a survey to see what the audiences of the various political shows knew about politics, and what they found goes against the conventional wisdom about whose audience is better informed about current events. With a simple three-question survey about politicians in high office, it turned out that the audiences of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity answered more questions correctly than fans of the "Colbert Report," "The Daily Show," and CNN.
The quiz asked the names of two of the world's leaders and one party in power to determine what audience is most well informed. Survey participants were asked the names of the Secretary of State, the British Prime Minister, and the name of the party currently controlling the House of Representatives.
It's sad when just about the only place to get the truth about what happened to precipitate the current mortgage-lending mess is the Colbert Report.
Jim Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money" appeared on the Comedy Central show on Monday.
The takeaway soundbites:
Cramer said "I'd love to, but I can't" pin the blame for the debacles at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on President Bush.
He noted that "the Democrats got a lot of campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie and vice-versa. It was a big circle," and that this is what enabled the two government-sponsored enterprises to continue "to lend to anybody."
Though Colbert was in attempting-comedy mode, Cramer eventually got to the point where he clearly wasn't kidding (video is at the National Review Media Blog link).
Here's the relevant verbiage, which begins at the 2:20 mark (bolds are mine):
MSNBC host and former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough appeared on the October 8 edition of "The Colbert Report" to declare John McCain the loser and use Democratic talking points to blame his own party (or former party?) on the current economic situation. An astonished Stephen Colbert exclaimed "look at how MSNBC has changed you!" In response the employee of the Keith Olbermann and Chris "thrill up my leg" Matthews network just replied "I know. I know"
In fairness, Scarborough asserted that if Iraq and the War on Terror were the top concern, McCain would be ahead in the polls. Then taking a shot at liberal elitism he added "I know it’s hard for Manhattan and Georgetown to figure out."
In an interview in the October 3, 2008 issue of Entertainment Weekly, liberal comedian Stephen Colbert explained what an emerging critique of Barack Obama might be: "He's a hope-ronaut. He's in a rarefied level of hope where the rest of us have to take tanks up with us." Interviewer Josh Wolk skeptically replied, "Is that really a comedic take? Seems more like a compliment."
Not backing down, Colbert's Comedy Central colleague Jon Stewart made clear that this "attack" on the Democratic nominee would be different then that of the harsh jibes at Republicans: "Even if you're satirizing how wonderful they are, that hyperbole is setting them up for an expectation to fail, especially within the American political system now, where authenticity — and apparently mediocrity — are the manna that the populace feeds upon." Earlier in the piece, Stewart derided, "You 'good values people' have had the country for eight years, and done an unbelievably s---ty job. Let's find some bad values people and give them a shot, maybe they'll have a better take on it."
Liberals regularly wink and nod at the conservative audience watching Fox News and says a conservative crowd guarantees a conservative bias. Using that method of analysis, a new study suggests "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central has a strong tilt to the left, despite its faux-conservative host Stephen Colbert. Bob Cusack reports in The Hill newspaper:
Democratic politicians enjoy a major spike in political contributions after appearing on Comedy Central’s "The Colbert Report," according to a new study.
Political scientist James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego found that Democrats receive a 40 percent increase in contributions in the month after appearing on the fake-news show. But Republicans, Fowler concludes, "essentially gain nothing," according to a release.
How insulated is the MSM? In how much of a liberal cocoon does it exist? For an answer, consider the vile cartoon displayed here. My guess is that the great majority of NewsBusters readers are familiar with it. But John Harwood—of the New York Times and CNBC—has never seen it.
That became clear on today's Morning Joe. The topic was the TV comedy world's double-standard, in which Republicans are regularly skewered but the laff factory suddenly shuts down when it comes to mocking Barack. A New York Times article on the matter was the jumping off point, and Joe Scarborough had a field day ridiculing lefty comedians' hypocrisy in piously claiming to "speak truth to power." The truth, said Scarborough, is that the comedians lay off Obama not because there's nothing funny about him, but because they're "in the tank" for the Dem candidate.
Towards the end of the segment came this stunning exchange:
A New York Times article reveals that late night comics are having a hard time making jokes about Sen. Barack Obama. From the article:
What’s so funny about Barack Obama? Apparently not very much, at least not yet.
On Monday, The New Yorker magazine tried dipping its toe into broad satire involving Senator Obama with a cover image depicting the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and his wife, Michelle, as fist-bumping, flag-burning, bin Laden-loving terrorists in the Oval Office. The response from both Democrats and Republicans was explosive.
Comedy has been no easier for the phalanx of late-night television hosts who depend on skewering political leaders for a healthy quotient of their nightly monologues. Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and others have delivered a nightly stream of joke about the Republican running for president — each one a variant on the same theme: John McCain is old.
Mr. Carter explains why so little jokes about Obama:
The guest on Tuesday's episode of "The Colbert Report" was Will Smith, who had already expressed support for Barack Obama on "The Today Show" earlier this week. Colbert joked that perhaps he wants Obama to win so he can play him in a movie. The fake news anchor then goes on to make a tasteless joke about John McCain. Here's the partial transcript:
STEPHEN COLBERT: As an actor wouldn't it be more of a challenge to play John McCain for you. That would be a stretch.
WILL SMITH: That is a stretch. I can give that a shot.
STEPHEN COLBERT: That's Oscar territory because I don't know if you've heard him give speeches, he seems mentally challenged.
Comedy Central is usually the network that rips on President Bush -- including its nasty cartoon "Lil Bush." But it's not the network that tries to present equal satire on Hillary Clinton. Stephen Colbert hosted Hillary on "The Colbert Report" on Thursday night, and as he often does, he did a terrible job of even pretending to be a conservative as they portrayed Hillary as ultra-competent. Did they steal that from "Saturday Night Live?"
MRC's Melissa Lopez offers the transcript below the fold. Hot Air has the video.
STEPHEN COLBERT: "Anyway, the big news is last night's Democratic debate which took place here in Philadelphia.... What just happened? Jimmy, the rear screen is down! Where's my Liberty Bell?"
JIMMY: "Sorry, Stephen, it's just technical difficulties. We're not used to this studio."
COLBERT: "Well, get the technicians in here to figure it out!"
Stephen Colbert called it "an announcement." Chris Matthews went on the Comedy Central show last night and, responding to the host's importuning to declare his candidacy for US Senator from Pennsylvania, ultimately stated: "I want to be a senator."
Over on MSNBC, Morning Joe played a clip of their colleague's appearance, then chewed it over.
STEPHEN COLBERT: There's a lot of talk that you might be running for Arlen Specter's seat.
Eric Alterman was the latest in a long conga line of liberal authors plugging their books on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report on Monday night. He began by confusing the audience about God. Liberals refuse to take orders from God (since he doesn’t exist, or isn’t important enough to take orders from) or the Fatherland (conservatives-are-Nazis jokes always work with the stilted studio audience). But in the next breath, Alterman was claiming Jesus for the liberal side:
ALTERMAN: To be a liberal, Stephen, just means you believe in the truth. You don't take -- you don't take orders from God. You don't take orders from the Fatherland, you don't take orders from --
COLBERT: But God is truth. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the light [sic]. What part of that don't you understand?
ALTERMAN: Jesus was a liberal. There he is [on the Alterman book cover], right next to Willie Nelson.
Appearing on the March 12 edition of "The Colbert Report," Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz discussed the media’s fawning coverage of Barack Obama, noting Chris Matthews famous "thrill going up my leg" comment when hearing Senator Obama. Kurtz comically stated "we don’t know how high that thrill went." Host Stephen Colbert replied "that thrill is what you call ‘the hardball.’ [see video here]
Kurtz noted the mainstream media’s excitement over Obama and felt they got a little bit tougher when "Saturday Night Live" parodied the pro-Obama bias. When Colbert noted the press probably loved to talk about the potential bias because they got to talk about themselves. Kurtz conceded "we are a very self absorbed profession."
Amy Menefee also wrote on the Kurtz interview noting that the big three networks are still relevant and opining that journalists put their "feelings aside."
Geraldo Rivera of Fox News keeps proving the ideological diversity of the FNC staff on his book tour attacking opponents of illegal immigration. On Tuesday night, he appeared on the Comedy Central show The Colbert Report, where liberal comic Stephen Colbert pretends to be a conservative, played heavily over the top for laughs. Rivera repeatedly punched away at what he called "right-wing talk show thugs." He was so enamored of the phrase that he inserted it strangely into Irish-hating episodes from 100 years ago, and into his 2005 defense of Michael Jackson against charges of child abuse. MRC’s Melissa Lopez did the transcript. It began like this:
COLBERT: "Your book, it fascinates me. I'm a little torn here. Umm, it's called HisPanic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S., does it really matter why we fear Hispanics? Isn't it more important that we fear Hispanics? Isn't that really the goal right now?"
RIVERA: "Driven by the right-wing talk show thugs, there’s a campaign against Hispanics and immigrants that has been very distressful."
COLBERT: "Campaign against them? They’re invading our country, sir."
It's really frightening to imagine that people who get the bulk of their news from Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" will be making what they probably think are educated decisions at the ballot box come Election Day.
Stewart, who is now a self-proclaimed economist, said on his January 23 show, "Our economy is tanking." And now you can add financial media critic to Stewart's list of titles.
"For insight, I turned to the two major financial networks to find out what is going on, or as they're known around here, ‘hot ladies talk economy with bald dudes,'" Stewart said.
Last night on the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert took CNN's marketing team to task, pointing out the hypocrisy of putting a "six foot square poster in each of the 2.3 million copies of today's the USA Today. That's 13.8 million square feet of ‘Planetary Peril.'" Planet in Peril a program airing next week on CNN. Colbert who could barely keep himself from laughing went on to say,
"Now the paper is recycled but hopefully that glossy ink isn't going to biodegrade anytime soon, so awareness of this threat is going to be around for centuries. Brilliant marketing CNN, you have strategically insured the planet will still be in peril by the time your special airs next week."
Wednesday night on "The Colbert Report," author Charles Kaiser was on the show to plug his book, The Gay Metropolis. Hoping to get the Colbert bump, Kaiser talked about how his book chronicles the history of gay culture and society in New York starting from 1940. One of his claims is that homosexuals and African Americans are “both more interesting than straight white people.” He also discussed being open with who you are or else you become like Mark Foley: “You become a congressmen who sends nasty notes to teenagers over the computer.” He lastly implies but denies that J.Edgar Hoover is gay.
Stephen Colbert constantly pointed out when Kaiser was stereotyping people, whether it is dance choreographers, white straight people or Republican congressmen. “I wish I could stereotype but I’m not allowed to. I’m not gay. I have to play by the rules you make but don’t live by,” Colbert stated after Kaiser put the label on dance choreographers being gay. Kaiser jumped into the interview trying to show how exciting and interesting minorities are compared to straight white people:
Someone at the AP must really like Stephen Colbert. A bait-and-switch June 3 article was supposedly about a new book by Afghanistan-born author Khaled Hosseini, but gave readers stealth fanboy journalism that wrote a play by play of Colbert’s shtick without discussing the book. From the reporting, the BookExpo America breakfast was more like a segment of the “Colbert Report” than a national book fair discussion. Instead of any information about the book, it was line after line of Colbert coverage, "That Stephen Colbert sure is funny, and he sure has some funny ideas about books. Just ask "The Kite Runner" author Khaled Hosseini."
Katie Couric was a guest on Thursday night's "Colbert Report" on Comedy Central. Her answers seemed rehearsed, just as if her Hillary-hand-me-down media consultant Matthew Hiltzik prepared her for the mock-hardballs. Two questions stood out as the most insulting: whether she had a "new hatchet" for anti-Bush hatchet jobs, and which job prepared her better for the anchor desk, being a cheerleader or a sorority sister. First, the hatchet exchange:
COLBERT: You're in -- you're in the desk. This is the -- in my opinion -- this is the news desk of news desks, CBS Evening News. Are you literally in Dan Rather's old chair? Do you sit in that chair?
COURIC: I sit in it, and I usually smell it before the show.
If Stephen Colbert is going to pretend to be a conservative, perhaps he shouldn’t play along when a guest compares President Bush to a genocidal dictator like Adolf Hitler. On the March 13 edition of "The Colbert Report," the Comedy Central host had University of Missouri professor Dr. Donald Shield on to discuss the (media generated) controversy over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys.
Shields was appearing to tout a study claiming that federal prosecutors investigated Democrats over Republicans by a five-to-one margin. However, the discussion quickly degenerated into Nazi comparisons with Colbert happily joining in:
Stephen Colbert"...The Republicans are in power so they're using the full force of the federal government to target the Democrats specifically to make sure they get all the corrupt ones out of there. I mean, that's government efficiency."
Dr. Donald Shields: "Well, that's kind of the way Hitler started out in Nazi Germany, isn't it?"
Colbert: "Well, I mean, he started out efficiently. He got bad later. But first it was about making the trains run on time. You gotta give me that. You gotta give me that!"
The University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus newspaper, Niner Online, reports that the Student Government Association is calling to rename the UNCC SGA complex, the "Colbert Complex" after the host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report or as the SGA bill calls him, "the pillar of truth." SGA’s act explains why they think Colbert is important and why anything should be named after him:
Recognizing Stephen Colbert as a pillar of truth in a world of wavering opinions and television personalities, further recognizing Stephen Colbert's noble cause to educate and inform young people of current events and topical political themes…declares all rooms within Cone 369 (SGA Complex) to be officially named 'The Colbert Complex' on behalf of the Student Government Association to honor Stephen Colbert and spread the message of truth across the campus of UNC Charlotte.