Correction (July 31 | 14:40): Colbert's wrist was broken. He injured it running around his studio before a show. I regret the error.
Bob Shrum, the Democratic political strategist who has only slightly fewer losses on his resume than the Philadelphia Phillies, appeared on the Colbert Report last night to tout his book, “No Excuses: Confessions of a Serial Complainer,” err, I mean, “No Excuses: Confessions of a Serial Campaigner.”
Colbert, who was pretending to be gravely hurt and wearing a fake cast on his arm, was ushered in by wheelchair. Shrum, not missing an opportunity to shill for the Democrats, quipped:
“I hope all the suffering has made you more inclined to support national health insurance, so everybody can get the same kind of risk care you do.”
Clever as ever Mr. Shrum. But that was only the beginning.
Colbert immediately turned his attention to what Shrum, the Susan Lucci of political campaigning, is best known for, losing.
A transcript of Colbert and Shrum’s conversation follows. Colbert’s show is designed as a satirical homage to Bill O’Reilly and usually makes fun of conservatives and certainly Shrum knows this. Even so, he’s dead serious about his Bush-stole-Ohio charge.
“The Daily Show” often pokes fun at President Bush and his closest advisors and Cabinet members, but isn’t it a little low, even for “The Daily Show,” to mock a Vietnam veteran because he supports the President?
On June 25, the Comedy Central show did exactly that, airing a pre-recorded and what appears to be a heavily edited interview with Bill Thomas, a Vietnam veteran who won four Bronze Stars and three Purple Heart medals. Back in April, Thomas decided to give one his Purple Heart to President Bush, believing that the President is a “a hero by virtue of the fact that he’s shown phenomenal courage in the face of bitter personal attacks on his competence, his integrity and everything else.”
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," reporter David Wright narrated a sarcastic segment about Vice President Dick Cheney and his refusal to hand over classified documents to the National Archives. In order to amplify the portrayal of Cheney as dark and scary, Wright featured clips from liberals such as Jon Stewart, left-wing blogger Ana Marie Cox and the Comedy Central program "Lil Bush." The GMA reporter helpfully added that "the Vice President's noncompliance plays right into the perception that he's some sort of shadowy super villain." Video: Real (1 MB) or Windows (1.25 MB) plus MP3 (176 KB)
Of course, Wright never identified the liberal, anti-Cheney leanings of the above individuals. Instead, he framed the Vice President’s refusal to hand over the documents as indicative of an out of control politician who won’t listen to anyone:
David Wright: "Quick civics quiz for you: Is the Vice President part of the executive branch of government? You might think the answer is obvious, but apparently not to the Vice President. The man who is a heartbeat away from the Oval Office thinks that some of the rules that apply to everyone else who works here do not apply to him."
Comedy Central's new Lil' Bush cartoon show set to debut Wednesday night, in which President Bush and allies are impish little kids in the White House of his father set in present time, is so "borderline-irresponsible" that even the reviewer for Time Inc.'s Entertainment Weekly magazine "begged" readers not to watch it. Whitney Pastorek denounced it and pleaded: "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Condi Rice are kids! And they're all stupid and evil! Cheney drinks the blood of chickens! And Jeb Bush is retarded! Etc. It's a juvenile pile of manure aching to hit the conservative pundit fan. Thus, I beg those on the right -- and, while I'm at it, everyone else -- not to watch it."
In a Tuesday AP dispatch, Frazier Moore reported that the creator of the cartoon show believes Bush thinks in a "simplistic, cartoony fashion," and in "one episode, Lil' George and his gang protest an unwanted menu change in the school cafeteria by torturing the cafeteria workers a la Abu Ghraib." As for whether Bush supporters will take issue with the show, the creator confirmed his own political prejudice: "The good news is, 68 percent of the country aren't his supporters anymore."
The Global Warmingist-in-Chief was Jon Stewart’s guest on “The Daily Show” Thursday evening. And, right out of the starting blocks, soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore made a statement that marvelously epitomized his career:
Yeah, logic, reason, facts play less of a role now in the way we make decisions in America.
Granted, in his typically smug manner, Gore was pointing fingers at others. However, as veracity has never been his strong suit, this was clearly an inconvenient truth that could have been a mea culpa if he was capable of actually being honest with both himself and his viewers.
That was just the beginning of the insanity on display, and not the last time during his ten minutes in front of the camera that we would be laughing at the former vice president instead of with him (video available here):
The first regular episode of the latest incarnation of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS featured Comedy Central host Jon Stewart (recently hailed by Moyers as "the Mark Twain of our day") mocking Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for appearing to be a "low-functioning pinhead" and comparing the Bush administration to the mobster characters in the movie Goodfellas. He suggested the White House press corps was a joke, suggesting they're the Washington Generals to Bush's Harlem Globetrotters: "the government is just you know, blowing the doors off the media."
First, the "Daily Show" fake anchor expressed amazement on the Friday night show that Gonzales would be so willing to look foolish and wildly incompetent so that Congress would fail in its attempt to impose oversight:
Proving once again how badly the left suffers from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome), Comedy Central is launching a new animated show lampooning George W. Bush and all surrounding him that was originally broadcast through cell phone networks.
Included in the cartoon attacks will be Vice President Cheney, Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice and a brother JEB who is "dumb as paint".
In what may be a TV first, Comedy Central’s new series Lil’ Bush (which premieres in June) comes to TV by way of mobile devices such as web-enabled cell phones. The property began as mobisodes seen on 2” mobile screens.
I write these words in the wake of the news that MSNBC has dropped Don Imus from its lineup. I fully expect that by the time you read these words, CBS Radio will have fired him as well.
The raging media controversy over the stupid racial insult Imus threw at the Rutgers women’s basketball team – “nappy-headed hos” – has led the usual cast of professional victims, like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP, to deplore the racist underbelly of the broader American culture.
But where were these people when the subject was gangsta rap? With these arrogant and profane multi-millionaires routinely insulting and deriding people, especially black women, with language one hundred-fold more offensive than anything that ever came out of the I-Man’s mouth?
For all Christians, Easter is an outbreak of joy, a celebration of the resurrection of the risen Lord, marking the full promise of a savior unfolding like a spring flower.
For ABC, it’s just another night to sell sex.
During a Monday night broadcast of “Dancing with the Stars,” ABC promoted its Easter Sunday lineup, starting with an inspirational episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” So far, so good. But that’s where the good ended.
Then came the plug for a typical episode of “Desperate Housewives,” with one catty middle-aged woman saying to another, “I’m this close to seducing my gardener.” The other replies, “Been there, done that.” And at promo’s end, ABC showed another scene of the first woman – fortysomething, surgically altered Nicolette Sheridan – stripping off her blouse and skirt to reveal black lacy underthings as the announcer urged: “This Easter, take off your Sunday best, and turn on your favorite shows.”
On Monday, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) got a "town hall" meeting with a hand-picked audience on "Good Morning America."
But the royal treatment Clinton receives in the mainstream media isn't shared by even some staunch liberals who make ink in the nation's newspapers everyday. Including at least one who pays the bills with the cartoonist's pen, generally liberal artist and blogger Darrin Bell, creator of "Candorville."
It's not the first time Bell has lampooned Clinton, but check out the March 30 installment, where he makes fun of Hillary's penchant for trying to be all things to all constituents, envisioning Clinton trying to pander to a Palestinian-American and an Israeli-American at the same time.
Bell's cartoon follows two days after the March 28 "'South Park," in which Clinton was portrayed unflatteringly, sporting rather large hips (calling to mind radio host Mark Levin's label "Her Thighness" ) and speaking in a faux Southern drawl.
Brent Bozell's culture column is early this week, since the MRC HQ is buzzing and bustling toward our big 20th anniversary gala on Thursday night. If you want to see it live, we will have a webcast. Brent's column mocks a new compilation of essays titled "South Park and Philosophy," edited by Robert Arp, a professor at Southwest Minnesota State University. You know the drill: take a crude and simplistic pop-culture phenomenon and try to make it sound philosophically deep. It's like standing in a mud puddle and pretending it's the Pacific Ocean. Here's a sample:
How do professors like this stoop to the bizarre idea that children can be enlightened by a show that labors to fit 160 uses of the S-bomb into a half-hour? A show that delights in having Jesus Christ defecate on President Bush with his “yummy, yummy crap”? How can you elevate that into the idea that watching “South Park” should really be seen as a correspondence course, like Newt Gingrich’s “Renewing American Civilization” series?
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!"
As reported by NewsBuster Ken Shepherd Wednesday, America’s newspapers are getting rid of their religion sections like bad habits.
Speaking of losing one’s religion, Comedy Central Wednesday evening featured the star of the “Sarah Silverman Program” having sex with God, and disparagingly tossing him out of bed in the morning using the lame excuse that she had to help her friend move out of her apartment (video available here).
On Wednesday, Ralph Nader continued his media adulation tour, this time stopping by "The Daily Show." Just as with his appearance on "Late Edition," the only tough questioning Nader received was on the issue of the 2000 election and whether he placed George Bush in the White House. Stewart once again made clear exactly why conservatives view him as a not a political humorist, but a partisan, liberal comic. At one point, he told the consumer advocate that he was always right. And when Nader attacked President Ronald Reagan, the Comedy Central host joined right in:
Jon Stewart: "Please welcome back to the program, Ralph Nader! Ralph! Come on! Nice to see you again. Thanks for joining us. So they say they’re going to make a film about you, ‘An Unreasonable Man,’ and they come to you, and you say, ‘I'm in.’"
Ralph Nader: "What are you going to do? ( Laughter ) Everything– You know, you want air bags in cars and seat belts in cars so you lose the freedom to go through a windshield. Reagan didn't like that. He liked the freedom to go through a windshield."
Stewart:: "Exactly. So he was considering you an anti-liberty–."
Nader: "Yeah. Right."
Stewart: "Exactly. Ralph Nader. Tear down that belt. That sort of thing?"
Appearing on Thursday’s "Colbert Report," former "60 Minutes" anchor Mike Wallace mostly discussed innocuous subjects such as the joys of smoking. However, after being prompted by host Stephen Colbert to share his "doubts about our system of government," Wallace segued into an odd digression about how a parliamentary system would give Americans an easier way to get rid of its leaders. In other words, don't wait for Bush to go back to Crawford, kick him out now:
Stephen Colbert: "Now, you say you, you have some doubts about our system of government. I agree with you. Should we get rid of the Congress or the judiciary first? What, what do you mean by that?"
Mike Wallace: " I'm not kidding."
Colbert: "Okay. I know you’re not."
Wallace: "Forget– Forget impeachment. What you– Forget impeachment? Good luck. The– The– A representative government in which you can vote no confidence in a president or the leader and get rid of him."
As reported by NewsBusters, Bill O’Reilly and Stephen Colbert squared off Thursday evening in well-publicized meetings on each other’s popular programs. According to the Los Angeles Times, this was a ratings bonanza for both:
Colbert helped O'Reilly draw more than 2.9 million viewers, a boost of 46% over last quarter and a hike of 67% among 25- to 54-year-old viewers.
With O'Reilly on his show, Colbert garnered 1.64 million viewers, up 50% over last quarter, and his biggest audience ever.
As many folks are aware, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly and Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert decided to finally meet one another and be interviewed on each other shows Thursday night.
Strangely, the segment on the “O’Reilly Factor” was actually much funnier than “The Colbert Report,” as Stephen began: "Iwant you to know that I spend so much time in the world that is spinning all the time, that to be in the no spin zone actually gives me vertigo."
According to ex-CNN reporter Judy Woodruff, both her former network and PBS are "God-fearing, America loving" organizations. The veteran journalist, who is now promoting a documentary on young people for public television, appeared on the Thursday, January 11 edition of Stephen Colbert’s "Colbert Report." Before discussing Ms. Woodruff’s new investigative report, the Comedy Central host shifted into his faux-conservative mode and attacked CNN and PBS. This exchange followed at 11:50pm:
Stephen Colbert: "Now, you used to work for CNN. Now, you're doing this documentary, which sounds fascinating, for PBS. Is that– Is it– But, you've gone from, you know, an organization that clearly hates America to an organization that is proto, like, commie. Is it possible to go further left then PBS on television?"
Judy Woodruff: "Now, no. Absolutely not. You know that's not true."
Colbert: "I do not not know that’s true. I do not not know that’s true? Yes. Bill Moyers is, like, got his Mao’s little red book in his back pocket, right? You're wearing a pink outfit."
Woodruff: "PBS is a God-fearing, America-loving organization. Just like CNN."
In his weekly "Critiquing the Press" chat at washingtonpost.com, Post media reporter (and CNN "Reliable Sources" host) Howard Kurtz oddly suggested that when bar patrons insist on turning off Fox News, a nice, less polarizing compromise would be Comedy Central. (When the left-wing Stewart/Colbert "fake news" is on?)
New York, N.Y.: True Story. Recently I am sitting at an airport bar reading my paper. Fox News is on the TV. A couple walk up to the bar, sit down, and tell the bartender that if he wants their business he needs to turn off Fox News. The bartender walks over to the TV when another man at the bar says 'don't turn on MSNBC!' The bartender looks around not sure what to do. He turns the TV off and goes back to serving drinks. I guess this is what we've come to.
The Center for Media and Public Affairs, the long-time shingle of academic media-bias expert Robert Lichter (have you ever read "The Media Elite"?), has a new study out on just how negative "The Daily Show" was in the week leading up to Election Day 2006. CMPA, also the former home of MRC research guru Rich Noyes, has long specialized in studying the political tilt of TV jokes as well as TV news. This study suggests that if negativity is a problem in our political culture, then Jon Stewart ain’t the solution:
Comedy Central’s highly-rated "Daily Show" program covered the 2006 mid-terms with a nearly unanimous negative tone, according to a new study released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA). While the show bills itself as ‘fake news,’ their reporting prior to the election was 97% negative – far more unfavorable than network news coverage of the Mark Foley scandal, and even of Saddam Hussein – though equally harsh towards Republicans and Democrats.
Say what you will about the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, but he is certainly a good sport. On Tuesday, the well-known conservative set himself up as a witting punching bag for the liberal comedian Jon Stewart on the “Daily Show,” and in between low-blows and kidney punches, Kristol got some good jabs in of his own (video available here).
Stewart’s focus predictably was how poorly the Iraq war is going in his view, and just how wrong President Bush and folks like Kristol were in their predictions for this incursion. As Kristol sat and took the comedic beating with grace and aplomb, he made a marvelous observation about how much differently he was being treated by Stewart as opposed to liberal guests like Barack Obama, and, just the night before, Iowa Governor and presidential candidate Tom Vilsack. What follows is a rough transcript of Kristol’s views concerning Stewart’s interview biases:
On December 18, the first 2008 Democratic presidential candidate made the (soon to be) required pilgrimage to talk with Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." The liberal comedian lavished considerable praise on Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, while attacking President Bush with a vulgar expletive. Though Stewart tried to cast his comments in a humorous style, one has to ask if, in 2008, he’ll be a comedian or simply a high profile booster of the Democratic crop? The Comedy Central host began the interview with typical softballs and then shifted into his standard attack on President Bush:
Jon Stewart: "Are you excited? Is it- Is it a whirlwind so far? Have you been on any bigger shows than this?"
Tom Vilsack: "No. This is it. This is the first show."
Stewart: "You're going to get crushed. [Cheers and applause ]Give me a sense of the Vilsack doctrine, if you would. What is– What do you feel like– You know, we've had a president who was the governor of a state for eight years. The criticism was he didn't have a lot of experience outside of his state and not that he hasn't done a great job but what, what do you bring to the table that's different other than you're not, you know, seemingly an a–[bleeped]." [Cheers and applause ]
Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne attempts to redefine the "real America" as the new headquarters of liberal chic, and picks the fake-newscasters of Comedy Central as the trendiest of left-wing gunslingers:
When the right seemed headed to dominance in the early 1990s, the hot political media trend was talk radio and the star was Rush Limbaugh, a smart entrepreneur who spawned imitators around the country and all across the AM dial.
Now the chic medium is televised political comedy and the cool commentators are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Their brilliant ridicule of the Bush administration and conservative bloviators satisfies a political craving at least as great as the one Limbaugh once fed. Stewart and Colbert speak especially to young Americans who rely on their sensible take on the madness that surrounds us. The young helped drive their popularity, and the Droll Duo in turn shaped a new, anti-conservative skepticism.
In a special edition of MSNBC's Hardball College Tour former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw went on diatribes against the President's war policy, comparing it to Vietnam, praised "rock star" Barack Obama, castigated "blatantly racist" Republican ads, charged Ronald Reagan neglected, "Mother Earth," and declared of the notoriously liberal Daily Show: "There are more facts and more truths told in the first eight minutes of The Daily Show than most political news conferences in Washington."
NBC's Campbell Brown filled in for host Chris Matthews as she teed up questions to Brokaw at Fordham University. The following are some of the more relevant rants from Brokaw:
Appearing on the Monday edition of Comedy Central’s "Colbert Report," PBS host Jim Lehrer dismissed any hint of a liberal agenda, declaring himself "bias-free." The "NewsHour" anchor also indicated that the real problem is the distorted viewers, not slanted reporting:
Stephen Colbert: "Now, um, do you believe that you have a liberal bias?"
Jim Lehrer: "I know I do not have a liberal bias."
Colbert: "You know you have a liberal bias?"
Lehrer: "No. I do not have a liberal bias. I do not have--"
Colbert: "You don't have a liberal bias."
Lehrer:"I don't have a conservative bias either. I don't have any bias. I am bias-free."
Colbert, in his faux conservative tone, continued to press the PBS anchor, leading to Lehrer’s claim that the audience is at fault for perceiving bias:
Colbert: "Oh come on, come on now."
Lehrer: "No, no, no. Bias is what people who hear or read the news bring to the story not what the journalist brings to the reporting."
The November 15 edition of "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central offered more proof of comedian Stephen Colbert's ineffective charade at pretending to be a conservative. The hatred for conservatives comes through loud and clear as Colbert mocked Rush Limbaugh's addiction to Vicodin and compared him to mass-murder-inspiring Charles Manson. Minutes later, he invited Al Franken to do a victory dance for Democrats, and Franken chanted "We took the House and Senate" as he thrusted his pelvis to cheers and applause.
Colbert, the fake conservative, began by announcing his fake anger and sadness at the election returns, and then displayed how "America's newsman, Rush Limbaugh," was dealing with it: " They aired a video clip of Limbaugh's radio show: "But, the way I feel is this: I feel liberated, and I'm going just going, I’m just going to tell you as plainly as I can why: I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried." To which Colbert replied: "It's true. He has carried a lot of water over the years and not just to help him swallow all those pills. (Cheers and applause) But, but you know what? I'll, I’ll let Rush explain."
Appearing on Monday's edition of the "The Colbert Report," Dan Rather promoted his new HDNet investigative series by touting an ability to report "quality news with integrity." The small cable channel will premiere "Dan Rather Reports" on November 14. The show will feature the ex-CBS anchor who famously left his network after overseeing a segment that included forged documents used to attack President Bush. Amazingly, when talking with Comedy Central's Colbert, Rather touted his reputation in Bob Dole-style third person:
Stephen Colbert: "Now, let me ask you something. Now, the show is called ‘Dan Rather Reports.’ Um, what is the show about? Like, what is Dan Rather reporting?"
Dan Rather: "Dan Rather is reporting, hopefully, quality news with integrity. I hope it will be news with guts and spine."
This just sounds too good to be true: Dan Rather's going to be an election pundit tonight....on the fake-news special on Comedy Central. No, really. (There's no mention if the whole hour is being sponsored by Kinko's Copies.) Gail Shister reports in the Philadelphia Inquirer that the CBS/Viacom offshoot is rolling out the red carpet for the disgraced CBS anchorman:
This is not a joke.
Dan Rather will analyze election results with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert tonight at 11 on Comedy Central's live, hour-long Indecision 2006 special.
"It's a risk, I guess, but what the hell," says Rather, who covered every national election since 1962 for CBS before being drop-kicked in June. Now he's global correspondent for Mark Cuban's HDNet.