Christmas is coming, which means it’s time for Comedy Central to begin besmirching the holiday. This year’s first salvo is “A Colbert Christmas,” hosted by the clueless-ultraconservative buffoon persona played by Stephen Colbert. Colbert is so busy manufacturing his O’Reillyesque right-wing jerk that it’s impossible to tell where the real man and the cartoon diverge. His adoring entourage in the secular press tries to smooth over his satires of Christianity by insisting he’s a Sunday school-teaching Catholic family man. Colbert told the Associated Press that he thinks his Christmas special is “sincerely strange, but strangely sincere.”
Why do men like this say such insincere things when promoting their shows? That claim of sincerity vanishes within the first 30 seconds, when Colbert proclaims in his white cardigan and red turtleneck that he’s so excited for his Christmas special he’s "sporting a Yule log" and gets out a baseball bat and promises to provide a "freshly hobbled Tiny Tim." I’m guessing that slogan is also ruined by the scene where he tongue-kisses a bear under the mistletoe.
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:
Shortly before Election Day 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported that the far-left-leaning activist group ACORN gave crack cocaine to one of its Ohio workers in 2004 "in exchange for fraudulent registrations that included underage voters, dead voters and pillars of the community named Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey."
Years later, when a conservative analyst mentioned it on television, H-I-L-A-R-I-T-Y ensued in the liberal media echo chamber at the conservative's expense.
The butt of the jokes this time was my colleague and NewsBusters contributor Matthew Vadum who during his appearance on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" last Thursday had the audacity to say (video available here):
You can officially add "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart to the list of unabashed Sarah Palin haters, for while speaking in front of a crowd at Northeastern University on Friday, the comedian told the Alaska governor "F**k you!"
Unfortunately, as reported by Mary Katherine Ham at the Weekly Standard Sunday evening, there was more to Stewart's invective-filled rant.
Here are some of the lowlights (video embedded right):
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."
"Today" host Matt Lauer scored an interview with "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart for Thursday's show and praised the liberal comic as "one of the most respected and listened to political voices in this country." Continuing his fawning profile, he attributed a rise in the number of young people voting, in part, to the work of Stewart. It was just after that exchange that the comedian jabbed at Republican John McCain.
He asserted the increase in young voters was due to the fact that in this election, "...It helps to have some candidates, you know, who are not necessarily Matlockian," referring to TV character Ben Matlock, played by Andy Griffith and popular with older Americans. Now, it's one thing to say that Stewart's funny, but respected? By liberals, perhaps, but it's obvious that much of his appeal to members of the media derives from his partisan, relentless bashing of conservatives and Republicans. Tom Brokaw, another NBC luminary, wrote a profile on the comic for the April 18, 2005 issue of Time in which he rather ridiculously referred to the Comedy Central host as "our Athenian, a voice for democratic ideals and the noble place of citizenship, helped along by the sound of laughter." [Emphasis added]
Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" is clearly doing its part to create unity within the Democrat party.
On Tuesday, TDS's John Oliver spoke with a group of Clinton supporters who aren't giving up the fight to get Hillary the presidential nomination.
Not understanding their anguish, Oliver sought the assistance of a child psychologist to not only explain the mental malady, but also put the afflicted guests through some exercises that will hopefully cure them in time to allow Barack Obama to defeat John McCain in November (video embedded after the fold, mild vulgarity):
The Times' liberal book critic Michiko Kakutani profiled Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," and managed not to notice he's a liberal (as are the vast majority of his fans).
A picture of Stewart on the set takes up the entire above-the-fold space of the Sunday Arts & Leisure section, under the headline, "Is This the Most Trusted Man in America?" The same liberal instincts that dominate Kakutani's book reviews are evident in her long, flattering profile of Stewart and the cast of the liberal "Daily Show," of which Kakutani is clearly a fan.
"Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo launched an unlikely attack on liberal comedian Jon Stewart during Thursday's show. After discussing possible media bias against John McCain, and playing a clip of the "Daily Show" host mocking the senator, Cuomo warned, "I'll offer you the other side. You gotta be careful of friends like these with Stewart. Clearly a lefty. Clearly pro-Obama."
Referring, presumably, to McCain's nearly even status in many polls, Cuomo continued, "A lot of this country may not feel the same way. May be a little bit of a reflection. You know? Kind of trying to come to McCain's aide 'cause everyone else seems to be for the other guy." Co-host Diane Sawyer concurred, noting the tightness of the race. She also casually admitted to the media's obsession with Obama: "...They keep pointing out in the McCain camp that he's taken three foreign trips in the past four months and not one network anchor joined him and all three show up for Obama." Of course, the GMA anchor didn't continue that thought any further, examine the significance of her admission or even Cuomo's comment that "everyone else seems to be for the other guy."
Chief foreign correspondent for CBS News Lara Logan appeared on Tuesday's "Daily Show With Jon Stewart" to declare that she doesn't watch American news (that would presumably include her own network). She also decried, "If I were to watch the news that you're hearing in the United States, I'd just blow my brains out. 'Cause it would drive me nuts." (How does CBS feel about this?)
What became apparent in the segment was the journalist's distaste for both American journalism, which she is a part of, and her belief that Americans don't really care about Iraq. In addition to answering "no" when asked if she watches the news, host Jon Stewart proceeded to question her about Iraqi violence not getting enough media coverage. The Comedy Central anchor queried, "Have we lost our humanity with this entire situation?" "Yeah, we have," Logan agreed.
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers appeared on Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, and delivered a long-winded defense of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who he said was "assassinated by soundbites." Moyers regurgitated the original, discredited Obama line, that out of 200,000 minutes from the pulpit, "His whole life, his whole ministry, his whole career was being summed up in sound bites that added up to no more than 20 seconds endlessly played through the media grinder of our national press." Wright was just making a few errors, like most of us do, he argued: "All of us have made absurd statements. I know that Rev. Wright, whom I had never met before this, was no doubt, had misspoken and made some erratic statements and all that. Most of us do." [audio available here]
Update (Ken Shepherd | May 9): Our good friend Mark Levin sent along an audio clip from his May 8 radio program wherein he addressed Jon Stewart's ludicrous comparison.You can access the audio here.
On Wednesday night’s edition of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, host Jon Stewart interviewed John McCain. As part of his ongoing outrage that the Reverend Wright issue would be raised against Barack Obama, Stewart sprung it on McCain that President Bush is his own Reverend Wright problem. He liked this “fascinating” analysis so much he repeated it, and suggested when it comes to Team Bush and al-Qaeda, “our policies are their Reverend Wright-- isn't he the guy they throw out there and inflame their base and get support? Don't you think he's actually been okay for al-Qaeda?” McCain answered by declaring the terrorists were a “transcendent evil” beyond one politician.
Stewart seemed to be citing an NBC poll (slightly wrongly) that found 32 percent of voters expressed concern about Obama’s relationship with Rev. Wright, but 43 percent were concerned by Sen. McCain’s relationship to President Bush. Stewart formulated his jokey question as if he were about to question McCain about being endorsed by harshly anti-Catholic minister John Hagee:
The Associated Press today wins first place for the most misleading headline in the MSM by saying that a study shows that Jon Stewart's Comedy Central "The Daily Show" show is somehow "a lot like" Bill O'Reilly's "The O'Reilly Factor." The Thursday May 8 report is flippantly headlined, "Study of 'Daily Show': It's a lot like O'Reilly," but the following report does not exactly confirm the headline. It appears that the AP's distorted headline was meant to equate "The O'Reilly Factor" to comedy in order to impugn the serious character of the hit Fox show and make of it but an exercise in comedy.
On The Daily Show on Comedy Central Tuesday night, Jon Stewart pressed former Speaker Newt Gingrich to agree that Reverend Jeremiah Wright should not be a major story, that every candidate and president has a "preacher who’s said crazy things." Stewart professed he was "really stunned" by the media’s focus, and he asked, "Isn't the silliness of this now boiling down to the strategy of shouldn't we be focusing on whether this is truly an issue?" He also claimed Wright is like many ministers, black and white: "Don't white preachers have very similar beliefs, but when they counsel a candidate, nobody really focuses on them?"
Gingrich was playful, but firm: "I think if you replaced the word, the various things he said about white America, like Ku Klux Klan America, if you replace those with the word ‘black’ and you imagine a white racist preacher who was as vehement as Reverend Wright, he would literally be ostracized in this culture." He also raised Obama’s connection to Weather Underground figure William Ayers. But Stewart wasn’t budging: "I think if he played that game of six degrees of separation with other candidates you could probably find equally vile characters circling the universe."
Last night's episode of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", Stewart declared his frustration with the constant Democratic campaign coverage on his show. He decided to take a break on his "Cluster F--- to the White House" coverage and report on other topics. His closing remarks summed up his entire show, "... I think we mentioned the word penis in every act so far tonight." It may not be that big of a shock to those who watch Comedy Central that Jon Stewart would take on such a theme for a show, but it seems a little low how far he took it through some parts of the show.
In the first segment Jon Stewart claims that he will not talk about a popular story, but ultimately does by mentioning it. "Except we're going to do a little international news and no we're not doing the Congolese penis panic theft story. Although ,apparently, it really is a story in the Congo. Penis theft panic in the Congo, by the way you would be surprised about how few penises you have to steal to create a panic; really it's just one or two."
John Stewart followed up that story by making this derogatory remark about John McCain in the next part of the show. It is at this point when the show sinks to a whole new level.
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.
For those interested in a political giggle this fine Saturday, I recommend a cute sketch done by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart Thursday evening (embedded right).
First, Stewart lampooned Chris Wallace for placing a "24"-style ticker on the screen to illustrate how long it's been since the host of "Fox News Sunday" challenged Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama to come on his program.
Next, Stewart went after "Hardball's" Chris Matthews for his shameless cheerleading for Obama.
Yet, in the end, Obama had the last laugh, deliciously at Matthews' expense (viewers are cautioned about mild vulgarity in the clip):
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.
White House press secretary Dana Perino appeared on The Daily Show Thursday night, and host Jon Stewart disparaged former spokesman Ari Fleischer as looking like a caveman. When Perino protested that Fleischer had a female following, Stewart cracked "Is that like the women who visit murderers in prison? Like the serial killer kind of a thing?" Perino said most questions don’t fluster her, except when Helen Thomas will "ask a question that is not based on fact." Stewart asked:
"Now do you find, now that the mood has shifted, I mean, you went through a period where, I mean, they were going through press secretaries, Ari Fleischer, McClellan, Tony Snow, and then we always used to make a little attractiveness chart because it seemed like the evolution of man in terms of --
Perino: They wouldn’t wear pink.
Stewart: Because Fleischer was, let's face facts, tough to look at. (Laughter)
Lewis Black is a stand-up comedian. His shtick is foam-flecked fits of rage and profanity. Amazon.com advertised one of his DVDs by promising "There's eye-crossing, teeth-gnashing, raspy-voiced yelling, and liberal use of the F-word." In his show at Washington’s Warner Theatre, Black complained the Kennedy Center refused their facilities on the grounds that he dropped F-bombs 42 times in his first hour-long HBO special.
With a record like that, it should be no surprise that he’s a star on Comedy Central, that venomous Viacom property that markets mockery of everything polite, charitable, and (especially) holy. Black is the star of a brand-new Comedy Central show, named "The Root of All Evil." Comedians act like prosecutors, with Black as judge, trying to determine which of two allegedly evil forces is worse. The battle for the debut episode: Oprah Winfrey vs. the Catholic Church.
This is the same hate-spewing channel that mocked the Pope on "South Park" and skewered Catholicism on the holiday special "Merry F—ing Christmas." Now, on the cusp of the Easter celebration, it’s Catholic-hunting season again.
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."
Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, during an hour-long appearance on CNN’s "Larry King Live," didn’t take the New York Times story on "the possibility of a relationship between John McCain some years back and a female lobbyist" seriously, which, as King put it, was "in the embryonic stages" during the show. "[T]his has an awfully tired and dusty feel to it, in terms of the way that political reporting has been going." Stewart went on to criticize some of the Times’ reporting. "You know, The New York Times does some pretty amazing reporting and The New York Times puts stuff out there that is as sort of spurious at times. You know, Judy Miller's reports in The New York Times were about as fictional as James Frey's, you know, ‘Million Little Pieces.’"
King began the second segment of his program, which started about 10 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour, by bringing up the Times story and after summarizing its contents, read a statement that had been issued by McCain’s campaign. He then asked for Stewart’s take on it. Stewart admitted that John McCain "is someone who I have great respect for" and thought that "this is a strange time to be injecting it into the race." He also lamented the entire situation. "It's just -- it's a shame and I feel badly for him and I feel badly for his family, because they're lovely people."
Meacham appeared on Comedy Central's January 21 "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and told viewers the media gear reporting toward conflict.
"I absolutely believe that the media is not ideologically driven, but conflict driven," Meacham said. "If we have a bias it's not that people are socially liberal, fiscally conservative or vice versa. It is that we are engaged in the storytelling business. And if you tell the same story again and again and again - it's kind of boring."
Isn't it often the case that over-confident braggarts are typically insecure types masking their own short-comings with undeservingly cocky bravado?
After all, one would think the president of the cable news network whose ratings in virtually every time slot have plummeted for years would be a little humble when referring to his competition in the industry.
Quite the contrary, in an interview with the New York Observer, CNN's Jonathan Klein behaved like he was running the Yankees, and Fox News Channel was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (emphasis added throughout):
Ann Coulter's been a naughty girl! She has to go sit a time out in the corner, according to Chris Matthews, who's withdrawing the distinct and high honor of inviting the columnist on "Hardball" as punishment for the Donny Deutsch row, which was hyped by the liberal smear machine Media Matters for America.
And I thought that was only reserved for attractive business reporters who didn't lean into the camera.