One of the first things anyone should know about NPR host Terry Gross is that she deeply loves Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Her almost 40-minute interview on Thursday's Fresh Air with Colbert wrapped up with a gooey valentine about what a comedic patriot he is. (We’ll come back to that.)
She must have loved how Colbert, the one always making conservatives look like idiots who hate books, denounced Romney as a “walking wound” and an “apostate heretic” in a "cult" that shouldn't lead "God's chosen country." It’s just another liberal-pleasing day on the airwaves of your taxpayer-funded network of more than 700 affiliates.
They began by discussing the upcoming debate (even though the show aired a day after). Colbert insisted nobody likes Mitt Romney:
GROSS: So we are recording this interview on Wednesday, October 3rd, the day of the first presidential debate. So the first presidential debate will be happening in the evening of this day that we are recording. What are you going to be doing to prepare for your coverage of the first presidential debate?
COLBERT: It's extensive. I'm going to try to get home in time to watch it, for one thing, so I know what they said. And I'm hoping that Romney can get his act together in this debate, because as a conservative pundit, or rather playing a conservative pundit, I'm so - it's so difficult for me right now to get behind Mitt Romney.
It's incredibly frustrating to me as a performer, who has to model behavior that is so schizophrenic and so bifurcated because it's an almost unprecedented candidacy as far as I can tell. Nobody seems to like him, even the people who are behind him. And there isn't sort of a monolithic point of view for me to base my own satire on.
Basically the satire of my character in relation to Mitt Romney, now, is how night to night I can change my mind, and I can be hopeful or in despair from night to night, because I have - I have no point of reference for what's happening now. Even McCain in 2008, post Lehman Brothers, you know, might have seemed like a bit of a winged duck, but people still liked him. People were still behind him.
And I really - I hope Mitt - I mean, listen, I have my own political opinions, but as a performer, I hope he does something positive so that there is something for me to rally behind, because that's what my character wants to do. He wants to get behind him. He wants to rally. He wants to have a champion that he can champion, and that just doesn't exist in Mitt Romney right now. He's just a walking wound.
Gross delighted in Colbert’s typically religion-bashing interview with evangelical pastor Jim Garlow, who believes ministers should endorse a candidate from the pulpit, IRS inspectors be damned:
COLBERT: I've always supported Mitt Romney, but it's been in conflict with my Catholic faith, because I know that he's a member of a cult, okay? But now, now I am free to exercise my Catholic belief that he is an apostate heretic who should not hold the highest office in the land in God's chosen country. You agree that I should be able to preach that about him?
GARLOW: I absolutely do.
COLBERT: ...I know now that if a preacher says vote for X candidate or Y candidate, and that candidate loses, I know I've got a loser god, OK. Or if that candidate turns out to be corrupt, I know that my god was false, and I can move on to a new one. Don't you think that's one of the nice things about getting politics all over religion, is that we can get that kind of acrimony and that hate toward each other over our religions in a fresh way? [end clip]
GROSS: That is very funny, but I so, I just love -- the way you handled that is so odd. I kept thinking: So what does Stephen Colbert really believe in all of this, you know? Because you're just, you're walking the line so well between, like, your character and your own beliefs, like you've just told us that for real, you think, you know, people in their churches or synagogues or, you know, mosques, should be able to speak about politics and endorse a candidate, but you're not really looking for the kind of hate that you're talking about.
When NPR-style liberals start talking about mixing religion and politics, they see only dangers, and of course, they see no danger at all at the mixing of liberal journalism and taxpayer money, that there’s no separation of press and state. That’s exactly the way they like it, promoting Obama and secular progressivism in 40-minute “Fresh Air” chunks. Here’s how Colbert blows his ACLU horn:
COLBERT: I also think that it's a very dangerous thing to do, not just for our politics, but it's also dangerous for the faith of the people who are exercising that right. Because they seem to think that it's a one-way membrane, that they'll get religion into our politics, but they're ignoring the fact that politics will come right back through that gate onto our religion.
And if you actually have a political party that is this religion or a political party that is that religion, I think that's a short road to the kind of religious civil war, whether or not it's actually an armed war, but religious civil war that we fled in Europe. America has avoided that. And I think our politics are so horrible these days, and that why anyone would want that horrible tar on something as fragile of faith is beyond me.
Colbert then explained how he wanted to pick at the scab of evangelical support for a Mormon candidate. Since both interviewer and interviewee are liberals who are hard-wired to ignore the obvious point that Romney would make common cause with conservative Christians in standing in the way of every "advance" the Libertine Left would impose, the point was to frustrate the conservatives and satirize them:
GROSS: And the point about Romney being an apostate who shouldn't hold the office in God's chosen country is...
COLBERT: Well, that occurred to me kind of at the last minute. That occurred to me at the last minute, and I thought, well, you know what? It's not even just that politics will get on our religion, but I thought if you - like why - this guy is an Evangelical Christian. Why would he be voting for Romney?
If you're talking about biblical truths that inform - biblical truths must inform our decisions, and if the Bible is inerrant, you know, and the word of God, every word of it, then I - you know, it doesn't matter to me. I would vote for someone who's a Mormon. But I don't understand someone who believes that the Bible is inerrant, and every word is straight from the mouth of God would then vote for somebody who believes that after Jesus rose from the dead, he took a hard left and went to America. Because that's not our tradition, that's not in the truth of our book.
Colbert really shouldn't call it "our book." He hasn't sincerely stood for the Bible in any way other than to make insincere muggy-faces at Christians and slice and dice their words when they're dumb enough to grant him taped interviews. Finally, here is where Gross just oozes all over Colbert about his "patriotic" work:
GROSS: You know what I often think about watching your show? How patriotic you are in your own way of doing it. I mean you have been to Iraq. Things you just mentioned. You been to Iraq to entertain the troops. You've sponsored our team in the Winter Olympics. You had a superPAC. You've fake run for office. You've held a political rally to kind of stop hatred and contrariness in politics. You've donated a lot of money to veterans groups. Do you have this sense of America because of what you've been doing, you know, that you never quite had before doing this character?
COLBERT: I would say..
GROSS: I just feel this like love of country coming from you that is expressing itself in a very different form than the word patriotism usually describes.
COLBERT: I do love our country and I'm very grateful to have been born here and to have the freedoms that I have. And I try not to take that for granted and I think it is the greatest country. It is the best hope of mankind, and for all of sort of the democracies of Western Europe or any of our allies, I think it is, by far, the finest system of government in the world.
This is a bit like the "our book" thing. Colbert's game is to be completely insincere, playing a patriotic idiot. He's hawking a new book subtitled how America is "Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't," and but he's granted 40-minute interviews on NPR so he can be honored as Uncle Sam. It's unbelievable.
But guess what? Gross promised there's a "Part Two!" Because 40 minutes is never enough when you love Jon and Stephen!