Milling around the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally today, I couldn't quite figure out the point. The acoustics were so bad also that you could barely hear anything unless you were right by the stage. Straining here and there, I was able to catch a smattering of dialogue but Colbert and Stewart really could not be heard during most of the time in the various locations I was at. Not being able to hear anything didn't seem to bother most of the attendees however, most of whom were wandering around looking at many of the funny (and attempted funny) signs.
Not all of the signs were trying to be funny, however. Most of the ire of the angry demonstrators seemed to be directed against Glenn Beck and Fox News. There were also a few anti-Republican signs as well, including at least one of Republican politicians Sarah Palin, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor with Adolph Hitler mustaches alongside conservative talk show hosts Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.
One of the biggest liberal-media promoters of the Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert rally is Time TV writer James Poniewozik. His piece in the Time magazine leading up to the event was syrupy (starting with the heroic artwork). The headline was “Can These Guys Be Serious? Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert want to restore reason to public life.” Time highlighted this sentence: "The rally is based on the essence of Stewart's and Colbert's comedy: the defense of rationality in an irrational age."
Poniewozik knows their shows are liberal. Time didn't highlight his admission that "Both hosts are liberal." Even the left-leaning Pew Reseach Center found in study three months of Stewart shows in 2007 that Stewart's humor targeted Republicans more than three times as often as Democrats.
But Poniewozik has the been the main cheerleader of the viewpoint that Jon and Steve can be comedians and leftists at the same time, satirical figures and protest leaders. In fact, as many liberals have proclaimed, Poniewozik thinks this takes them to a whole new plateau of relevance: "In other words, two comedians are taking it upon themselves to say America is making itself look ridiculous. They're taking a risk in doing it. Idealism can be the death of funny, which is why, as Stewart himself has put it, comedians 'don't lead a lot of marches.' But the very attempt demonstrates that the cable comedy hosts have become the most relevant voices in late-night TV."
A panel full of liberals on Wednesday's Good Morning America attacked the "angry, white" Tea Partiers and lauded the historical importance of Jon Stewart. Daily Beast editor Tina Brown gushed over the liberal comedian as " the only trusted branch of government." [MP3 audio here. Click on blog for video.]
Previewing the comic's rally on Washington this Saturday, the former Vanity Fair editor hyperbolically enthused, "You know, I mean, in the end, Stewart and Colbert, really are like the Huntley and Brinkley of today in the sense that people really, really trust them."
GMA host George Stephanopoulos also featured D.L. Hughley. The actor dismissed Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movement: "There were a bunch of angry, white people, saying they wanted their freedom back. If that doesn't call for some kind of answer. Like it's the white Harriet Tubman somewhere." The Morning Mix panel, a regular feature on GMA, featured no conservative voices.
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!
The pile of liberal guests (and guest hosts) on ABC's The View Tuesday led to breathless admiration and excitement all around. Washington Post TV writer Lisa de Moraes noticed that guest host Maria Shriver cooed to comedian Stephen Colbert about the liberal Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear on October 30: "My daughter [Christina Schwarzenegger] goes to Georgetown and she's so excited to come to the rally. What should she expect?"
This must thrill liberal hearts, who want something (anything) that fires up liberal young people.
Barbara Walters was feeling warm and fuzzy introducing her good friend Arianna Huffington: "Full disclosure. This is a day when I have two -- with Maria and Arianna, when I have two women I have known forever. We have known each other for 30 years. [Referring to Huffington, and clutching her hand,] I am the godmother to her eldest child. So I'm slightly prejudiced." She waved around the cover of the new Forbes magazine Power Women issue, with Huffington on the cover.
Colbert, that "potent evangelist" for Catholics, was asked about teaching "Sunday school" (which isn't really Catholic terminology), and he joked about teaching about a "loosey-goosey Jesus."
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):
Liberal comedian Stephen Colbert's joke-testimony to Congress may have been a low moment for the House of Representatives, but apparently, to reporters, it makes him a symbol of holiness. Kimberly Winston of the Religion News Service hailed Colbert in an article that appeared in Saturday's Washington Post.
"And, you know, whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, and these seem like the least of our brothers right now," Colbert said, quoting Jesus. "Migrant workers suffer and have no rights."
It was a different kind of religious message than Colbert typically delivers on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," where he often pokes fun at religion - even his own Catholic Church - in pursuit of a laugh. Yet it was the kind of serious faith that some of his fellow Catholics say makes him a serious, covert and potent evangelist for their faith.
"Anytime you talk about Jesus or Christianity respectfully the way he does, it is evangelization," said the Rev. Jim Martin, associate editor of the Jesuit magazine America, who has appeared on Colbert's show four times. "He is preaching the gospel, but I think he is doing it in a very postmodern way."
In case Arianna Huffington plotting to spend an estimated quarter-million dollars on buses to the liberal Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally didn’t paint it as an Obama event, how about Oprah Winfrey? The Obama-endorsing, Obama-campaign-stumping Winfrey appeared via satellite on Thursday night’s episode of The Daily Show to announce that she was going to fly Stewart’s audience to Washington, D.C., for the so-called Stewart half, the “Rally to Restore Sanity."
"I know that you've got this huge event coming up, and I'm really excited about it, because I think that we need a bit more sanity in the world," she said. "I'm sorry, Stephen, I'm not for the fear part, I'm for the sanity part. And I wanted to show my support for you, Jon, and also for your audience...(applause) so here's what I did. I had my staff sneak into your studio early this morning with a little gift. Okay?" She told the Daily Show audience to look under their seats, where they found red envelopes, which they opened. A woman screamed at the top of her lungs: "We're going to the rally!" Oprah repeated "You're going to the rally" four times. “Now get out there and restore some sanity!”
Colbert crowed: “I've gotta say, just for the record, Jon, your rally was supposed to be about sanity, and that was insane!”
Media reporter Michael Calderone at The Upshot reported on Thursday that National Public Radio officials were surprised the outpouring of attention they drew with a memo insisting reporters shouldn't attend the liberal Comedy Central rallies of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. When Calderone asked NPR senior vice president Dana Davis Rehm why there was no memo for the Glenn Beck Restoring Honor rally or the recent liberal One Nation event, she explained that NPR felt "it was obvious to everyone that these were overtly political events" and staff would surely know not to attend. "It's different with the Colbert and Stewart rallies; they are ambiguous," she continued. "But their rallies will be perceived as political by many, whatever we think. As such, they are off limits except for those covering the events."
Calderone asked other media outlets if they had a policy on the Stewart-Colbert event. ABC said it would follow a similar policy to NPR, to be present only as journalists and observers. An NBC News spokeswoman responded in a statement: "NBC News prohibits employees who function in an editorial role from participating at partisan events, however on a case by case basis we have permitted MSNBC hosts to participate in such events."
The Washington Post sent out a similar-sounding memo to staff about being observers, not participants:
The Poynter Institute's Romenesko website published a memo (sent today, and leaked today) from Ellen Weiss, senior vice president for news at National Public Radio insisting to the staff that they cannot attend the liberal Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rallies on October 30.
NPR journalists may not participate in marches and rallies involving causes or issues that NPR covers, nor should they sign petitions or otherwise lend their name to such causes, or contribute money to them. This restriction applies to the upcoming John [sic] Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies.
Glynnis McNicol at Mediaite quipped: "No word on whether NPR issued a similar memo prior to Glenn Beck's rally in August…I’m going to hazard a guess it probably wasn’t needed." Uh, yes. It could be argued NPR already gave Stewart an extremely positive promotion on Fresh Air with Terry Gross on October 4. (It was a Gross-out.) Weiss also said it would be wrong to advocate for political issues -- that "you could not" advocate, ahem, in your day job at NPR:
Columnist Charles Krauthammer scoured congressional Democrats on Friday in The Washington Post for failing to pass any appropriations bills or even introduce a bill extending any of the Bush tax cuts. The title was "The Colbert Democrats." He concluded:
As if this display of unseriousness -- no budget, no appropriations bills, no tax bill -- were not enough, some genius on a House Judiciary subcommittee invites parodist Stephen Colbert to testify as an expert witness on immigration. He then pulls off a nervy mockery of the whole proceedings -- my favorite was his request to have his colonoscopy inserted in the Congressional Record -- while the chairwoman sits there clueless.
A fitting end for the 111th Congress. But not quite. Colbert will return to the scene of the crime on Oct. 30 as the leader of one of two mock rallies on the Mall. Comedian Jon Stewart leads the other. At a time of near-10 percent unemployment, a difficult and draining war abroad, and widespread disgust with government overreach and incompetence, they will light up the TV screens as the hip face of the new liberalism -- just three days before the election.
Is it funny to suggest Christine O'Donnell is a murderer? Stephen Colbert thought so, in a skit last Wednesday. On Friday night's Real Time with Bill Maher, instead of playing a real clip from his old show Politically Incorrect, Maher created a fake one, so O'Donnell could be smeared as a killer. Alex Bornstein, the actress who performs the voice of Lois on Fox's Family Guy, put on a frumpy dress and curly wig to play O'Donnell, and said: "Like, you know, one time, during a game of Truth or Dare, me and my friend Becky killed a Mexican."
Edie McClurg (best known as the principal's secretary on Ferris Bueller's Day Off) then said, "Ohhhh, that's f---ed up." Earlier in the skit, the fake O'Donnell also reported she had repeated pregnancies to sell stem cells and thought anal sex was approved in the Bible:
FAKE O'DONNELL: We've all done things we regret. In college, you know, we used to get pregnant all the time on purpose, just so we could sell the stem cells. I'm not proud of that! It's just, it was the 80's, you know?
CHRISTOPHER "KID" REID: That's messed up, right there.
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):
What happens when the Left likes Stephen Colbert more than Jon Stewart? In a Tuesday interview on taxpayer-funded Pacifica Radio program Democracy Now, radical lefty Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com loved Colbert's "March to Keep Fear Alive," but did not like the centrist-against-extremists pose of Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity," since all the extremism is on the Right, and there's only tiny fringes of that on the Left. First, Colbert:
Well, that, I think, is actually something that I found incredibly encouraging, because the rally there is “to keep fear alive.” And, of course, the American right is dependent, more than anything else, on fear. And as we talked about earlier, Democrats use fear, as well, to motive their base. And so, the role that fear plays in our political culture and the way in which politicians exploit that, I think, is one of the most central issues. And to the extent this rally is designed to mock that, I think that’s a good thing.
It turns out that Colbert's fake-conservative bashing of "Fear" is a more authentic liberal pose than Stewart's phony centrism, but Greenwald resents Stewart's "Million Moderates March" pose precisely because of his "very influential voice" in the media and on the Left:
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):
Personally, I completely agree with Glenn Reynolds that having this idiot Colbert testify was nothing more than a Democrat stunt to take the media's eye off the very real and important testimony also taking place today regarding the Justice Department's racism scandals. So the more cringe-worthy and embarrassing Colbert's appearance is, the better. Naturally, the MSM will be all too willing to play along. They fully understand how damaging the DOJ Black Panther case is to the Obama Administration and have no desire to come anywhere near covering it.
And of course, there's Stephen Colbert, just as willing to play along - a narcissistic attention whore with no respect for the political process who thinks his schtick combined with a ten hour day he spent in the vegetable fields somehow makes him a compelling and important witness.
The one good thing that came out of this is Colbert's reaction to Conyers' request that he leave. It's not very often you see a smug, superior Hollywoodist caught off guard.
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....
When Joe Scarborough wondered out loud "how many times can you set your hair on fire?" before viewers stop being shocked, you might have thought he was talking about Keith Olbermann, the man whose scenery-chewing soliloquies inspired an instant-classic Saturday Night Live skit.
On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski and Joe took turns ripping Beck's promotion of the rally at the Lincoln Memorial he's staging Saturday on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Riffing off a Colbert Show segment showing clips of Beck, Mika claimed he sounded like a drama student "on crack." Scarborough, suggesting Mika might have gone too far, surmised Beck might merely have taken "stupid pills."
Conservative talk-show host and The Obama Diaries author Laura Ingraham appeared to promote her book Wednesday night on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central. Fake-conservative Stephen Colbert suggested the Republicans didn’t have a visible agenda. But he really went after Ingraham in claiming it was somehow one of “the most hideous, hackneyed racial stereotypes” to joke that Michelle Obama ate baby back ribs.
What? All those Chili’s “I want my baby back, baby back, baby back” ads were only designed for black customers? Obviously, there are more hackneyed culinary stereotypes than that. Ingraham was clearly trying to mock how Eat Right Michelle (if you’re not lost in one of those “food deserts”) probably pigs out on less healthy food in private. Colbert ripped the author’s “diaries” as horribly written (Video below the cut):
COLBERT: What are the odds that Barack Obama’s private musings would completely and perfectly match up with the narrative the right is trying to push about him?
Appearing on Monday’s The Colbert Report on Comedy Central to promote his book, "The Promise," MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter – also of Newsweek – asserted that President Barack Obama had "prevented another Great Depression," and declared that Obama had it more difficult than Franklin Delano Roosevelt because he had to "sweep up" like a "shovel brigade" after President Bush, as he used a word that had to be bleeped out for airing. Alter: "He proceeded to make history almost right away, not only because he was the first African-American elected President ... we were all living history. This man prevented another Great Depression."
He soon added: "At the beginning, FDR only had to deal with domestic problems. Obama was left to run what you could call a shovel brigade, you know, the guys who sweep up after the elephants when the elephants leave their s- (BLEEP) all over the circus, right? ... Roosevelt didn't have to deal with foreign policy when he became President. Obama had to deal with a whole nother mess, one of Bush's messes, in Afghanistan."
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):
Is it possible to be so wrapped up in a media culture that one could minimize a sacred religious holiday in a shoddy attempt to write a clever headline? Mediaite's Tommy Christopher and his editors seemed to have pulled this feat off.
Christopher, who has had a much-publicized run-in with Andrew Breitbart, has a new hero, former American Enterprise Institute scholar David Frum. Christopher elevated Frum to messianic status in a Good Friday April 2 post headlined "Did David Frum ‘Die' For GOP's Sins?" specifically praising the former AEI scholar for his appearance on Comedy Central's April 1 "The Colbert Report."
Unsurprisingly, the Washington Post granted editorial-page space on Saturday to leftist Jim Wallis to vent against Glenn Beck for opposing "social justice." But here's the weirdest part:
Journalists, cable and radio talk shows, and even Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have reported on or spoofed Beck's attempt to discredit this concept.
Even the left-wing comedians have spoofed Beck? And yet, I don't recall Wallis the Outraged Christian saying anything about Colbert's Christmas special, which joked that the Christians would like to murder the ACLU in their beds, and that Christians are just like Muslims in believing in a "dark and spiteful God."
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)