Comedy Central’s fake conservative Stephen Colbert is known for mocking conservatives by pretending to be an ignorant one. Colbert, who in real life is more liberal than his co-worker Jon Stewart, has decided to make a mockery of the plethora of scandals facing the Obama administration rather than address the seriousness of them as his colleague.
On the May 20 edition of The Colbert Report on May 20, the host created an “Obama Scandal Booth” to mock the Benghazi, IRS, AP and now Fox News scandals surrounding the Obama administration. Colbert proceeded to enter the booth and, “like my colleagues, grasp wildly at any accusation.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Rather than address the seriousness of Benghazi, Colbert chose to mock the 41 percent of Republicans a recent poll shows believe Benghazi is the biggest scandal in American history. Colbert glommed on to another statistic showing 39 percent of Republicans don’t know where Benghazi is:
Folks, I say this just proves that the scandal is global from Benghazi, Argentina, all the way to Benghazi, Japan. This could even hurt Obama in his hometown of Benghazi, Illinois.
Colbert then downplayed the IRS scandal, in which IRS officials singled out conservative and Tea Party organizations for extra scrutiny when applying for 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) tax-exempt statuses. Colbert, who has his own 501(c)(4), summed up the scandal as such:
Yes, a (c)(4) is like a Super PAC that doesn't have to reveal its donors which means they could be anyone from one of the Koch brothers all the way to the other Koch brother. And it is all perfectly legal as long as politics isn't the group's primary activity meaning your 501(c)(4) can spend 49% of its efforts producing ads calling Barack Obama a socialist as long as it spends the other 51% doing something good for the community like educating our children that Barack Obama is a socialist.
Colbert summed up his mockery of Obama scandals by ridiculously claiming that:
And folks, I hope you're sitting down because I have never received IRS approval for my (c)(4). Very good. Is it possible that this whole scandal is really about me? I'll check. It's about you. I knew it.
Perhaps Colbert would feel differently about the IRS scandal if he were asked about the content of his prayers, like some conservative applicants were. Lord knows his prayers for his sister's congressional campaign weren't answered.
See relevant transcript below.
The Colbert Report
May 20, 2013
11:31 p.m. Eastern
STEPHEN COLBERT: You know, folks, if you watch the news like I do, it seems like lately President Obama cannot swing a dead cat without hitting some sort of scandal. Which reminds me, what's he doing with all these dead cats? The challenge is, folks, which one to cover. Well, as always, I look to my journalistic heroes: Cronkite, Murrow, Barker. So tonight, I am proud to introduce for the first time on the Colbert Report the Obama scandal booth. Welcome. Welcome to the Obama scandal booth. Brought to you by Mazda and the scandalously sleek redesign of the all new 2014 Mazda six. Mazda: It's not your father's Oldsmobile. Because it's a Mazda. Now inside this booth are slips of paper, each with the name of a White House scandal: IRS, A.P., Benghazi, immortal scorpion soldiers. Oh, it's coming out. And just moments from now, ladies and gentlemen, I will enter the booth and, like my colleagues, grasp wildly at any accusation that floats past. Ten seconds... Jimmy, ten seconds on the clock, please. Jimmy. Let's get ready to scandal. And tonight's scandal is Benghazi. Yes, Benghazi. Following the tragic attacks of eight months ago, Benghazi and the rumored cover-up has become problem number one for the Obama administration.
NARA SCHIAVOCAMPO: Some Republicans say the Benghazi scandal will cause President Obama's downfall. A survey from Public Policy Polling shows 41% of Republicans consider it is to be the biggest political scandal in American history.
COLBERT: Yes, Benghazi is the biggest scandal since sliced bread was caught funneling money to Nicaraguan death squads. Folks, if Republicans are angry now, imagine how they'll feel when they learn where Benghazi is.
SCHIAVOCAMPO: Of the Republicans 39% don't know where Benghazi is. 10 percent think it’s in Egypt, 9 percent think it’s in Iran 6% think it's in Cuba—
COLBERT: Folks, I say this just proves that the scandal is global from Benghazi, Argentina, all the way to Benghazi, Japan. This could even hurt Obama in his hometown of Benghazi, Illinois. Now, Republicans have accused the White House and State Department of partisan, political white washing of the talking points that Ambassador Susan Rice used on the Sunday shows after the attack to help Obama's re-election. But White House Spokesman Jay Carney repeatedly denied the White House or State Department made substantive changes to the talking points but on may 10, ABC News super sleuth Jonathan Karl uncovered an email from the White House's Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes which said and John Karl quoted, quote, we must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities including those of the State Department. A White House email implicating the State Department and boom goes the scandal-mite. You see with this email Jay Carney is a liar and these folks are in this scandal up to their ball-ghazis. End of story. Except the actual story.
JAKE TAPPER: We obtained an actual copy of the Ben Rhodes' email. And he doesn't mention the State Department. He doesn't mention talking points.
MAJOR GARRETT: There is no evidence, Scott, the White House orchestrated these changes.
CHRIS WALLACE: There is no indication in any of these emails of any partisan deleting, scrubbing of the facts.
COLBERT: Shut up, Chris. You're on Fox News, for God's sakes. I mean, what part of "fair and balanced" do you understand? Anyway, so what. Jonathan Karl didn't need the original email. He has a simple explanation. "This is how I reported the contents of that email, quoting verbatim a source who reviewed the original documents and shared detailed notes." Yes, Karl never saw the email so when he quoted from it, those quotes were in quotes. I mean, that's just what you call journalism. Now I was surprised...I was surprised that this past Sunday Jon Karl wasn't on "This Week w/ George Stephanapoulos" or at the very least "walking back your statements with the stars." But nation, tomorrow night, I will have an exclusive interview with Jonathan Karl to discuss the Benghazi emails. Thank you. That really wasn't necessary. I just received a confirmation email from Jonathan Karl himself in which he writes, quote, I would love to appear on the Colbert Report. My name is Jonathan Karl. P.S., my lower body is mostly raccoon. Now, I am aware that some questions have arisen. Is that email real? Yes. Did I write it myself? Perhaps. Did I personally sign up for the email address "hotkarl4you@ gmail.com? Yes. But it had nothing to do with this story. The point is, I quoted that email verbatim. And if need be, I will get confirmation. Let me just make a little call here. It's confirmed. Are you sure? Yes. Confirmed. So Benghazi, done. What's next? Let's head back over to the Mazda scandal booth. Welcome to the Mazda scandal booth. Mazda, it's what's for dinner. All right. All right. Jimmy, let's swirl up some journalism. IRS. The Internal Revenue Service, which reminds me, if anyone asks, that booth is my home office. Also my son. Folks, the IRS has recently admitted singling out applications for tax-exempt status from groups with words like Tea Party, patriots, 9-12, or said they wanted to make America a better place to live. These flagged groups were then subjected to extra scrutiny which led to massive delays a process which fox news describes as slow-walking which also describes their viewers. And last week, the scandal claimed its first victim.
SCHIAVOCAMPO: Now to Washington where the IRS scandal has caused the man at the top to lose his job. Steve Miller had been acting commissioner of the agency for just six months.
COLBERT: Yes, Obama dumped acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller and I say it's about time. My sources tell me he's a joker, a smoker and a midnight toker and often uses the alias Maurice. Now, the tax exempt group singled out by the IRS. are all social welfare organizations known as 501(C)4s. Warning: The following footage contains graphic depictions of the U.S. tax code.
UNKNOWN REPORTER: The (c)(4) designation grew in value in 2010 right after the Supreme Court said corporations could spend unlimited cash on elections, c-4 applications more than doubled. (c)(4)s ARE specifically forbidden to make politics their primary activity but one advantage, they don't have to reveal their donors
COLBERT: Yes, a (c)(4) is like a Super PAC that doesn't have to reveal its donors which means they could be anyone from one of the Koch brothers all the way to the other Koch brother. And it is all perfectly legal as long as politics isn't the group's primary activity meaning your 501(c)(4) can spend 49% of its efforts producing ads calling Barack Obama a socialist as long as it spends the other 51% doing something good for the community like educating our children that Barack Obama is a socialist. Now, many of you may know I have my own 501(c)(4), Colbert Super Pac s-h-h or shhhh. And folks, I hope you're sitting down because I have never received IRS. Approval for my c-4. Very good. Is it possible that this whole scandal is really about me? I'll check. It's about you. I knew it.