Monday, May 01, 2006


I've joked about Mark Hyman's ideological (and sometimes physical) resemblance to Stephen Colbert's rightwing blowhard persona he's crafted on "The Colbert Report." If you aren't yet a fan of Colbert, you will be after watching his turn at the Whitehouse Correspondents' Dinner.

Staying completely in character, Colbert crucified George Bush while the president and his wife sat less than ten feet away. For good measure, he skewered the Washington press corps themselves for being lapdogs.

Knowing that this would nearly guarantee cricket chirps in the room, Colbert went ahead and said what needed to be said, and did it with a wicked grace and comedic elan that is marvelous to behold.

So much of what is offered up as "satire" these days is simply empty mockery that takes aim at vapidity and offers only more of the same. Colbert, on the other hand, offers us something that would make Jonathan Swift smile: satire with both a sharp scalpel and a soul.

If you haven't seen it, check it out.



At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yes, the Colbert thing was, sadly, necessary, in this day and age of no investigative or independent reporting.

But I was quite troubled by the cute Bush-vs-Doppleganger "segment" of the evening's entertainment. Although I was pleased by the mimic's immitation of Bush, as I watched it, I thought: How can President Bush, who is, after all, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATEW, sink to such low-ball comedy?

The president makes decisions daily that affect the lives of millions. Some even must die. I do not want to see my president acting -- willingly -- as a buffoon for laughs.

Some social commentators were annoyed by Bill Clinton's playing saxophone (among other things). But I couldn't help cringe at seeing Bush poke fun of his own stupidity and the various gaffes of his administation. Bush joked that he was relieved that he was not cut out during the recent White House personnel shake-up. Good grief, W., have some respect for the Office, if not for yourself!

Conservatives may wail and moan about Colbert, but Bush's own performance at the Dinner was much worse.

At 2:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colbert is both a comedic genius and a patriot of the highest order! His performance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner was certainly his "Finest Half-Hour". It was both hilarious and heroic, at the same time. You could cut the air with a knife, before, during and after each delivery, so thick was the air with the reality of what he was saying. Anyone that missed this performance can watch it and leave a thank-you note to Stephen at
The fifth estate (comedy) is now taking up the slack of the fourth estate (the press), and doing a much better job of it. Colbert has single-handedly redefined political satire with "Truthiness".
Mike B. in SC


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