T Nation

Bush and Colbert





Hilarious. GW seemed none too pleased in the middle.


Colbert flopped.

Normally he is pretty funny. This was not a good performance. Normally the press dinner is a self-effacing, generally funny, everyone gets a mild roasting bit. This was not only pedestrian as far as humor, but looked like he had too much of a partisan ax to grind.


The truth hurts.


No one was hurt. The administration is not exactly scrambling to counter Colbert's routine. The whole thing was met with a shrug. No one really cares, except for the half-educated numbskulls that think he was 'speaking truth to power'.


From what I understand, one of the reasons Colbert flopped so badly was that President Bush was so good going ahead of him -- apparently Bush did a schtick with a Bush impersonator where Bush talked, and the impersonator voiced his thoughts. Very self-deprecating, and poked fun at admin types and Bush himself.

I was listening to a local radio sports talk show on the drive in to work this morning, and Tony Kornheiser from ESPN was recounting the dinner -- that was basically his take. He said Colbert flopped, and Bush was great, and Colbert shouldn't have tried to follow his act because he would have had to hit it out of the park to follow.

Note well that Kornheiser is known to lean liberal, and was talking about meeting George Clooney and complimenting him on his stand against Iraq.


He flopped badly? You did see the video, right?


1) The jokes were not all that great, regardless of political stance - some were decent, but didn't blow anyone away.

2) He followed a really good act - always tough.

3) His approach was not suited to the event, which left a lot of people wondering exactly what he was trying to accomplish.


Bush and the impersonator were hysterical.

If someone finds it on line post the link.

Colbert absolutely flopped.

Bush already poked fun at himself far more effectivly than Colbvert did.

Colbert's show is weak too. He was pretty funy when he only did short skits on the Daily Show but now that he has his own show his act is old.




Jon Stewart made all of Colbert's points in a much more effective manner (and in a much more appropriate location) when he ripped Tucker Carlson apart on Crossfire.

Colbert has an inferiority complex, because he'll never be as smart as Stewart or as funny as Steve Carrell.


It seems there are only two options, he was either brilliant or ge flopped...

No room in between...

No, he got laughs though he took on everyone in the room that mattered...

No, he played for the tv audience more than anything else.

All of this is not possible because he was either unpolite, unfunny and and completely bombed (republican) or he was telling the truth to power in a way unheard of since the days of Swift (democrat)...

Two party sytems dumb people down.


Bush actually took it pretty well, and its not like he has practised how to deal with public criticism.

"...the government that governs least governs best and by this standard the Iraqui government is a success..."

That was not funny?


Addressing the reporters, he said, "Let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The president makes decisions, he?s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know -- fiction."

Not even a little bit?


Check out the coverage on C-SPAN. Clearly, the room was not laughing.


From Noam Scheiber at The New Republic:



I'm a big Stephen Colbert fan, a huge Bush detractor, and I think the White House press corps has been out to lunch for much of the last five years. (Though, unlike many in the blogosphere, I don't think that's because White House reporters are lazy or stupid.) That should have made me the ideal audience-member for Colbert's performance at this weekend's White House Correspondents' Dinner (WHCD). As it happens, though, I laughed out loud maybe twice during Colbert's entire 20-odd minute routine. Colbert's problem, blogosphere conspiracy theories notwithstanding ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-daou/ignoring-colbert-a-small_b_20092.html ; http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/04/29.html ), is that he just wasn't very entertaining. Most of the funny lines had been recycled from his show; the new material was all pretty tired--including a way-too-long video presentation whose big joke was that ... Helen Thomas is old and batty. (Stop me if you've heard that one.)

Various aggrieved bloggers have suggested the audience wasn't laughing because Colbert was too tough on the president and the press corps. I dunno. I didn't find Colbert appreciably harder on either of them than, say, Jay Leno was two years ago--though Leno did take shots at John Kerry, too, which maybe took some of his edge off. In any case, it wasn't just journalists who didn't find Colbert amusing. I was sitting about ten feet from Ed Helms, Colbert's former "Daily Show" colleague, and kept glancing over to check his reaction. He cracked some smiles here and there. But I never saw him doubled over with laughter, not even close. My sense is that the blogosphere response is more evidence of a new Stalinist aesthetic on the left--until recently more common on the right ( http://www.slate.com/id/3132/ )--wherein the political content of a performance or work of art is actually more important than its entertainment value. Jon Stewart often says he hates when his audience cheers; he wants them to laugh. My sense is that, had most of the bloggers complaining about the WHCD been around Saturday night, there would have been lots of cheering but not much more laughing.


A) He had his laughs, I downloaded the piece via bittorrent and

B) his real audience was not in that room!

He got the reaction he needed to make it a success with his real audience. You know, him being a performer in the era of visual mass media...


Yes, that is exactly the point - Colbert flopped for the job he had. He had an agenda beyond the room itself. No problem, but let's not pretend he wowed 'em at the dinner.

As someone commented "forgive Colbert - he is not used to delivering his material to people old enough to buy their own clothes".

And further, the only people that were 'blown away' by Colbert were half-literate twits who think he was 'brave' and oh so biting - see Harris above for an example. Outside of the shrieking moonbats, everyone was nonplussed,

So - did Colbert use this opportunity to connect with his 'bigger' audience? Yes. Was that a good thing? Not to the adult world.


Also, this Colbert event gives us a much needed reminder as to the senselessness of the moonbats' claims of a 'right wing media'.

Here, we have the moonbats who don't think Bush is just a bad President - he is a terrorist, a liar, a criminal, a tyrant, a dictator, a Hitler, a genocidal maniac, and so forth.

Not only are they convinced he is all of these things and is always acting in bad faith, they are 100% certain of the truth and veracity of Bush's unvarnished evil - as in, they think there is no plausible alternative to their belief in the ultimate truth of the matter: it is all so obvious.

And here it is: so when the media refuses to report that Bush is evil incarnate, it must be because they are in cahoots with him - why else would an objective, news-reporting institution ignore all of the obvious evil in the moonbats' perfect truth?

Which, of course, is utter nonsense - you can think of the plausible explanation in no time. We can argue about whether the media is liberal or not, but at the very least, the non-moonbats among us can at least admit the media is somewhat tethered to reality in its reporting.

Moonbats are on the fringe for a damn good reason.


I saw it live. He flopped. It was not funny and people were not laughing.

I don't know if it was his material or delivey but it was not good.

Bush and his clone were far funnier in poking fun at Bush.


People were scared to laugh.

Colbert sacked up and punked the room.

The audience was not laughing because they were mortified.

I guess the people that thought Corbert was not funny thought Bush was funny for pretending to look under chairs and tables for the WMD he could not find in Iraq at the last dinner?