The Fool and the Knave |

The Fool and the Knave |

The Fool and the Knave

Status-obsessed D.C. journalists tut-tutted at Stephen Colbert’s irreverent performance — ignoring Bush’s war against their profession.

By Sidney Blumenthal

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Blumenthal adds fuel to the people telling critics of Colbert to wake up. This article is mostly discussing the icy reception the Colbert skit is getting in the mainstream media, and its fascinating to see people call his show ‘rude’ and ‘obnoxious.’

Did no one actually watch a Steven Colbert show in advance of Saturday night? Does it actually surprise people that he said ‘rude’ things? He says rude things every day on his TV program, and anyone who expected him to do a different show on Saturday night was deluding themselves.

In another spot in today’s Salon, Tim Grieve points to an article by Richard Cohen that takes Colbert to task for not playing to his audience properly. “In Washington he was playing to a different crowd, and he failed dismally in the funny person’s most solemn obligation: to use absurdity or contrast or hyperbole to elucidate …” Clearly, Cohen has missed the point here. While everyone in the room Saturday night thought Colbert’s crowd was the Press Corp, Colbert knew differently, and he DID play to the crowd. He was hired because of the popularity he gained from his work on the Daily Show and his own Colbert Report … the show he gave Saturday night played to the same audience that got him to that dinner in the first place.

That the mainstream media folks were embarrassed by what he said, that Bush was incensed, that people were clearly uncomfortable … well, that was THE WHOLE FREAKING point people. He was hired because of his performances on the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, and he delivered the same show. He is now being pilloried for it, and I submit its still all part of the joke. He expected this response … thats why he didn’t seem to care that he was ‘bombing’ Saturday night. He knew he wasn’t bombing, regardless of the fact he wasn’t making the people in that room roll in the aisles. The jokes weren’t TO them … the jokes were ABOUT them.


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