Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Colbert Report

Having not watched Stephen Colbert's "Colbert Report" in a while, I tuned in last night to see just what the show looked like in the age of Obama ... and I was not impressed. The lead-in from Jon Stewart and the Daily Show was funny enough, with Colbert telling Stewart he had just returned from safari in Barack Obama's birthplace. When Stewart chided Colbert, telling him, "Barack Obama wasn't born in Kenya," Colbert replied, "No John, I was on safari in Hawaii." Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.

I've never minded the Colbert character as a flag-waving conservative caricature, but the humor of the character tends to get lost when real policy becomes the topic of conversation. Case-in-point, last night's segment with Colbert interviewing an Obama health reform proponent. While the reform advocate kept pointing out how these reforms would save tens of thousands of lives, Colbert's hook was to reinforce the advocates admission that, yes, people would still die under these reforms. It's an exaggeration of political spin, arguably a subject which needs little exaggeration. And whether or not it was intended this way, what it becomes is a joke on this idea that health reform opponents don't have any ideas of their own and are being opposition for the sake of being oppositional.

There's skewering and then there's distortion and this is my biggest problem with the Colbert Report, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and any of these other left-leaning comics: It's just not that funny when you're skewering a boogeyman that isn't really there.


Anonymous rose said...

Agreed. The over the top patriotism stuff is hilarious, but the policy stuff is tough to swallow cause you know there's a bunch of folks out there who have even been exposed to what opposing view points actually are and it just reinforces their certainty in their own views.

That'd be ok, except that in my girlfriends education masters program the teacher had them watch a daily show where they had an expert come on and talk about how Iraq was all about making money for Cheney's Halliburton. The teacher and the majority of soon-to-be teachers, who will be educating our kids think the Daily Show is a news source.

Related note: Apparently an masters in education is 20% learning about teaching methods and 80% collectivist propaganda, at least at Central. In terms of the worldview of the next generation of Americans, there's nothing more discouraging than hearing about what our teachers are being tought.

4:12 PM  

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