Kamikaze Satire

Kamikaze Satire

Has anyone/everyone seen the Stephen-Colbert-at-the-White-House-Correspondents-Dinner yet? Honestly, it was extremely uncomfortable to sit through. I think Colbert's satire is hilarious on his show, but when he's doing it right to Bush's face, it just felt mean. On the other hand, everything he said was spot-on, and it damned well ought to make Bush feel uncomfortable.

There wasn't a whole lot of laughter in the room either. That uncomfortable feeling I had while watching was probably even more intense in the room. I really can't imagine what the president of the AP was thinking when he invited Colbert; the man's specialty is making his guests look like asses. And he did an exceptionally fine job of it at the dinner.

I have a copy of the video, but it's about 400MB, so you're probably better off finding a torrent or some other site to download it from. If you can't find it, send me an e-mail and I'll put it up in a super-secret location for you to download.

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Alec Eiffel's picture

No-Wank-Off Zone

I am devoid of sympathy for W...but I felt the same discomfort you did.
Colbert was the best choice for a speaker at WHCD because he's one of the leading political satirists of our time. When I feel uncomfortable watching something like that, I try and figure out why. In this case, I can't help but think that it's largely due to how serious the issues are beneath Colbert's quipping. He wasn't making fun of Bush's ears or intellect - and if you watch the whole thing, there are actually very few low blows. Colbert addressed policy - and that should be fair game. If it feels icky, it's because the truth is icky.
One interesting criticism I've heard in a few places, is that at this event, speakers traditionally take shots at both the press and the prez equally, and that Colbert's routine was a bit lopsided. That particular straw man is a foolish one indeed - because if you can't see that the whole Stephen Colbert thing is first and foremost a shot at the press, you can't tell the difference between a trial lawyer and a quail.

Colin's picture

Discomfort by proxy

I didn't feel uncomfortable myself watching the video, but I could sense a certain tension in the air from the lack of applause, etc... I agree with both you guys that his satire was spot on. I hope that it was discomforting to both the White House Correspondents (and journalists in general) as well as the President and his administration because it should be. Both of them are failing at their assigned jobs. Lets hope Colbert's thrashing of the press and elevation of Helen Thomas makes somebody work harder.

Alec Eiffel's picture

Band Name?

Discomfort by proxy

Adam's picture

America The Beautiful

It is an unbelievable sight to watch Bush being forced to sit still with a smile on his face while a list of his failures is intelligently and accurately read aloud to him. We genuinely live in a great country where you can not-so-covertly tell a sitting President he is a screw up to his face and not end up on a CIA hit list. As my friend Dana said to me "it will make you laugh, it will make you cry. enjoy!" If you want to watch the video in full I have posted it on my blog

Keester's picture


Call me heartless but I felt no pity or discomfort. I adored it. The only way it could have been better is if it actually woke GW up to the fact that he is making things far worse for us in the long term.

Colbert did not exaggerate anything he said which made it all the more poignant imo.

"The big print giveth and the small print taketh away"

Tim's picture

Take it and smile, Mr. President

I was laughing my ass off way too hard to think much about the others in the room, until I noticed the uncomfortable silence and laughed even harder. Yes it felt mean, but that feeling is symptomatic of Bush's appeal against the Democratic nay-sayers actually working, even when you are a vehement member of the opposite camp. I feel about as bad for Bush as I did when he stood up in from of America and said that being president is [url=http://quotations.about.com/od/georgewbush/a/BushHardWork.htm
]hard work[/url].
My favorite joke was actually his most direct shot at the press, which was nasty and well-deserved. But I was not so into the video at the end, which I thought went too long and played to old jokes.