January 05, 2007

"Please Don't Look to Me For Information Because... Sometimes... I Lie"

Dr. X posts this from SMU:

"I watched Colbert in the hotel last night. Just another show - guests included Eliot Spitzer, Peter Frampton, and Henry Kissinger, and a guitar on loan from Cheap Trick.

"Here is a brief account of what this man has gotten done in the past two years:
  • "Invented a word - 'truthiness' - which was named Word of the Year by the Merriam-Webster.
  • "Insulted and offended the President...to his face...on national television.
  • "Sang a duet ('I Write the Songs') with Barry Manilow.

"Colbert actually drops character for this interview at the Kennedy School (here - actual content begins at 12:00), and for this interview with The Onion's AV Club.

"In that AV Club interview he says:

" 'I really feel a dichotomy in the American populace. What is important? What you want to be true, or what is true?'

"The historical experience thusfar has been that comedy is not of much practical use to a society. It didn't stop the Nazis or save Austria-Hungary - a point Jon Stewart has made in the past, and which is explored more thoroughly (at least with respect to Austria-Hungary) by Janik and Toulman in their study of the influenc of Kraus on Wittgenstein. But Kraus never got at the top man in front of an audience - Colbert did.

"American comedy - strongest in the world."


Blogger First Sea Lord said...

I have a hypothesis. It involves the liberal media conspiracy - which, as the Nation says- you can't find anywhere else.

My completely unsupported hypothesis is that Walter Cronkite and some of the old school at CBS - still a vital force behind the scenes at CBS, somehow helped nuture the fake news division of Comedy Central, realizing that mainstream news was no longer able to challenge the hegemonic thinking of the current political climate, and saw in Stewart and his ever-growing comedy legions a chance to recover critical dialogue with the key audience.

John Stewart's little show is training entire divisions of highly skilled comedians - among whom Colbert is the most ingenious- who are not only "passionately opposed to Bullshit," but capable in their own careers of confronting it.

January 7, 2007 at 1:48 PM  

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