Stephen Colbert lets loose at the White House Correspondents’ dinner.

Have you seen Stephen Colbert’s performance at the White House Correspondents’ dinner on Saturday? If you haven’t then the folks at Crooks and Liars has a video clip of Colbert ripping pretty much everyone a new asshole all the while staying in character through some truly vicious satire. I missed it when it was aired on TV, but I’ve caught it on repeats a couple of times and the folks over at The Democratic Daily Blog have a transcript of it on their site. Word has it that Bush and the First Lady, much like Queen Victoria, we’re NOT amused. Some highlights include:

  • Every night on my show, the Colbert report, I speak straight from the gut, ok? I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the no fact zone. Fox News, I own the copyright on that term.
  • I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.
  • Now, I know there’s some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don’t pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in “reality.” And reality has a well-known liberal bias.
  • I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.
  • The greatest thing about this man is he’s steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday, that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change, this man’s beliefs never will.
  • But, listen, 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.

Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow! It hurts because it’s so true! And, man, has it ever pissed off the Right Wingers in the Blogosphere. The Moderate Voice has an entry on reaction around the net and the right wingers are almost universal in their distaste for Colbert’s routine. Most claim he bombed because there were some definite moments of uncomfortable silence during his routine, but from where I’m standing I’d say those folks were probably too shocked to respond much given what was unfolding before them. There’s been some argument over whether what Colbert did was brave or not and, honestly, I wouldn’t rank it up there with rushing back into a burning building to save small children, but you have to admit it takes some big balls to hold up a mirror to the Administration with the President only a few feet away. Usually when that sort of thing happens the Secret Service ends up escorting your ass out of the venue so the President doesn’t have to pretend there’s any dissent so it was refreshing to see him have to sit there and take it for a change.

You do have to wonder about the folks who planned this event, though, and why they would even consider asking someone like Colbert to make a presentation without realizing that he might unload both barrels at the people in attendance. That’s what he does on his show all the damned time so how stupid do you have to be to think he’s going to play nice at your function? Still, I’m glad someone was stupid enough to invite him because it made for great amusement on my part.

4 thoughts on “Stephen Colbert lets loose at the White House Correspondents’ dinner.

  1. You do have to wonder about the folks who planned this event, though, and why they would even consider asking someone like Colbert to make a presentation without realizing that he might unload both barrels at the people in attendance.

    Ooh!  Ooh!  I know!  Pick meeee!

    Maybe they did know what was likely to happen, and it worked just as they secretly hoped.  Maybe they’re sick of the guy in the top chair.

  2. That just about made my day. grin The audience reactions were utterly priceless. Frankly, I’m surprised he wasn’t lynched.

  3. Les:

    Still, I’m glad someone was stupid enough to invite him because it made for great amusement on my part.

    I enjoyed that even more so when I realised that it took some guts to say what he said to the type of audience that was there as I am unfamiliar with most of the names mentioned.
    I love clever satire especially when each point is scored with a very, sharp stick.

    S-Sadie:

    The audience reactions were utterly priceless.

    Quiet weren’t they? LOL
    Couldn’t wait to get rid of him.

  4. Watching it happen was definitely weird. True, alot of what he said wasn’t funny…but for sheer balls, I applaud the performance. He made a fair bit of extended eye contact with the Prez, too. I thought I saw a couple veins bulging from Bush’s forehead. My favourite line was the one about “boxing a glacier”…“but don’t worry none of your kids will know what that is in 20 years”. Or something. The Italian hand signals were funny, too. I haven’t actually watched the whole thing yet. Anyway, pretty amazing to see it happen. The panned shots to the crowd were fucking great. Sheer discomfort. I love it.

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