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Ear to the Ground

Did Media Miss Real Colbert Story?

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Posted on May 10, 2006
Colbert Points
Roger L. Wollenberg / Pool Photo via N.Y. Times

Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington.

Check out this fantastic review of Colbert’s performance, including this: “It was perhaps the first time in Bush’s tenure that the president was forced to sit and listen to any American cite the litany of criminal and corruption allegations that have piled up against his administration.”


Chicago Sun Times:

A “blogstorm” is thundering across liberal Web sites. Many liberals are furious at the White House press corps for virtually ignoring Stephen Colbert’s keynote speech at the press corp’s own White House Correspondents’ Dinner last Saturday. To non-liberals, this may seem like an isolated complaint. To liberals, it further justifies their belief that the media, particularly TV news, is a big stinking cabal of conservatives.

The truth is many in the media wrote about Bush’s stand-up routine at the dinner as if they had just watched the coming of a comic genius, but they didn’t report much on Colbert’s funnier, harsher jokes. This may have been a case of the press corps following a standard motto: to the winner goes the spoils, and Bush got more laughs (out of copy written for him) than Colbert did.

How did Bush tickle reporters? He made fun of the fact that he can barely speak English (he is quite simply the worst communicator of all U.S. presidents), that our vice president is a heartless face-shooter, and that Bush is basically an idiot.

Ha ha, our “war president” knows he’s a village idiot? To members of the White House press corps, that’s some real funny stuff. To non-insiders, this looked like another example of good old boys and gals slapping each other on the back.

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