Before writing this, I looked up the phrase “long time, no blog” and found 190,000 results. At that point one is way beyond cliche, so I’ll skip it. In case you didn’t notice, I added an About Me page a few days ago, for those of you looking for a vaguely disturbing example of me talking to myself.
I’ve consciously been avoiding politics on this blog—for a number of reasons—but I just have to link to Stephen Colbert’s speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Essentially, Colbert numbers every crime Bush’s administration has been accused of with Bush sitting not five feet away. Of course, it’s all done “in character”—Colbert’s Bill O’Reilly simulacrum that he plays on is show. He also indicts the attending journalists for their complacent attitude toward this administration—which was later highlighted as the AP, Reuters and other organized marginalized Colbert’s speech in their coverage of the dinner while making a big deal of Bush’s goofy skit with an imitator. Unsurprisingly, it’s the blogosphere that’s buzzing over Colbert.
You can also read a transcript of Colbert’s comments here.
Rather than offer a boo or a booyah! to Colbert’s comments, I’ll offer these links. The Washington Post‘s Richard Cohen lambasts Colbert here, while Sydney Blumenthal lauds him here.
I do want to say one thing: Cohen seems to censure Colbert for publicly criticizing Bush when he knows he won’t get “smited” or ” tossed into a dungeon” as he might have in less democratic countries or earlier periods of history. This argument doesn’t make much sense to me. Isn’t that the point of the freedom of speech? To be fair, I think what Cohen’s objecting to is the notion that Colbert did anything brave or noble (that he “spoke truth to power”), but the second part of that implication is, “because he couldn’t be murdered for it.” Well, no, but he could become the subject of editorials by indignant columnists at national newspapers. And let’s not forget what happened to Bill Maher. Colbert was arguably putting his career on the line, and for that, I have to give him the award for “muchos huevos grandes.”
Yes, very disturbing…
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