cross posted at the demise
After a long day of anti-comedy at work I sat down determined to be info-tained by watching the comedy news. The Daily Show had ended but I consoled myself that I was not too late for the Colbert Report (better show, anyhow). I turned on the TV as Colbert was introducing the show and, not yet paying full attention – I thought I heard that his interview guest was going to be Hillary Clinton, and I said to myself, “shit, don’t really need that”. I did decide to stay for the pre-interview skits and turn the channel when Clinton came on to watch something that would hopefully be less offensive.
Unfortunately, my plan was dashed when Hill hit the stage early for the very staged “interview”, and what was frighteningly revealed to my weary eyes was a vision of our future for the next eight years, my constituent peers; this being, an appalling, light weight, completely scripted, fact devoid, a-historical softball encased unctuous suck-up attempt of a partisan love fest that oozed timorousness and lap-doggery – I was reminded of the Frank Zappa classic, “I am the Slime”.
Before I go on, so as not to offend supporters of either thespian in this fawning and fake-assed ‘interview’ skit I have to point out that I know that Colbert is a comic and that Clinton is a political aspirant – and so, “why the criticism? they are both doing what they get paid for.” A good dodge and a weak defense of the skit’s ‘actors’. I can point to examples of late night comedy interview hosts getting props from progressives when they interviewed Republican party presidential candidates and actually asked more difficult and probing questions of these politicians than the so-called reporters on Face the Nation or Meet the press, and I recall Colbert’s courageous 2006 comic take down of GW Bush. I can also point to an interview that Colbert did very recently with former news talking head Campbell Brown who is currently pushing the bi-partisan scheme to end public education by ‘privatizing’ it where Colbert knowingly and pointedly asked discomfiting questions of his interviewee (and received props for doing just that from progressives).
Colbert has the capacity to ask tough questions, even if the goal is to get a laugh. What we saw on Tuesday was a self-neutered Colbert performing an awkward and unfunny fake interview. No questions were posed that would either help a voter or embarrass Ms. Clinton who comes off as considering herself to be some sort of pre-president or president in waiting.
And, the fawning Democratic media reviewed the fact devoid ass-kissery as, “Hillary can laugh at herself.” Either Colbert is a fool or a tool but certainly Tuesday night he was not cutting edge comic cool.
It is disturbing to see progressives doing a brain dump, forsaking critical thinking and operating on the premise that we Americans have to hold our tongue and be all “respectful” when talking to a person who may be president. As Helen Thomas said famously, “There are no embarrassing questions.”
I was reminded by this fake interview of the press free-pass that candidates Obama and GW Bush received during their campaigns for the presidency and that former president Bill Clinton always receives. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I really wish that someone would have asked candidate no-drama Obama if he was all cool with NSA warrantless wiretapping and why he lied to voters when he ran for the senate stating that he would hold the country’s largest telecom corporations accountable for cooperating with the NSA in their massive violations of the constitution (originally reported in 2005 by Mark Kline and buttressed by NSA whistleblowers Binney and Drake), or asked him what he intends to do about the politicians who dreamed up and carried out America’s torture program, or why he thinks that giving free taxpayer dollars to privately owned banks that ruined the world economy is going to help anyone but the bankers, maybe a question on his stance on public school privatization, or, later after the election but before his inauguration, what president elect Obama intends to do to respond to Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.
Bowing to partisanship and team-obsession progressives, liberals and Democrats became odious O-bots and protected our self-interested, imperialist, oligarchy supporting, union busting, war crime ignoring, drone-king president for years – often dismissing and belittling citizens who knew the facts, who sought answers and who clamored for the advertised “change”. I was confronted on Tuesday with the prospect of thoughtful, critical human beings who care about our future deciding to sublimate their analysis and forgo critical thinking as they decide to swallow the Hill-pill.
“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal” Emma Goldman
Picture from Joe Flood licensed under Creative Commons