Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Media Showed Distaste For Colbert, But Looked The Other Way When Bush Joked About Missing WMD

"(D)eciding what's funny is subjective, sometimes a matter of taste (or tastelessness), but increasingly, also, partisan. We bring our politics to everything nowadays, although some may be more open to good satire than others, even when someone on 'your side' is hit.

Still, with the knocks on (Comedy Central's Stephen) Colbert increasing, I have to ask: Where was the outrage when President Bush made fun of not finding those pesky WMDs at a very similar media dinner -- in the same ballroom -- two years ago? It represents a shameful episode for the American media, and presidency, yet is rarely mentioned today.

It occurred on March 24, 2004. The setting: The 60th annual black-tie dinner of the Radio and Television Correspondents Association (with many print journalists there as guests) at the Washington Hilton. On the menu: surf and turf. Attendance: 1,500. The main speaker: President George W. Bush, one year into the Iraq war, with 500 Americans already dead.

... That night, in the middle of his stand-up routine before the (perhaps tipsy) journos, Bush showed on a screen behind him some candid on-the-job photos of himself. One featured him gazing out a window, as Bush narrated, smiling: 'Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere.'

According to the transcript this was greeted with 'laughter and applause' from the audience.

A few seconds later, he was shown looking under papers, behind drapes, and even under his desk, with this narration: 'Nope, no weapons over there' (met with more 'laughter and applause'), and then 'Maybe under here?' (just 'laughter' this time). Still searching, he settled for finding a photo revealing the Skull and Bones secret signal.

... The reporters covering the gala were apparently as swept away with laughter as the guests. One of the few attendees to criticize the president's gag, David Corn of The Nation, said he heard not a single complaint from his colleagues at the after-party. Corn wondered if they would have laughed if President Reagan, following the truck bombing of our Marines barracks in Beirut, which killed 241, had said at a similar dinner: 'Guess we forgot to put in a stop light.'"

-- Greg Mitchell, Editor & Publisher, May 4


Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Rather than trounce on Colbert, I think most of the main stream media simply ignored him or wrote him off quickly as unfunny.
We even have seen an extension of this on Meet The Press this last Sunday. Frequent Bush scribe Tim Russert ha haed over political impressionist Steve Bridge's Bush twin at the same event, but uttered not a word about Colbert's performance, which was the main bill at the same event.
You saw Russert discreetly slap Colbert in the face, however. He repeatedly praised Bridge's comedy as virtuous in that it did not display any "meanness" towards the president.
That's right. No one must direct satire steeped in truth at president Bush, even if his administration has brought the entire country and its citizenry straight down to hell.
It's more important not to show any meanness.
With such an attitude of the MSM, expect little change or things to grow even worse.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Sniffer said...




9:53 AM  
Anonymous ditto said...

Colbert is a genius. His post-modern satire is obviously beyond the bite-sized sound-bite mentality of the Rush O'Hannity crowd. God bless him.

W's attempt at 'No-MWD' humor sickened this military family. Shame on the King. And shame on anyone that thinks EVERYONE should play nice with these questionably elected leaders that created this mess. Respect is a two way street.

6:51 PM  

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