Monday, May 01, 2006

Colbert Skewers Bush, Bush Just Nods

Stephen Colbert's word was "information" just the opposite of what President Bush gives us.

Over the weekend the White House Correspondent's Dinner was held. This is a get-together where the news media stars mingle with politicians, the White House personnel (including Bush and wife Laura) and various other personalities. For instance outgoing and incoming Press Secretaries Scott McLellan and Tony Snow were there as were actor George Clooney, Senator John McCain, newsworthy Joe Wilson and his wife, and quaterback Ben Roethlisberger. The dinner is sort of a lovefest for the news media stars. They get to rub elbows with those they cover.

The highlight of the evening is when the host (this year being Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert) does their speech/routine. In the recent past Jay Leno skewered the press and the president. This year Colbert blasted the press and Bush with his pretend character he assumes on his show, the fake conservative. Apparently Bush was not so pleased after Colbert's act, simply nodding, shaking his hand and leaving the dinner. Some highlights of Colbert's humor follow.

On Iraq: "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."

On Cheney's hunting incident: "To sit here at the same table with my hero, George W. Bush...I feel like I'm dreaming. Somebody pinch me. You now what, I'm a pretty sound sleeper, that may not be enough...Somebody shoot me in the face."

On Bush's response to global warming:
"[Talking to Jesse Jackson] is like boxing a glacier...Enjoy that metaphor, by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is."

To Senator John McCain:
"So wonderful to see you coming back into the Republican fold. I've actually got a summer house in South Carolina. Look me up when you go to speak at Bob Jones University."

On Bush's "steadfastness":
"The greatest thing about this man is that he's steady, you know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday--no matter what happened Tuesday."

On the press response to the White House shake-up and the metaphor of "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic":
"This administration is soaring, not sinking...If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg."

On Bush's approval rating: "Now I know there's some polls out there that say this man has a 32 percent 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.

Pay no attention to people who say the glass is half empty...Because 32 percent means it's 2/3 empty. There's still some liquid in that glass, is my point. But I wouldn't drink it. The last third is usually backwash."

On Bush's response to disasters:
"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."

I couldn't help but laugh out loud at Colbert's characterization of the Bush supporters as "backwash." For many months I've tried to come up with a good description for those remaining Bush faithful, those 32% that still approve of him. I usually call them "the final faithful" or the "Kool Aid drunks." I've long felt that even if Bush severed the head of a voter live on TV those backwashers would find some way to justify Bush's bloody action, rather than see reality. Which brings me to another Colbert comment at the dinner. "And reality has a well-known liberal bias."

You can read the transcript of Colbert's routine here and see the video here.


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