Stephen Colbert: Folk Hero

Still the Man of the Hour, Colbert's performance continues to be discussed all over the place. On last night's The Daily Show, Jon Stewart described it as "ballsalicious." Salon's Michael Scherer gives it a stellar review, calling it "Colbert's crowning moment" and "a brilliant performance" that "unplugged the Bush myth machine—and left the clueless D.C. press corps gaping."

The New Republic's Noam Scheiber was far less enthusiastic, and, aside from not finding it funny himself, accuses those of us who did of providing "evidence of a new Stalinist aesthetic on the left—until recently more common on the right—wherein the political content of a performance or work of art is actually more important than its entertainment value." Okay. It's certainly an interesting position, anyway. If I don't think it's funny, anyone who claims they do is really just an agitprop-loving crypto-Stalinist. Yowza. Atrios provides a helpful explanation as to how others might genuinely have found Colbert's performance amusing.

And Think Progress points to an article in U.S. News & World Report that confirms Bush, along with some of his staff and aides were decidedly unhappy with the tenor of Colbert's routine.

Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert's biting routine at the White House Correspondents Association dinner won a rare silent protest from Bush aides and supporters Saturday when several independently left before he finished.

"Colbert crossed the line," said one top Bush aide, who rushed out of the hotel as soon as Colbert finished. Another said that the president was visibly angered by the sharp lines that kept coming.

"I've been there before, and I can see that he is [angry]," said a former top aide. "He's got that look that he's ready to blow."
Ha. Awesome. Ballsalicious indeed!

If you still haven't seen Colbert's vicious take-down of Bush and the press, go here. And if you'd like to say thanks to the newest lefty folk hero, go here.

(Crossposted at AlterNet PEEK.)

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