Friday, May 05, 2006
Pluck, mettle, moxie
When I heard about it after the fact, it seemed to me to be a casting misstep to invite Stephen Colbert to be a featured speaker at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Didn't the booker watch the The Colbert Report and realize how many sacred cows Colbert has slaughtered on his show?
Sure, it may be tradition to poke fun at the old prez at these dinners, but something tells me past roasting has taken the form of some Jay Leno-esque softballs. Considering the alarming state of world affairs, Dubya's dismal approval ratings and the administration's stubborn unwillingness to accept any form of criticism, taking the role of a hardball roaster at this time and place would required cajones of teflon-coated steel. Enter Stephen Colbert--possessor of just such wash-n-go wedding tackle.
For links to video clips and a full transcript of his speech, you can go this Daily Kos post. I laughed aloud several times when reading it. Colbert (and his brilliant writing staff) pulls no punches on subjects as diverse as the First Lady's reading initiative to global warming, all while standing 10 feet away from his tight-lipped target--the man Jon Stewart aptly nicknamed "the owner of the world."
Here are some quotes:
"I stand by this man. 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."
"Now, there may be an energy crisis. This president has a very forward-thinking energy policy. Why do you think he's down on the ranch cutting that brush all the time? He's trying to create an alternative energy source. By 2008 we will have a mesquite-powered car!"
"But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!"