Stephen Colbert p1sstaking Bush!

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by frenchperson, May 1, 2006.

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  1. Could anyone confirm whether this is real or fake? Did Bush actually appear, along with a few other big-wigs? It looks convincing enough. If it is real, can we (horror of horrors) consider that Bush appreciates the irony, or does he just not get the joke?
    (scroll down to CLIPS 1 and 2)

    April 30th, 2006 11:00 am
    Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President Not Amused?

    By E&P Staff / Editor & Publisher

    WASHINGTON A blistering comedy “tribute” to President Bush by Comedy Central’s faux talk-show host Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondent Dinner Saturday night left George and Laura Bush unsmiling at its close.

    Earlier, the president had delivered his talk to the 2,700 attendees, including many celebrities and top officials, with the help of a Bush impersonator.

    Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk-show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

    He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This administration is soaring, not sinking,” he said. “If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.”

    Colbert told Bush he could end the problem of protests by retired generals by refusing to let them retire. He compared Bush to Rocky Balboa in the “Rocky” movies, always getting punched in the face — “and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world.”

    Turning to the war, he declared, "I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."

    He noted former Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the crowd, just three tables away from Karl Rove, and that he had brought " Valerie Plame." Then, worried that he had named her, he corrected himself, as Bush aides might do, "Uh, I mean ... he brought Joseph Wilson's wife." He might have "dodged the bullet," he said, as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wasn't there.

    Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, “photo ops” on aircraft carriers and at hurricane disasters, melting glaciers and Vice President Cheney shooting people in the face. He advised the crowd, "if anybody needs anything at their tables, speak slowly and clearly into your table numbers and somebody from the N.S.A. will be right over with a cocktail. "

    Observing that Bush sticks to his principles, he said, "When the president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday -- no matter what happened Tuesday."

    Also lampooning the press, Colbert complained that he was “surrounded by the liberal media who are destroying this country, except for Fox News. Fox believes in presenting both sides of the story — the president’s side and the vice president’s side." In another slap at the news channel, he said: "I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the No Fact Zone. Fox News, I own the copyright on that term."

    He also reflected on the alleged good old days for the president, when the media was still swallowing the WMD story.

    Addressing the reporters, he said, "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. Put them 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."

    He claimed that the Secret Service name for Bush's new press secretary is "Snow Job."

    Colbert closed his routine with a video fantasy where he gets to be White House Press Secretary, complete with a special “Gannon” button on his podium. By the end, he had to run from Helen Thomas and her questions about why the U.S. really invaded Iraq and killed all those people.

    As Colbert walked from the podium, when it was over, the president and First Lady gave him quick nods, unsmiling. The president shook his hand and tapped his elbow, and left immediately.

    Those seated near Bush told E&P's Joe Strupp, who was elsewhere in the room, that Bush had quickly turned from an amused guest to an obviously offended target as Colbert’s comments brought up his low approval ratings and problems in Iraq.

    Several veterans of past dinners, who requested anonymity, said the presentation was more directed at attacking the president than in the past. Several said previous hosts, like Jay Leno, equally slammed both the White House and the press corps.

    “This was anti-Bush,” said one attendee. “Usually they go back and forth between us and him.” Another noted that Bush quickly turned unhappy. “You could see he stopped smiling about halfway through Colbert,” he reported.

    After the gathering, Snow, while nursing a Heineken outside the Chicago Tribune reception, declined to comment on Colbert. “I’m not doing entertainment reviews,” he said. “I thought the president was great, though.”

    Strupp, in the crowd during the Colbert routine, had observed that quite a few sitting near him looked a little uncomfortable at times, perhaps feeling the material was a little too biting -- or too much speaking "truthiness" (Colbert's made-up word) to power.

    Asked by E&P after it was over if he thought he'd been too harsh, Colbert said, "Not at all." Was he trying to make a point politically or just get laughs? "Just for laughs," he said. He said he did not pull any material for being too strong, just for time reasons. (He later said the president told him "good job" when he walked off.)

    Helen Thomas told Strupp her segment with Colbert was "just for fun."

    In its report on the affair, USA Today asserted that some in the crowd cracked up over Colbert but others were "bewildered." Wolf Blitzer of CNN said he thought Colbert was funny and "a little on the edge."

    Earlier, the president had addressed the crowd with a Bush impersonator alongside, with the faux-Bush speaking precisely and the real Bush deliberately mispronouncing words, such as the inevitable "nuclear." At the close, Bush called the imposter "a fine talent. In fact, he did all my debates with Senator Kerry." The routine went over well with the crowd -- better than did Colbert's, in fact.

    Among attendees at the black tie event: Morgan Fairchild, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Justice Antonin Scalia, George Clooney, and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter of the Doobie Brothers -- in a kilt.
  3. Thanks Quiller.

    OK, so it was real, and he didn't get the joke - how depressing
  4. That's funny - most of the blogs and papers I've read said that Bush and his lookalike went down a storm (as did Mrs Bush last year) and that Colbert in fact died a horrible death of silence at times failing to impress even George Clooney with his jokes....

    One report:

    "George Bush attended the White House Correspondents Dinner tonight, an annual event that encourages all parties to engage in some self-deprecating humor and relax in each other's company for an evening. Fox News showed Bush's speech live, and he decided to have a Bush impersonator join him at the podium. Using a tag-team approach, the ersatz Bush provided the plain-language translation and some interior dialogue to accompany the real Bush's cliche-heavy foil of a speech. The two skewered Bush's public-speaking flaws, as well as Dick Cheney:

    FAKE BUSH: Speaking of suspects, where's the Great White Hunter?
    BUSH: Vice President Dick Cheney regrets he could not be here tonight.

    BUSH: Dick Cheney is a fine man. He has a good heart -- er, he is a fine man.
    BUSH: I love America. It's full of Americans!
    BUSH: This ruggedly good looking man next to me is Steve Bridges. He is a talented man. In fact, he did all of my debates with Senator Kerry.

    The gathered correspondents loved it, laughing frequently at the two Bushes. Ironically, the pair was followed by a more well-known comedian, Steve Colbert of Comedy Central's Colbert Report. Initially Fox News pulled away for a couple of minutes of useless analysis, but the anchor of the broadcast took viewers back to the presentation because, in her words, Steve Colbert "never fails to make us laugh." Fox then broadcast three of the most laugh-free minutes of comedy seen on national television since Chevy Chase fancied himself as the new Johnny Carson. Colbert barely garnered even polite laughter for his banal and obvious schtick, and eventually Fox returned to its obviously embarrassed anchor.

    Now that was funny."

    Colbert seems to have bombed because he didn't play the game and tried to just bash Bush (and failed).

    Even Colbert said:

    ""I had a great time. The president killed. He's a tough act to follow — at all times. It'll be a tough for whoever comes in 2008, too."

    Colbert said the president seemed to get a kick out of the comedy.

    "He was very nice. He was like, 'Good job, good job.' "

    No bash Bush story here..move along now.
  5. I'd suggest that you have a look for yourself at the link I posted at the top and come back with a verdict. It is in fact extremely funny. Seeing it for yourself would be better than going on other blogs, or somebody else's subjective version of events in 'one report'.
  6. I saw the whole thing on C-SPAN on Sunday morning. (How sad am I?) I don't think the quiet moments for Colbert came because it wasn't funny- I think it was more to do with audience discomfort. Colbert went quite close to the bone with some of his barbs- a lot closer than one would be used to in such a forum, but he was no more scathing than he is on his show. One of the unavoidable risks of speaking "truthiness" to power, I guess.
  7. Actually if you watch the video the main problem is as explained in another blog:

    "Update: Joe Gandelman, a professional ventriloquist, has an excellent analysis of the contrasting comedic styles of the skits, putting his finger on it: The easy self-dreprecation of the Bush-Bridges skit is “dependent on joke construction and timing” while the heavy irony of Colbert’s “relies on shared assumptions.” As a result, “clearly some audience members either didn’t share his assumptions, or didn’t like him sharing them in public with Bush sitting there — or didn’t like to be put in a position where they would laugh and show all the world that they shared them.” Exactly right. "

    Colbert bombed because he choose the wrong tempo/one liners for the occasion as well as the audience. I felt sorry for him after watching the video! Poor chap!
  8. The US media seems to be taking a pro-Colbert stance on events.
    I doubt impressing the audience in attendance was his primary objective. It was obviously embarassing for a lot of those who were there and he knew it would be. I'm sure their reaction was almost insignificant in comparison to the broadcast audience reaction - which is what will ultimately be the judge of his antics.
    I thought it was nicely done

    One report said Colbert made fun of his mixed reception at the dinner, re-running the tape of one of his jokes with the audience barely reacting. He described this as "very respectful silence," and said that actually the crowd loved him.

    "They practically carried me out on their shoulders," he said, "even though I wasn't ready to go."

    Good effort
  9. He actually added the sound of crickets chirping when he aired the playback on his show tonight.