When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

30 April 2006

Speaking Truthiness to Power

I didn't watch C-SPAN's coverage of the White House Correspondents Dinner last night. Usually much is made of this event every year, due to the yuk-yuk inside-baseball humorous skits that the politicians and the press put on for each other, but the ones I've seen before have been a big yawn.

Last night, however, my man Stephen Colbert was the keynote speaker... and having watched his scathing, subversive performance this morning via downloaded BitTorrent video, and seeing the audience's visibly stunned lack of response, I have to say that Colbert is my nominee for Man of the Year.

A few choice Colbert lines:
"Ladies and gentlemen, I believe it's yogurt. But I refuse to believe it's not butter. Most of all I believe in this president. Now, I know there's some polls out there saying this man has a 32% 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."


"I stand by this man [President Bush]. 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 mean, nothing satisfies you [the press]. Everybody asks for personnel changes. So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg."


"John McCain is here. John McCain. What a maverick. Somebody find out what fork he used on his salad, because I guarantee you wasn't a salad fork. He could have used a spoon. There's no predicting him. So wonderful to see you coming back into the Republican fold. Senator, I have a summer house in South Carolina; look me up when you go to speak at Bob Jones University. So glad you've seen the light... Mayor Nagin is here from New Orleans, the chocolate city. Yeah, give it up. Mayor Nagin, I would like to welcome you to Washington, D.C., the chocolate city with a marshmallow center. And a graham cracker crust of corruption."
The politico-journalist-complex hacks in the audience were mostly too stunned to laugh; the reaction shots that C-SPAN cut into the performance are absolutely priceless.

Video links (must be seen to be believed):
Unofficial transcript of the Colbert speech.

Press coverage:

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