Sunday, April 30, 2006

Must See TV

Pay no attention to that little man in the corner

Stephen Colbert put George Bush on the spit, with a side of pompous Washington journalists, grilled to perfection, at the Correspondents Dinner last night.

I saw the replay after midnight and was afraid I was going to wake up my upstairs neighbor with my peals of laughter.

It was a little tense in the room, as almost no one seemed to enjoy being the main dish of the barbecue. George and Laura had real sourpusses.

I say 'almost' because Injustice Scalia (Colbert addressed him with a "Vaffunculo", and some other hand gestures, "I'm just saying hi to my Sicilian paisan") grinned broadly and went to the podium after it was over to shake Colbert's hand. George Bush put on a fake smile to shake his hand, then it disappeared as he turned away. Laura didn't even extend her hand. She and Colbert just nodded at each other. Helen Thomas (star of Colbert's video when she pursued him trying to ask why we went to war in Iraq) got a big hug and kiss.

The corporate media seems to be trying to pretend it didn't happen. CNN is running a piece on Bush's schtick with his fake Bush sidekick, with no mention of Colbert. C-Span doesn't have it on the schedule today. Hmmmmm.

Guess you'll have to watch it on the internet. Crooks & Liars has the video, and several other links.

Editor & Publisher: Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President Does Not Seem Amused

Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the 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 on 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." He also reflected on the alleged good old days, when the media was still swallowing the WMD story.

Addressing the reporters, he said, "You should spend more time with your families, write that novel you've always wanted to write. You know, the one about the fearless reporter who stands 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, and handshakes, and left immediately.

Youtube video of Colbert's video piece: his application for White House Press Secretary.

The Democratic Daily has a rough transcript.

A high quality bittorrent file of Colbert's appearance. (I saw this at Boing Boing)

AOL Poll on who was funniest at Correspondents dinner; Bush imitator Bridges holds a slim lead.

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