TUESDAY'S LETTERS: Colbert Offensive, Colbert Mediocre, Colbert a Hero, Colbert Vicious, Colbert Brave
E&P's mailbag is full, massively full, over-the-top full, with readers' opinions on E&P's coverage
of Stephen Colbert's speech at the the White House Correspondents Association dinner Saturday night. The traffic from that article gave our site possibly its highest one-day traffic total ever, and the biggest one-day supply of letters.
Yesterday we published a bunch of them
, and here is another sampling....more to come.
***Colbert a Hero, a Villain, Mediocre and Funny, say Readers
I think that the audience's low-level reaction was due to fear of reacting. The goal of satire isn't hilarity. Colbert is called a comedian because that's a term people understand. Yes, he's funny, but through the ancient art of satire. Satire can be funny, edgy, biting, thought-provoking. It's best with a couple of ouch moments. These were the elements that told the spinners we know we're being spun -- and that's NOT funny.Elaine Corn
I thought Steve Colbert was vicious and not at all funny. It reminded me of when Don Imus attacked Clinton. It was way too heavy especially with the President and Laura present. You don't ever attack your guest at a party.Geraldine Scism
Stephen Colbert wasn't funny and here is the rub...he wasn't trying to be funny. Standing just a couple of feet from the President of the United States, Colbert said what many of us would have loved to have said to the leader of the free world and what people close to him refuse to do. Colbert showed amazing courage to do so and his satirical sen up reminded me of a Mel Brooks' film "History of the World: Part I" when Mel's character skewers the emperor of Rome and is sent to the Lions to die.
Hopefully for Colbert's sake he has a good accountant with a lot experience in IRS audits.Will Hawkins
New York, New York
Colbert was unbalanced and failed to grab the impact that poor intelligence had on President Bush's policies. Poor intelligence starts, as we all know, between the ears.G.K.
Well, I for one think it's very unkind to make fun of a lunatic, especially if he's president.Richard Bentley
One must be able to understand comedy in order to appreciate it. Perhaps the audience was incapable of deciphering Colbert's cerebral comedy. It was perfectly obvious that recipients of the barbs were.Dot Appleman
I quote: "[Bush's] routine went over well with this particular crowd -- better than did Colbert's, in fact, for whatever reason."
For whatever reason? You jest, no? I watched the broadcast, and the reason was clear. Bush was funny. Colbert was not -- just snarky, prickly and offensive. The gloves have never come all the way off at this event. Even the press know that Colbert's riff was way over the top.Jerry Shenk
What I haven't seen mentioned in the comments about Colbert's performance at the Correspondent's dinner was the startling response from the audience -- they were like bugs pinned to a board. Sure, Colbert tore George a new one, but he tore the press two each. He made their complicity in the criminal presidency of George Bush explicit -- and shamed them to silence.
I found Colbert's performance shriekingly funny, intensely uncomfortable, infuriating, painful, and cheer-inducing. And anyone who throws this president's crimes back into his face wins my vote any day.Wm. Kritzberg
We can't expect the 32% of die-hard Bush zealots to acknowledge that the Emperor has been naked since day one. They would have to face the consequences of their blind loyalty to the anti-Clinton: thousands of deaths and maimings of Americans in the Middle East. That's too high a price for them to pay. So what we get instead is blind lashing out at anyone who tells the truth about it.R. Patrick
As of this time, no other mainstream media have reported on the effect of Stephen Colbert's brilliant performance that followed Bush's buffoonery at the White House Correspondents dinner. It seems there is a concerted, deliberate media blackout. The scathing satire that set the president fuming (and the audience stunned to silence) hit too close to home.
AND ... once again, the internet has scooped the media. The internet is buzzing about Colbert; the videos have gone 'viral'. The scene of the press jumping to their feet to applaud Bush is being juxtaposed with scenes from years ago when these same sycophants roared with laughter at Bush's insulting skit ("Where are the WMDs?") The transcript of Colbert's presentation is being shared all over the net.
Colbert was not funny; we who watched at home were not laughing. It is hard to laugh at satirical truths about a man who is responsible for so much death and destruction and who so blatantly lies to us. It is hard to watch news correspondents honor and rush to be photographed with this man. Colbert made us look at this as it was happening. He made us drink the "backwash" of this incestuous corporate-government-media poison.
Colbert did not make us laugh. Colbert screams for us.Sus Shawhan
Stephen Colbert's alleged tribute to President Bush was insulting, derogatory and demeaning to say the least. He has no sense of humor and should be recognized accordingly. Those individuals claiming to have enjoyed his remarks should have their heads examined.Charles C. Collison
Bush beat Kerry in the debates and Bush was funnier than Colbert at the dinner. Bush wins again!James A. Webster
Santa Barbara, Calif.
At least you quoted anonymous attendees on how unilateral the attempts at humor became. You guys just don't get it, do you? The American People possess a sense of fairness sadly lacking in the American Press.Rick Peterson
How refreshing to hear the truth and hear it straight. Colbert deserves a medal for distinguished service and bravery in the face of the "enemy". Carolyn Jacobson
Great Neck, N.Y.
Why all the controversy about Colbert's comedy routine? Just because it was in front of the president? Geez, isn't he aware of all the stuff that Colbert brought up? I mean, he didn't make anything up -- it's all true.Diane Ackley
Have any of the parties offended by Stephen Colbert's presentation at the Washington Correspondents dinner looked up the word, satire?
Using wit and irony to jab those in power is an ancient tradition, not a political bias. It wasn't only fictional Lear who trusted his jester to carry the truth, many cultures prized the court clown. That the Bush administration, its supporters and the press have no tolerance for humor is a reflection of their response to criticism.
The media, the press, those who claim the right to do what Colbert did, must realize that by disuse and abuse of their powerful positions, they have inadvertently opened the door and allowed sharp, fresh air into their closed rooms. One cannot clamor for freedom, cannot toss freedom around as a talking point without allowing people the liberty to talk.
The phrase, "speaking truth to power," was coined by the American Friends, Quakers, in response to the political assumption that military force can bring about peace. Colbert brought truth wrapped in truthiness. I suspect those who did not laugh have mistaken the wrapping for the gift.
Surely the event organizers hired Mr. Colbert precisely because of his satirical work. They are to be admired for inviting the Fool to Court.Mary McFadden
San Francisco, Calif.
"The routine went over well with this particular crowd -- better than did Colbert's, in fact, for whatever reason." I love satire, and admire anybody who can do it well, but out-and-out nastiness doesn't cut it. Years back, I stopped watching Jay Leno when he made so much fun of Paula Jones' facial features and Katherine Harris's makeup. Political correctness doesn't seem to apply to liberals.MaryEllen Lempa
Has anyone who organized the White House press dinner ever watched
his show? If they have, they should have known exactly what they'd
get if they invited Colbert to speak. Or maybe they think his
(brilliant) crazy, ranting, conservative idiot act is real? They got
what they deserved and exactly what they should have expected.Laurie Engel
Salt Lake City