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Is Congress black-balling Colbert?

By Emi Kolawole
Apparently, Congress has fallen out of love with Stephen Colbert, presuming members were in love with him to begin with.

A Politico report outlines how Colbert's in-character testimony before Congress last week helped to hasten the end of a onetime cordial relationship.

Lawmakers and their aides are repeatedly turning down requests for "The Colbert Report," political advisers are suggesting members avoid Colbert like the plague, and the infamous "Better Know a District" segment that put Colbert on the map on Capitol Hill appears to be dying out.

One aide said the show was "like herpes. It never goes away, and it itches and sometimes flares up." A result of Colbert's having raised Congressional ire is that he has been unable to make significant progress with his "Better Know A District" segment. The segment features a pre-taped interview with a member of Congress. The interviews are then cut to make the lawmaker sound foolish. According to Politico, the segment has gone from airing 40 times in 2006 to less than 10 this year. One member of Congress wasn't even aware Colbert was still doing the segment.

But members are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to accepting or declining an interview with Colbert. One lawmaker who insisted he wanted to be on the show was eventually talked out of it by an aide. For that, Colbert referred to the lawmaker using a vulgar term.

"I had to tell [my boss], 'no,'" said one Republican House aide. "He kept pushing back. He thinks he's funny enough. But I said, 'No, you don't understand. They will edit it to make you look stupid.'"

(via Politico)

More:
Stewart and Colbert announce dueling rallies on the Mall
Stephen Colbert testifies on Capitol Hill
Hoyer: Colbert's appearance inappropriate

By Emi Kolawole  | September 30, 2010; 5:09 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

@AnnieP1
Why do you keep repeating your nonsense. Do you think that repetition would make it true? I don't think Stephen Colbert cost the taxpayer any money but even if he did, it would have been worth every penny for exposing the inadequacies of our congressmen and congresswomen.

Posted by: shaik1 | October 2, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

.

Hey Democrats,

The Obama administration has said its top health official will use her discretion

BYE BYE

DEMOCCRATS

.

Posted by: kstobbe1 | October 2, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

What's sad is, Steven Colbert probably paid more in taxes during his time spent in the testimony than his entire trip to Congress. As for crossing the line? Congress already crossed it years ago. They deserved a slap in the face, a wake up call if you will, to keep their ego in check. But then again, they'll brush it off, "oh my, how rude, can you believe that? We are senators, elected by the people! Now according to my conscious [against the people and the constitution] let me get this bill passed [that I haven't read] so you can find out what's in it!"

'Nuff said.

Posted by: lycanr1 | October 2, 2010 3:23 AM | Report abuse

First, what the heck did they think they were getting? Did Congress forget Colbert's appearance a couple of years ago at the National Press Club Dinner? Second, a lawmaker can score mucho points on "Better Know a District" if s/he is prepped and goes on the offensive with Colbert. The only lawmaker I've ever seen do that is Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. She stole the show.

Posted by: hallosev2 | October 1, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

First, what the heck did they think they were getting? Did Congress forget Colbert's appearance a couple of years ago at the National Press Club Dinner? Second, a lawmaker can score mucho points on "Better Know a District" if s/he is prepped and goes on the offensive with Colbert. The only lawmaker I've ever seen do that is Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. She stole the show.

Posted by: hallosev2 | October 1, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Colbert is the equivalent of a one night stand. I guess he believed they would respect him in the morning and call again!

Posted by: PatriciaGrace | October 1, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The sad fact is, it doesn't take Steven Colbert much to make the Congress look stupid. They've done quite well on their. Not all Congressinal members, of course, but a great enough number to put our country in dire straits. Unfortunately, some people think the Tea-Partiers, and conservative types are going to turn the situation around. They themselves will simply get dizzier the more they spin. The comedy never stops in DC, with or without Colbert, and the other comics of our country. Colbert really doesn't need Congress for his resume. It would be a negative mark.

Posted by: dakotahgeo | October 1, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Yo AnniePiehole1..Colbert did not cost you or us taxpayers a penny. He paid his own way and took nothing from us the taxpayers.
Didn't you live through the Bush/Cheny years? You say, Colbert was rude, tacky and tasteless...contrar mon-a-me compared to those two dudes.

Posted by: dpi2Dan | October 1, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

The politico article is somewhat one-sided. I think it's sour grapes on Westmoreland's part. Even though the interviews on Colbert are over the top most Congressmen come off looking good because it shows they have a sense of humor and it exposes them to a young audience.

Westmoreland came off badly because he was running on the platform of trying to display the Ten Commandments in Congress. When Colbert asked him to recite the Ten Commandments he could barely name three of them. This showed him as disingenuous and politicking on a wedge issue rather than moral or religious principles.

Anyway hopefully Colbert will be skateboarding the halls of congress again soon :) http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xbc2b6_stephen-colbert-skateboarding_fun

Posted by: mjp88 | October 1, 2010 2:59 AM | Report abuse

The emperor (Congress) doesn't like it when the child (Colbert) points out that he has no clothes. Colbert's satire is biting, and it's not a surprise that lawmakers don't want to be on his show, or that they don't want him invading their "show". Colbert is pointing out their absurdities and hypocrisies, which Congress probably needs a heavy dose of more often, but nobody actually wants to take the lumps themselves, and nobody wants to look dumb to their constituents, so it's no surprise that Colbert has become toxic.

Democrats only liked Colbert because they thought he was on their side after he lambasted Bush at the Correspondents dinner, but even though Colbert is left-leaning, Democrats make as good a target as Republicans on most issues, and good, honest comedians don't pull punches.

Posted by: blert | October 1, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Colbert's last response was probably the most eloquent thing most of those in the room have ever heard, let alone said themselves.

"I like talking about people who don't have any power... And it seems like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come and do our work, but don't have any rights as a result and yet we still invite them to come here and at the same time ask them to leave. And that's... that's hum... an interesting contradiction to me... And, you know, what's whoever you do for the least of my brothers and they seem like the least of our brothers right now. A lot of people are least of our brothers 'cause the economy is so hard. And I don't wanna take anyone's hardship away from diminishing anything like that, but migrant workers suffer and have no rights."

The full quote from Matthew 25:31-46 is "And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'"

Amen, most of the members of congress should listen to that and take the lesson. A lot of step on anyone who isn't a CEO, or some other powerful person, every day.

Posted by: tojo45 | September 30, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Colbert's last response was probably the most eloquent thing most of those in the room have ever heard, let alone said themselves.

"I like talking about people who don't have any power," he said, the bravado gone from his voice as he worked his way to a downer of a punch line. "It seems like the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come here. . . . And at the same time, we invite them here and ask them to leave. . . . I don't want to take anyone's hardship away from them [but] migrant workers suffer and have no rights."

Posted by: tojo45 | September 30, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

This should really help create jobs, promote lower taxes and lessen the deficit,

You should be careful, though as Colbert's approval ratings are much higher than the Congress's!

Posted by: rogied25 | September 30, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Watched the entire hearing on C-Span. Loved Colbert's testimony, particularly for the way he highlighted the folly of current policies on immigration and agriculture. While often funny, he made a number of good points about issues that are dead serious. Personally, I saw more bad-tempered 'theatrics' on display from Rep. King than I've ever seen from a comedian.

Posted by: gmeagher | September 30, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Just a few days ago libs and dems and Washington Post commentators (Ruth Marcus are you listening!) defended the "testimony" of this knucklehead and the mockery it made of the U.S. Congress. And now today, I guess Dems know and understand AMERICANS ARE ANGRY. And they are ANGRY AT DEMOCRATS because DEMOCRATS have turned our government into a sad, corrupt JOKE.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | September 30, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

If they can't take a joke, cheney them.

Keep crossing those lines, Mr. Colbert. You do the nation proud.

Posted by: mattintx | September 30, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, Colbert's impersonation of a journalist fools many. He's a comedian, and a good one. He doesn't belong before Congress. They have enough buffoons already.

Posted by: femmeflick | September 30, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Colbert's testimony before Congress crossed a line. It was rude, tacky, and downright tasteless. Honestly, you expect me to pay increased taxes to run an institution that considers itself a joke? Furthermore, Colbert should be made to pay back whatever money his silly talk cost me, the taxpayer. He makes enough, and he made money off this stunt. Pay it back, Bud.

Posted by: AnnieP1 | September 30, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

#####################################

Why don't you ask your Congressman to pay us back for all the time he has spent on long-winded talks, speeches about trivial subjects, and filibusters. I think that come to a lot more than Colbert's ten minutes of testimony.

Posted by: maggots | September 30, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why one the Members at the hearing didn't tell Mr. Colbert how happy they were that John Stewart let him take time off to testify.

Posted by: Garak | September 30, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@AnnieP1

Colbert is a professional satirist. He appeared at the invitation of Rep. Zoe Lofgren. (Maybe she should be the one to offer you a refund.) Colbert is always "in character" as a faux conservative blowhard. Anyone who couldn't predict what he would do hasn't been paying attention. See Dinner, White House Correspondents Association, 2006, for further information.

I think his point, apart from the main issue of immigrants' rights, was to mock Congress. By his very presence, he succeeded spectacularly IMHO.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | September 30, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

AnnieP1, did it honestly require Stephen Colbert's appearance to convince you Congress is a rude, tacky, tasteless, wasteful, arrogant, overpaid, intrusive, ineffective, loutish, greedy, ignorant, self-serving, and at long last, criminal joke?

Asking Mr. Colbert to repay whatever it cost the taxpayer for his appearance is farcical, considering what is wasted by those on the Hill every year. If they first repaid the taxpayers for costs of their stupidity, then I would agree with your call on Mr. Colbert.

Posted by: srpinpgh | September 30, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Colbert's testimony before Congress crossed a line. It was rude, tacky, and downright tasteless. Honestly, you expect me to pay increased taxes to run an institution that considers itself a joke? Furthermore, Colbert should be made to pay back whatever money his silly talk cost me, the taxpayer. He makes enough, and he made money off this stunt. Pay it back, Bud.

Posted by: AnnieP1 | September 30, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Colbert's testimony before Congress crossed a line. It was rude, tacky, and downright tasteless. Honestly, you expect me to pay increased taxes to run an institution that considers itself a joke? Furthermore, Colbert should be made to pay back whatever money his silly talk cost me, the taxpayer. He makes enough, and he made money off this stunt. Pay it back, Bud.

Posted by: AnnieP1 | September 30, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

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