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Mr. Colbert Goes to Washington

[This blog post has been updated with details of Colbert's testimony]

Comedy Central late night star Stephen Colbert did battle on the Hill Friday morning in a Frank Capra-esque appearance before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law's Hearing on: Protecting America's Harvest.

"I am happy to use my celebrity to draw attention to this important, complicated issue and I certainly hope that my star power can bump this hearing all the way up to C-Span 1," Colbert snarked, setting off tittering in the media-infested room.

"America's farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables. Now the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. And if you look at the recent obesity statistics, you'll see that many Americans have already started," Colbert riffed glibly while some committee members, clearly unhappy the Comedy Central late night star was in the room stealing the spotlight, silently seethed.

"I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American. Then sliced by Guatemalan and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."

More tittering.

"Because my great-grandfather did not travel across 4,000 miles of Atlantic ocean to see this country overrun by immigrants. He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland."

Later, as Colbert wrapped up his routine:

"I trust that following my testimony, both sides will work together on this issue in the best interest of the American people as you always do."

Tsunami of tittering by the army of cameramen, photographers, reporters, bloggers and other non-Congressional types.

"I'm now prepared to take your questions and/or pose for pictures with your grandchildren. I yield the balance of my time, USA -- No. 1!"

Things got particularly ripe when Colbert -- appearing before the committee along with United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez and others -- sparred with Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), who was having none of Colbert's levity.

Rodriguez was dubious about the day Colbert had spent working in a field in upstate New York while "The Colbert Report" camera followed him around. This field trip had been used for a segment on his show. Part 2 of "Stephen Colbert's Fallback Position: Migrant Worker" had run the previous night, showing Colbert learning how to pick beans and pack up corn, but mostly clown around.

Rep Smith: How many other workers were there with you that day?

Colbert: I didn't take a count. I'm not good with math. I would say 50.... about a hundred.

Rep. Smith: How many of those individuals were illegal and how many were legal?

Colbert: I didn't ask them for their papers, though I had a strong urge to.

Rep.Smith: Will you assume that if you don't know they were illegal there might well have been legal workers there.?

Colbert: I don't know. I have no idea.

Rep.Smith: Well, if you don't know, then it's hard to say that they were all illegal workers... if some of them were legal, and I presume they were, that does show that Americans are willing to do those jobs. Do you know how much those workers were paid?

Colbert: I don't know. Even if they were legal I don't know if they were American citizens.

Rep. Smith: Do you know how much they were paid by the hour?

Colbert: I didn't do a good enough job to get paid so I can't compare my salary to anyone. I was actually asked to leave.

Rep. Smith: Gosh, well, to me how much they get paid is a pretty serious subject... I know you're an expert comedian... but would you call yourself an expert witness when it comes to farm labor issues or not?

Colbert: I was invited here today by [subcommittee chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)] because I was one of the 16 people who took the United Farm Workers up on the experience of having migrant farm work for a single day. If there are some other members of the committee who did that, then I have no purpose being here.

Ooh snap!

Rep.Smith: Does one day in the field make you an expert witness?

Colbert: I believe one day of me studying anything makes me an expert.

Rep. Smith: Is that more work than you've ever done before?

The tension was so thick you could slice it with a knife and spread it on a ciabatta roll.

Like the climax of a Capra flick, toward the end of the morning's historic clash between Washington celebrities and "Hollywood," the pressure of staying in character proved too much for Colbert, when Rep. Judy Chu (R-Calif.) asked him: Why are you interested in this issue?

"I like talking about people who don't have any power," Colbert said quietly and seriously - and totally out of character.

"It seemed 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," he continued while the room became pin-drop quiet.

"And yet we still invite them to come here and at the same time ask them to leave. That's an interesting contradiction to me. And whatever you do for the least of my brothers -- and these seem like the least of our brothers right now.." Colbert continued, trailing off.

"A lot of people are least brothers right now because the economy is so hard," he continued.

"I don't want to take anyone's hardship away from them or diminish anything like that. But migrant workers suffer and have no rights."

Earlier in the day, the room had trembled on media-mob-scene precipice as attendees awaited Colbert's arrival. Rep. Lofgren,chairman of the subcommittee, got out her ruler and rapped their knuckles just in case:

" I would like to remind all of the visitors in the audience that they should refrain from any manifestation of approval or disapproval of these proceedings or any other disruptive actions. If necessary, the capitol police are here to remove anyone who disrupts the hearing... we certainly hope that won't be necessary."

Then, she signaled to those same media members that she was ready for her close-up:

"People in the media spotlight have a special ability to focus public opinion on an issue. I'm happy that Stephen Colbert of 'The Colbert Report' has joined that group of celebrities who will use their media position to benefit others," she began.

"As you can see from Mr. Colbert's written testimony, he's taken the time to walk in the shoes of migrant farm workers and urges reform of our immigration laws. I'm happy the United Farm Workers helped introduce me to Mr. Colbert, who I had not met before, so we could spend a day on farm together, she simpered.

"His actions are a good example of how using both levity and fame, a media figure can bring attention to a critically important issue for the good of the nation."

Like a savvy TV producer, the subcommittee held Colbert for the end of the prepared remarks bit, in order to keep the press awake and at full attention.

Before the clambake got underway, C-Span had noted Colbert would be only the second person in history to appear before a congressional hearing "in character" - the first being Elmo who was exposed this week as a randy "Sesame Street" puppet who enjoys chasing pop singer/tart Katy Perry around her short, short skirt.

The media had been in an anticipatory frenzy when word got out he would appear Friday at the hearing. The Comedy Central late-night star had been his own opening act, devoting the top of his Thursday night show to warming up viewers and the press:

"Nation, I've said it before - the Democrats love to throw cash around. Now they've found a whole new form of wasteful government spending. Me. Because [Friday], I, Stephen Colbert, will testify before Congress - half spoken word, half dance number.

"Now, that made one of the friendly friends over at [Fox News Channel's] 'Fox & Friends', Gretchen Carlson, so incensed this morning that her hair nearly moved!" Colbert snarked.

"The idea that we're going to waste our taxpayer dollars for THIS guy to go up on Capital Hill, and we're supposed to sit here and take that?" said Taped Gretchen in a clip.

"No, you're supposed to sit there and blow it out of proportion - read your contract!" Stephen rebutted.

" I'm going to surprise you, folks. I agree with Gretchen. I am a HUGE waste of taxpayer dollars," Colbert said. "There's my hotel. My meals. And, of course, my mobile snow machine so I can cross country ski the entire way there. All of which I am paying for."

Congress, he said, is on the hook for all the water he can drink at the hearing, "plus the electricity powering my microphone for a full five minutes of talk time. God only knows how many hospitals won't be built because of me."


Colbert arrives to testify on Capitol Hill. (AP)

By Lisa de Moraes  | September 24, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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Stephen Colbert is the comedian and the Dims in Congress who invited him are the joke.

After all the ballyhoo, Colbert got tossed out of Congress without delivering his presentation. Shame on silly Dims.

39 days until Election Day. See you at the polls, Dims.

Posted by: screwjob21 | September 24, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Will it never end?
Now they're putting talking heads up as experts on digging up dirt and they expect the American voters to buy it - and they want us to pay for his drinking water?
What do they take us for?

Posted by: thanksforfish | September 24, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Stephen Colbert will set those politicians straight, I tell you.

He may cross-country ski all the way to the White House.

Posted by: bmschumacher | September 24, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

This is why we need a change in in the make up of government. Having comedians testify on a serious issue is a joke. Congresswoman Lofgren needs to be voted out.

Posted by: sarno | September 24, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@screwjob21 - good signature, you do indeed seem to be screwy.

Colbert is at this committee because he actually took the United Farm Worker initiative and worked one day; something that the vast majority of us would be unwilling to do. You and people like you, Mr/Mrs/Ms ScrewJob21, have no appreciation for the physical and emotional toll farm labor takes. These migrant workers/illegal immigrants are working these jobs because Americans don't want to. Americans don't want to accept awful wages and poor working conditions. I believe in immigration reform, but you guys truly don't get the situation (and listening to this testimony, neither does most of our govt) - these people wouldn't come here if there weren't jobs available and companies hiring them. Stop vilifying them and go after the big businesses that create these situations. Oh wait, you won't do that because that would go against your "Business is all good agenda."

Posted by: CTgirl3 | September 24, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Good lord. They really, really don't get it, do they?

The mockery stops in November ... at least in the halls of Congress.

Posted by: couwnt | September 24, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I like Colbert and I'm a Dem, but I don't agree with his role here.

Posted by: sarahabc | September 24, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh and one more thing - Colbert has more integrity, even while in character, than most of our elected representatives - Dem or Republican. These people are smug jokers who are incredibly disconnected from most people.

Posted by: CTgirl3 | September 24, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Comedian Stephen Colbert - subject matter expert. What a complete crock. The committee cut off Colbert's rambling, disjointed shtick after just five minutes.

Just another chaotic day in Barry the incompetent boob Obama's three ring circus of Pandemonium.

Posted by: screwjob21 | September 24, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Since when did comedians stop being citizens with the privilege/right to testify before congress. What makes his opinion/testimony less important; oh yeah, you don't agree with him. Whatever happened to true discourse in this Country. How come we cannot have a discussion without it turning to name calling?

Posted by: stacyh629 | September 24, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@screwjob21 - how about you attempt to address the issue in front of the committee? Clearly all you're capable of is spewing vitriol against Colbert and Obama. Think rationally about this. This is a government for the people, by the people - why does Colbert have any less of a right to testify than some of the business thugs from Wall St that have repeatedly testified (and claimed no wrongdoing) for the recession?

Posted by: CTgirl3 | September 24, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Should have kept Cobert and asked Conyers to leave.

Posted by: mitlen | September 24, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I believe that the reason Colbert testified before the committee is because -- pay attention now -- because then the public might actually take notice of the issue. Furthermore, he did exactly what he said he would do, which was to make a five minute statement to the committee on something he actually did, which was to actually work as a farm worker (without pay) long enough to at least gain an appreciation of what they actually do. He did not ramble (although he did make humorous asides) and nobody cut him off, prevented him from speaking, or sent him packing. Finally, and this is the political part, he got to satirize the people who make broad and sweeping pronouncements on the subject while knowing diddly-squat about it. If there happens to be a partisan divide in who that satirizes, then that tells you something significant about where the parties stand on an important issue.

The man is bold. He is a freaking genius.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 24, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see that Congress has nothing better to do - while a war is raging, terrorists continue to plot against us, the deficit is ballooning and unemployment is still above 9.5% - than host a comedy show. Stay classy, Dems!

Posted by: Illini | September 24, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I didn't even get to Colbert. After the Chair of the subcommittee spoke on food security as a national security issue, the senior Republican spoke. The first thing he said was he doubts that a secure food supply is a national security issue because Eskimos lived without vegetables. He must have had that on his mind for quite a while but never tried to find out how they did that. This is the kind of idiocy Republicans are supporting - aw isn't ignorance cute.

Posted by: fran426 | September 24, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

It was great hearing GOP congressmen who vote against worker protections, labor laws, and living wages paying lip service to the importance of those values in front of TV cameras.

Posted by: JPRS | September 24, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Comedian Stephen Colbert mugs his way through a cartoonish comedy act until he is cut off by the ashamed Dims who invited him. Even Boston Globe the Democrat rag, chides Colbert (quote):

"I certainly hope that my star power can bump this hearing all the way up to C-SPAN1," he quipped.

His testimony at times bordered on the absurd.

"The obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables," he said at one point. At another, he said, "Maybe the easier answer is to have scientists create vegetables that pick themselves."

Posted by: screwjob21 | September 24, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

This isn't real news, guys. This is like any other comedy routine, it's just that in this case, the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law plays the straight man.

Does it draw needed attention to the issue of undocumented farm workers? Probably. Could Congress have been doing something more worthwhile? Absolutely. So let's see a show of hands... how many of you think this was a bad idea?

OK, those of you with your hands in the air... why do you hate fun?

Posted by: joshlct | September 24, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Stephen yet again. Your courage and compassion are the stuff of legend.

Down the hypocrites! Up the Human Beings!

Posted by: arbiterveritas | September 24, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

They (conservatives) don't want to discuss the issue because they're confused. They want good economics, but if there was no cheap labor pool to do farm work, all of our food prices would jump. Big time.

This confuses Republicans. They hate immigrants, but like cheap prices (like the rest of us).

The only R I've ever heard with a firm understanding of immigration and a realistic stance is GWB, as much as I hate to say it. It's one of 2 things that I agreed with him on, the other being his refusal to place a cap on gas prices after Katrina because it would have caused a shortage.

Posted by: Jimibristol | September 24, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

It's hilarious how mexican gangs smuggle drugs across our border with impunity and illegal workers undercut construction and farm wages. Are these morons in congress even aware that we have 10% unemployment and a couple guys are getting killed everyday in Afghanistan for no reason.

Posted by: peterg73 | September 24, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

At the end of Congressional testimony, Colbert was asked why, of all the issues he could talk about did he decide to get involved in this issue.

Colbert dropped out of character. "I like talking about people who don't have any power...I feel the need to speak for those who can't speak for themselves....We ask them to come and work, and then we ask them to leave again. They suffer, and have no rights."

He quoted Matthew 25:40: "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"

Right On, Stephen. Ceasar Chavez and The Colbert Nation are proud of you !

Posted by: kirby2 | September 24, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

At one time humorists such as Mark Twain used their craft to advance social causes. It is a sad commentary on our times that so few humorists do this anymore. Today we have guys like Leno whose political humor consists of superficial wisecracks. Colbert's political "jokes" are carefully structured and deep and they carry a message. It is not surprising that so many of our citizens don't see the point - most of us have the attention span of a 13 year old and the sense of humor of a viper.

Posted by: jprospero1 | September 24, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Definitely love Colbert here, though I was surprised that he stepped out of character at the end. It was particularly moving and very effective, I thought, but I'm sure there will be commenters out there who won't have watched the video and will be unable to discern where he was being sincere and where he was being satirical. It makes me wonder just what we're going to get on October 30th. I'll definitely be there to find out.

Posted by: crashinghero | September 24, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

This is a surreal travesty: Stephen Colbert testifying in front of a Congressional committee on any topic.

Washington Post, where is the coverage of Justice Department career attorney Christopher Coates in front of the U.S Commission on Civil Rights, and Coates' allegations of the administration's refusal to enforce the Voting Rights Act in a race-neutral manner. Come on, Washington Post editors, we expect this kind of bias in reporting from the New York Times, but not from the Post.

Coates is a former attorney for the ACLU. His credentials are impeccable. Where is the Coates coverage? Where?

Posted by: Dirtlawyer1 | September 24, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

From Plato's Gorgias: Socrates - "So rhetoric, it seems effects a persuasion which can produce belief about justice and injustice, but cannot give instruction about them - Yes - The rhetorician, then, is not a teacher of law courts and other public gatherings as to what is right or wrong, but merely a creator of beliefs..." I think Stephen Colbert is hilarious, but he is a rhetorician in this case--his main goal is just to make us (the people) have the same belief as him, or whichever people he agrees with. We should all have our own individual opinions and reasoning. Use reasoning!!! Don't let your votes be influenced by the comical populous of Stephen Colbert. (((And No, I am not against immigrants having rights, I merely feel there are many studies on procedure that have yet to take place)))

Posted by: toddimagines | September 24, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse


Republicans will lose because there party is filled with bubblehead jerks like you. No one liked you as a kid did they?

Posted by: ged0386 | September 24, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I would think with sooo many out of work, the country in the middle of an economic melt-down and what does democratic congress wasste more! Mary Katharine Ham says it best!

"Can you justify this embarrassing use of our tax dollars, and the literal mockery that the Democratic Congress has become?" It's just one really expensive joke, on the American people.

Posted by: Zcat | September 24, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Som idiot staffer thought it'd be real clever to have Colbert testify and Congresswoman Lofgren is too stupid to disagree.

More evidence of the need for term limits.

Posted by: Gidgmom | September 24, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Colbert is an expert at exposing the hypocrisy and absurdity of Proud Tea Party Patriots like myself. For that reason alone I wish they hadn't let him testify.

I WANT cheap vegetables and fruits, but neither I nor any of my Fellow Patriots would be caught DEAD stooping over to pick them all day long in the hot sun for next to no money. I know a lot of people who are hurting for a job but I see none of them running out to the fields to do this work. I'm sure that fact isn't relevant to the debate though.

The answer of course is to villify these illegals and blame them for all our problems (including my house plants having died last week). It also makes sense to harrass anyone who speaks Spanish or ANY OTHER SCARY NON-AMERICAN LANGUAGE and demand their "papers". The Fatherland will never last for a thousand years unless the Reich keeps order.

Stephen Colbert is a dangerous, dangerous man and I sure hope he apologized to Rep. Smith for wiping the floor with him. That was mean of Colbert to deflate the man's carefully-pumped up pompous ego that way. Very mean.

Posted by: TriCorneredHead | September 24, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

It is not surprising that so many of our citizens don't see the point - most of us have the attention span of a 13 year old and the sense of humor of a viper.

Posted by: jprospero1
We see the point. Big business pays off congress and the executive branch for an army of slave labor at the expense of the mexicans who are treated like garbage and the american taxpayer in the form of downward pressure on wages and inflated costs of public services. Yeah, that's hilarious dude.

Posted by: peterg73 | September 24, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

What a travesty. Whether the comedian has a personal opinion regarding immigration policy or not makes him no different from any other citizen, and hardly worth inviting as a "witness" before Congressional committee. But it shouldn't surprise us that the Democratic Congresswoman who invited him had so little regard for the actual work of the people. Come on, November.

Posted by: SavingGrace | September 24, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Has Congress become such a joke that they are now bringing in comedians to testify? While I am a HUGE fan of Mr. Colbert, I think it is inappropriate for him to testify before Congress in character. This is a sad day for COngress and the legislative process.

Posted by: srm6571 | September 24, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I think it's very odd for someone to testify "in character" -- did they swear Colbert in? I bet they didn't swear in Elmo.

Nevertheless, I've met about 10,000 farmworkers in my life, and I can guarantee you that not a single one of them -- not the ones sprayed with pesticides, imprisoned by their employers, raped by their supervisors, or forced to make their children pick alongside them -- would ever get this kind of attention if they testified before Congress.

Posted by: jb1151 | September 24, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

What an ignorant fool.

Posted by: crisp11 | September 24, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"While I am a HUGE fan of Mr. Colbert, I think it is inappropriate for him to testify before Congress in character."

And that's why he broke character. Read the article again.

Posted by: mattintx | September 24, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Only the court jester can tell the king the truth.

Posted by: JoeNCA | September 24, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

First of all, stephen colbert has every right to exploit his celebrity to testify on behalf of migrant workers before Congress—particularly since he did spend a few hours going through just what migrant workers are subjected to every day they're lucky enough to get work.

And he is anything but a fool. Those who belittle his intelligence have obviously never done a moment of comedy in their lives—let alone colbert's razor-sharp satire of a right-wing demagogic talk show host four nights a week. If you think that doesn't take a mind keener than, say, that of a brain trust like sarah palin, you are very right to stay away from comedy. You'd get killed out there.

for those of you who are a little smarter, you just don't much like the laserlike precision with which he has nailed what the conservative movement has become: whiny prigs and selfish creeps, who don't give a damn about the trained monkeys they're exploiting.

for you holy rollers, i guess you didn't notice colbert quoting Christ, and i won't repeat what it was, since you're all such great Christians and must know already. but if you deny seeing the compassion in his eyes, evidence of his great heart, you're breaking the 8th commandment and you [maybe] know it.

Posted by: suffersfools | September 24, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"Glad to see that Congress has nothing better to do -- while a war is raging, terrorists continue to plot against us, the deficit is ballooning and unemployment is still above 9.5% -- than host a comedy show. Stay classy, Dems!
Posted by: Illini | September 24, 2010 12:04 PM
Lazybones, go read a book.
The war is being dealt with, as are the terrorist plots.
This committee was dealing with the unemployment situation, in the issue of employing farm workers.
Why "won't" Americans take those jobs?
Low pay, no benefits, short-term and the jobs are migratory.
Americans with a family, a mortgage, kids in school, etc., can't afford to take those jobs.
By the time they pay for their food and a place to stay, even if it's a campground, they won't make enough to send home.
This committee hearing was worth its time and effort.
And I agree with CTgirl3.
Steven Colbert has as much right to appear before the committee as any of those financial lobbyists have to walk the halls of Congress and sit around congressmen's offices drinking coffee or stronger stuff, schmoozing their oily way in to get their way on legislation.
The TV cameras just don't effectively get their sleezy schtick on camera.
Maybe it's about time for a few programs to carry a few hidden cameras and conversation recorders and do a leetle investigative work.
Kind of like that guy on NBC that traps pedophiles who, making dates by Internet, try to visit young kids when their parents on home.
Same difference.
Now THAT kind of "testimony" might be a real eyeopener for all them Tea-Partiers.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | September 24, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I have a word...embarrassing. And not really funny.

Rare for me to agree with Congressman Conyers but this "performance" didn't really help the cause of day labor field hands....

"I like talking about people who don't have any power," Colbert said quietly and seriously - and totally out of character."

Apparently he didn't want to be their voice--he just liked talking about them...what a absolute travesty.

Posted by: mil1 | September 24, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Matthew 25:40: "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"

How DARE Colbert quote actual statements from the Bible to us Proud Card Carrying Christians (tm)! The WORDS and TEACHINGS of Jesus are not important. What's important is that you wave your empty faith around loud and proud at every chance.



Glenn Beck tells me what Jesus wanted from us, and I know that Glenn never lies. He's a Mormon and they aren't allowed to lie, so I'm sure he doesn't ever.

Tea Party 2010

Posted by: TriCorneredHead | September 24, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Colbert is a ninny.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | September 24, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing that so many who leave comments don't understand the concept of satire. Not only that they miss the point if Cobert wasn't there this conversation wouldn't be happening and very few Americans even know the hearings happened.
The question posed but not completely answered is if unemployment is 9.5% why are farmers still hiring illegals to pick the crop? As with all the real problems this country is facing the answer doesn't fit on a bumper sticker.

Posted by: farfromdc | September 25, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I thought "Americans don't get irony" was a myth until I read some of the comments here. Colbert came across as a pure genius plus a man with heart. God Bless America.

Posted by: shaik1 | September 26, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Not surprising that many in this literal minded country, with its concerns over whether evolution is true, global warming is real, and if Obama is a Muslim, would not appreciate the laser satire of Stephen Colbert. He mocked the committee in a way that may not have been seen since Abbie Hoffman appeared in his Uncle Sam hat and red/white/and blue shirt before the House on UnAmerican Activities Committee. A purpose of satire is to expose hypocrisy. Colbert did that very well: 'Like most members of Congress I have not read the report'...ha.ha. Congress has made a mockery of itself and the American people.
Colbert is some kind of brave to get up in front of them and expose them. Huzzah !

Posted by: ocotilla | September 26, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The saddest part of the Stephen Colbert saga is that instead of looking at the issue, we become consumed with a basic issue. Does a celebrity have the right to an opinion and should we give any weight to that opinion? The truth is that they have a right to their opinion and we tend to listen and they tend to have the right to utter those opinion in public when it matches our opinions.
Charleton Heston would be accepted by the right to voice his opinion to some. Those same members would be opposed to Tom Cruise. I am not a fan of either celebrity but I fought for their right to speak.
What gets lost is the disposition of migrant workers-illegal aliens--undocumented workers. The same forces which decry their violations of law encourage those violations because it provides a cheap labor force. Outside of the energy charged political, does anyone really believe that business interests really don't want the cheap labor. Does anyone really believe that the money which permeates our political system would ever allow the expulsion of this labor.
In many ways, it is an empty political football. Each side punts but no one scores.
The answer is to find a way to allow the illegals to become legal as Ronald Reagan did. The answer is to streamline our system to make it easier to come in legally. The answer is to control our borders. The answers are easy. The football fame is hard.
The best we can hope for is to keep everything the way it is. To avert our eyes as more people cross the border. To listen to the false ranting of couch potatoes as they cheer for their football team. Until something seriously bad happens, the ball will not move. If something bad happens, each side will use the opportunity to move the ball another 10 yards and proclaim victory while excoriating the opponent as un-patriotic or God-less.
All we have to give up is our sense of history and sense of fairness to others. So some guy comes over here illegally. Do I really care? If someone abuses that person or mistreats them, should I care? If they use up my tax dollars to collect welfare, should I care?
The important question--should Colbert be taking up Congress' time? The other questions really don't matter.

Posted by: RespectingOthers | September 29, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

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