The Colbert non-report

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Tim Grieve in this morning's Salon War Room:

What Colbert did to the president and the press corps is news: He didn't shoot anybody Saturday night at the Hinckley Hilton, but he laid them out in just about every other way imaginable. It was as an "Emperor's New Clothes" moment played out with George W. Bush and his court forced to watch, and you ought to have seen it and talked about it and read reporting and analysis on it by now.

It's not your fault if you haven't. The Washington Post had a few not-quite-getting-the-point mentions of Colbert's act, but Colbert didn't get half the ink the paper spilled on appearances by George Clooney and Morgan Fairchild and other celebrities at Bloomberg's after-party. The New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller wrote almost 1,000 words on the annual dinner this year, but not one of them was "Colbert."

The correspondents' dinner, Bumiller wrote, is "supposed" to be a time for the president "to make fun of himself in an effort to establish his regular-guy credentials and ingratiate himself with the press." That's apparently what Bumiller's reporting on the dinner was supposed to be, too: one more chance to show what a swell guest Bush would be at our next backyard barbecue. Colbert didn't play along—he didn't stick to the story line—so he didn't get the laughs in the room, and he didn't get the attention his message deserved in the press.  [full post—ad view may be required]

If you haven't watched the video yet, go back and do so. Then do a search on "Colbert" at the Times site and see what you come up with since April 29th. It should be a historic moment, being probably the first time in six years that anyone's told Bush to his face what an asshat he is.

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on May 2, 2006 9:43 AM.

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