Stephen Colbert, Greatest American Hero?


Yes, we went to Washington for the White House Correspondents' Dinner, but, no, we did not actually go to the dinner. And thus we have not yet seen Stephen Colbert's either staggeringly brilliant or thoroughly mediocre keynote performance. Judging from yesterday's email, this silence is troubling you. Wrote one old high school pal, who now toils for a major media company helping to produce TV shows about how much we all enjoyed pop culture in previous decades:

OK, so precisely what, then, is Gawker's jurisdiction regarding which media news and events are fit to snarkily dissect and/or laud?

Stephen Colbert heading directly into the lion's den to slyly and publicly eviscerate the Beltway insiders — politicians and journalists alike — at Saturday night's Correspondents' Dinner was not only another glaring indication of just how out-of-touch they all are (inviting this satirical and transparently insincere blowhard to perform for them demonstrates all too well that, as with so many other things, they really just don't get it) but one of the most patriotic acts I've witnessed of any public individual in my life.

[Photo by Getty Images.]

Considering the tremendous cojones it must take to appear onstage just yards from a sitting U.S. President and his complicit minions — all held captive in their seats by decorum and politesse — and explicitly (and hilariously) outline their myriad shortcomings and failures to their faces as likely no one has or soon will again, Colbert's routine must stand as one of the best examples of speaking truth to power that we've seen in the past five years under this lying, arrogant, self-righteous, short-sighted, inconsiderate, conniving, beady-eyed, ape-faced, a-heh-heh-chuckling motherfucker's reign as our "President." But, for some reason, the majority of articles covering this event are ignoring this very bold public challenge and are instead focusing primarily on the Bush look-alike with whom the president exchanged hackneyed, G-rated shtick revolving around the malapropisms the Right tries to pretend makes him lovable instead of simple-minded and depressingly mediocre.

I'm telling you: under the powdered plastic skin of Colbert's ersatz neocon clown clearly beats the heart and soul of a true American patriot — can't you give him some credit for this one-man assault on the corruption and cronyism that's eating away at the integrity and soul of our national identity, or would that too irrevocably shatter your own stylish and ceaselessly cynical New York candy shell?

We knew we should have TiVo'd the damned thing. While we're searching watching it on YouTube, you folks weigh in. Colbert: Hero or doofus?

The Truthiness Hurts [Salon]
About Saturday Night [The Plank/TNR]
Earlier: Mr. Gawker Goes to Washington: In Which We Hang Out With the Same Old NYC Media Kids, Break News About George Pataki and — Finally! — Stalk George Clooney