Stephen Colbert certainly made a big impression at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Many people in the room and covering the event were not impressed. Hey, he made the press out to be lapdogs. They almost came off worse than Bush. But if he hurt some itty bitty feelings in the press corps, good for him. The transcript from the event is pretty funny, and that's what counts in a comedy routine.
Personally, I'm inclined to appreciate that Colbert threw stuff this scalding at the POTUS from but a few steps away. Rock and roll! Slap that sumbitch around like an ugly, redheaded stepchild. Keep him humble.
Just do not pretend like you're seriously participating in political debate. Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are mere comedians, not intellectuals whose material should be taken seriously. Colbert is not, in fact, a legitimate political commentator making rational arguments based on facts. He's a liar and a slander artist. That's his job.
Look, comedy isn't fair. That's a given. Fair and balanced comedy is probably going to be worthless, and not even funny. Yuck!
But of course, you don't run the country based on frickin' comedy routines. I feel stupid for needing to say something that obvious, but we can't run our military based on punch lines from Comedy Central. It's going to take a little more than a half-assed Jon Stewart monologue to deal with crazy nuclear mullahs in Iran.
Specifically, I reject the underlying point of Colbert's claim of "truthiness." In his backwards comic way, he's arguing that he's speaking truth to power and that the power (Bush, et al.) is lying. That is, in fact, substantially exactly backwards on both counts. In reality, President Bush has been among the more honest presidents of recent memory — if only because he knows he couldn't get away with acting like Bill Clinton.
But more significantly, Colbert, et al., routinely make crap up. Colbert said at this dinner, "I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the "No Fact Zone." In context, he obviously means Bill O'Reilly, but in all real truthiness, it's even more applicable when speaking of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. I think O'Reilly's a slug who'll twist facts and make mountains out of molehills, but he's generally not just making crap up. O'Reilly runs, perhaps, a selective facts zone, but Colbert and Stewart pretty much DO run "no facts zones."