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Bush Not Amused as Colbert Lampoons Him at the White House Correspondents Dinner (Includes Transcript)

by Pamela Leavey

E&P reports that Bush was not amused as Comedy Central’s faux talk show host Stephen Colbert, ripped him in a “blistering comedy ‘tribute’” at the White House Correspondents Dinner tonight. How unamused was Bush? E&P’s reports Colbert’s “tribute” left “George and Laura Bush unsmiling at its close.” Ooh, talk about your just desserts…

Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

Noting those low ratings, Colbert advised, “The glass isn’t half empty – it’s 68% empty. There’s still some fluid in there, but I wouldn’t drink it.”

He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This administration is soaring, not sinking,” he said. “They are re-arranging the deck chairs–on the Hindenburg.”

Colbert told Bush he could end the problem of protests by retired generals by refusing to let them retire. He compared Bush to Rocky Balboa in the “Rocky” movies, always getting punched in the face—“and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world.”

Turning to the war, he declared, “I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.”

He noted former Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the crowd, as well as ” Valerie Plame.” Then, pretending to be worried that he had named her, he corrected himself, as Bush aides might do, “Uh, I mean… Joseph Wilson’s wife.” He asserted that it might be okay, as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was probably not there.

Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, “photo ops” on aircraft carriers and at hurriance disasters, and Vice President Cheney shooting people in the face.

Observing that Bush sticks to his principles, he said, “When the president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday – no matter what happened Tuesday.”

Colbert also lampooned the press, complaining that he was “surrounded by the liberal media who are destroying this country, except for Fox News. Fox believes in presenting both sides—the president’s side and the vice president’s side.” He also reflected on the good old days, when the media was still swallowing the WMD story.

Addressing the reporters, he said, “You should spend more time with your families, write that novel you’ve always wanted to write. You know, the one about the fearless reporter who stands up to the administration. You know– fiction.”

He closed his routine with a video fantasy where he gets to be White House Press Secretary, complete with a special “Gannon” button on his podium. By the end, he runs fleeing from Helen Thomas and her questions about why the U.S. really invaded Iraq and killed all those people.

As he walked from the podium, the president and First Lady gave Colbert quick nods, unsmiling, and left immediately. E&P’s Joe Strupp, in the crowd, observed that quite a few sitting hear him felt the material was, perhaps, uncomfortably biting.

Asked by E&P after it was over if he thought he’d been too harsh, Colbert said, “Not at all.” Was he trying to make a point politically or just get laughs? “Just for laughs,” he said. He said he did not pull any material for being too strong, just for time reasons.

Helen Thomas told E&P’s Strupp that her segment with Colbert was “just for fun.” No doubt Thomas was laughing under her breath.

Sounds like a good time must have been had by all… except the President. E&P has more on the cocktail “chatter” at tonight’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner here.

UPDATE: MSNBC has the wrong title — “Bush in ‘chipper’ mood at reporters’ dinner.”

UPDATE 2: Here’s a complete transcript of Colbert, compliments of friend…

Here with a special edition of the Colbert report, Stephen Colbert.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen. Before I begin, I’ve been asked to make an announcement. Whoever parked 14 black bullet proof S.U.V.’S out front, could you please move them. They are blocking in 14 other black bulletproof S.U.V.’S and they need to get out.

Wow, wow, what an honor. The White House Correspondents’ Dinner. To just sit here, at the same table with my hero, George W. Bush, to be this close to the man. I feel like I’m dreaming. Somebody pinch me. You know what, I’m a pretty sound sleeper, that may not be enough. Somebody shoot me in the face.

Is he really not here tonight? The one guy who could have helped. By the way, before I get started, if anybody needs anything at their tables, speak slowly and clearly on into your table numbers and somebody from the N.S.A. will be right over with a cocktail.

Mr. Smith, ladies and gentlemen of the press corps, Mr. President and Madame first lady, my name is Stephen Colbert and it’s my privilege tonight to celebrate our president. He’s no so different, he and I. We get it. We’re not brain backs on the nerd patrol. We’re not members of the fact (police). We go straight from the gut, right sir? That’s where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. I know some of you are going to say I did look it up, and that’s not true. That’s but you looked it up in a book.

Next time look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that’s how our nervous system works. Every night on my show, the Colbert report, I speak straight from the gut, ok? I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the no fact zone. Fox News, I own the copyright on that term.

I’m a simple man with a simple mind, with a simple set of beliefs that I live by. Number one, I believe in America. I believe it exists.

My gut tells me I live there. I feel that it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and I strongly believe it has 50 states. And I cannot wait to see how “the Washington Post” spins that one tomorrow. I believe in democracy. I believe democracy is our greatest export. At least until China figures out a way to stamp it out in plastic for three cents a unit.

In fact, ambassador, welcome, your great country makes our happy meals possible. I said it’s a celebration. I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.

I believe in pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. I believe it is possible — I saw this guy do it once in Cirque du Soleil. It was magical. And though I am a committed Christian, I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be it Hindu, Jewish or Muslim. I believe our infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe it’s yogurt. But I refuse to believe it’s not butter. Most of all I believe in this president.

Now, I know there’s some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don’t pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in “reality.” And reality has a well-known liberal bias.

So, Mr. President, pay no attention to the people that say the glass is half full. 32% means the glass — it’s important to set up your jokes properly, sir. Sir pay no attention to the people who say the glass is half empty, because 32% means it’s 2/3 empty. There’s still some liquid in that glass is my point, but I wouldn’t drink it.

The last third is usually backwash. Folks, my point is that I don’t believe this is a low point in this presidency. I believe it is just a lull, before a comeback.

I mean, it’s like the movie “Rocky.” The president is Rocky and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world. It’s the 10th round. He’s bloodied, his corner man, Mick, who in this case would be the Vice President, and he’s yelling cut me, dick, cut me, and every time he falls she say stay down! Does he stay down? No. Like Rocky he gets back up and in the end he — actually loses in the first movie.

Ok. It doesn’t matter. The point is the heart-warming story of a man who was repeatedly punched in the face. So don’t pay attention to the approval ratings that say 68% of Americans disapprove of the job this man is doing. I ask you this, does that not also logically mean that 68% approve of the job he’s not doing? Think about it. I haven’t.

I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.

Now, there may be an energy crisis. This president has a very forward-thinking energy policy. Why do you think he’s down on the ranch cutting that brush all the time? He’s trying to create an alternative energy source. By 2008 we will have a mesquite powered car.

And I just like the guy. He’s a good joe. Obviously loves his wife, calls her his better half. And polls show America agrees. She’s a true lady and a wonderful woman. But I just have one beef, ma’am.

I’m sorry, but this reading initiative. I’ve never been a fan of books. I don’t trust them. They’re all fact, no heart. I mean, they’re elitist telling us what is or isn’t true, what did or didn’t happen. What’s Britannica to tell me the Panama Canal was built in 1914. If I want to say it was built in 1941, that’s my right as an American. I’m with the president, let history decide what did or did not happen.

The greatest thing about this man is he’s steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday, that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change, this man’s beliefs never will. And as excited as I am to be here with the president, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America, with the exception of Fox News. Fox News gives you both sides of every story, the President’s side and the Vice President’s side.

But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on N.S.A. wiretapping or secret prisons in Eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason, they’re superdepressing.

And if that’s your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over the last five years you people were so good over tax cuts, W.M.D. intelligence, the affect of global warming. We Americans didn’t want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.

But, listen, let’s review the rules. Here’s how it works. The President makes decisions, he’s the decider. The Press Secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know, fiction.

Because really, what incentive do these people have to answer your questions, after all? I mean, nothing satisfies you. Everybody asks for personnel changes. So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write they’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.

Now, it’s not all bad guys out there. Some heroes, Buckley, Kim Schieffer. By the way, Mr. President, thank you for agreeing to be to my show. I was just as shocked as everyone here is I promise you. How is Tuesday for you? I’ve got Frank Rich, but we can bump him. And I mean bump him. I know a guy. Say the word.

See who we’ve got here tonight. General Mowsly, Air Force Chief of Staff. General Peter Pace. They still support Rumsfeld. You guys aren’t retired yet, right? Right, they still support Rumsfeld. Look, by the way, I’ve got a theory about how to handle these retired generals causing all this trouble, don’t let them retire. C’mon, we’ve got a stop loss program, let’s use it on these guys. If you’re strong enough to go on one of those pundit shows, you can stand on a bank of computers and order men into battle. C’mon.

Jesse Jackson is here. I had him on the show. Very interesting and challenging interview. You can ask him anything, but he’s going to say what he wants at the pace that he wants.

It’s like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is.

Justice Scalia’s here. May I be the first to say welcome, sir. You look fantastic. How are you?

John McCain is here. John McCain John McCain. What a maverick. Somebody find out what fork he used on his salad, because I guarantee you wasn’t a salad fork. He could have used a spoon. There’s no predicting him. So wonderful to see you coming back into the republican fold. I have a summerhouse in South Carolina, look me up when you go to speak at Bob Jones University. So glad you’ve seen the light.

Mayor Nagin is here from New Orleans, the chocolate city. Yeah, give it up. Mayor Nagin, I would like to welcome you to Washington, D.C., The chocolate city with a marshmallow center. And a graham cracker crust of corruption. It’s a mallomar is what I’m describing, a seasonal cookie.

Joe Wilson is here, the most famous husband since Desi Arnez. And of course he brought along his lovely wife Valerie Plame. Oh, my god! Oh, what have I said. I am sorry, Mr. President, I meant to say he brought along his lovely wife, Joe Wilson’s wife. Pat Fitzgerald is not here tonight? Dodged a bullet.

And we can’t forget man of the hour, new Press Secretary, Tony Snow. Secret service name, Snow Job. What a hero, took the second toughest job in government, next to, of course, the ambassador to Iraq. Got some big shoes to fill, Tony. Scott McClellan could say nothing like nobody else. McClellan, eager to retire. Really felt like he needed to spend more time with Andrew Card’s children. Mr. President, I wish you hadn’t made the decision to quickly, sir. I was vying for the job. I think I would have made a fabulous press secretary.

I have nothing but contempt for these people. I know how to handle these clowns. In fact, sir, I brought along an audition tape and with your indulgence, I’d like to at least give it a shot. So, ladies and gentlemen, my press conference.

Via DKOS (UPDATED): Colbert shows a video of a mock press conference. It opens with him at a podium, addressing the assembled Washington press corps.

COLBERT: I have a brief statement: the press is destroying America. OK, let’s see who we’ve got here today.

COLBERT (acknowledging various reporters): Stretch! (David Gregory nods)

Sir Nerdlington! (reporter nods)

Sloppy Joe! (reporter nods)

Terry Lemon Moran Pie! (Terry Moran nods)

Oh, Doubting Thomas, always a pleasure. (Helen Thomas smiles)

And Suzanne Mal — hello!!

(Suzanne Malveaux stares at Colbert, looking unhappy. Colbert mimics putting a phone to his ear and mouths “call me.”)

REPORTER: Will the Vice President be available soon to answer all questions himself?

COLBERT: I’ve already addressed that question. You (pointing to another reporter).

REPORTER: Walter Cronkite, the noted CBS anchor, . . .

COLBERT (interrupting): Ah, no, he’s the former CBS anchor. Katie Couric is the new anchor of the CBS Evening News. Well, well, how do you guys feel about that?

You, tousle-haired guy in the back. Are you happy about Katie Couric taking over the CBS Evening News?

DAN RATHER: No, sir, Mr. Colbert. Are you? (Laughter)

COLBERT: Boom! Oh, look, we woke David Gregory up. Question?

DAVID GREGORY: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

COLBERT: I don’t know. I’ll ask him.

(Colbert turns to Rove) Karl, pay attention please! (Rove is seen drawing a heart with “Karl + Stephen” written on it.)

GREGORY: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003 when you were asked specifically about Karl, and Elliott Abrams, and Scooter Libby, and you said “I’ve gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me that they are not involved in this.” Do you stand by that statement?

COLBERT: Nah, I was just kidding!

GREGORY: No, you’re not finishing. You’re not saying anything! You stood at that podium and said . . .

COLBERT (interrupting): Ah, that’s where you’re wrong. New podium! Just had it delivered today. Get your facts straight, David.

GREGORY: This is ridiculous. The notion that you’re going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell the people watching this that somehow you’ve decided not to talk. You’ve got to . . .

(Colbert is seen looking at three buttons on the podium, labeled “EJECT,” “GANNON” and “VOLUME.” He selects the “VOLUME” button and turns it. We see Gregory’s lips continue moving, but can’t hear any sound coming out.)

COLBERT: If I can’t hear you, I can’t answer your question. I’m sorry! I have to move on. Terry.

TERRY MORAN: After the investigation began, after the criminal investigation was underway, you said . . .

(Colbert presses a button on the podium and fast-forwards through most of Moran’s question.)

MORAN (continuing): All of a sudden, you have respect for the sanctity of a criminal investigation?

COLBERT (seen playing with rubber ball, which he is bouncing off attached paddle): No, I never had any respect for the sanctity of a criminal investigation. Activist judges! Yes, Helen.

HELEN THOMAS: You’re going to be sorry. (Laughter)

COLBERT (looking vastly amused, mockingly): What are you going to do, Helen, ask me for a recipe?

THOMAS: Your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands (Colbert’s smile fades) of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime.

COLBERT (interrupting): OK, hold on Helen, look . . .

THOMAS (continuing): Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is why did you really want to go to war?

COLBERT (again interrupting): Helen, I’m going to stop you right there. (Thomas keeps talking.) That’s enough! No! Sorry, Helen, I’m moving on. (Colbert tries to turn her volume off, but the knob falls off his controls.)

(Various reporters start shouting questions at Colbert.)

COLBERT (agitated): Guys, guys, please don’t let Helen do this to what was a lovely day.

(Reporters keep shouting at him.)

COLBERT (putting his fingers over his ears and shouting in a high-pitched voice): Bllrrtt! No, no, no, no, no. I’m not listening to you!

Look what you did, Helen! I hate you!

(Helen Thomas glowers at Colbert.)

COLBERT (frantic): I’m out of here!

(Colbert pulls back the curtain behind him, desperately trying to flee. He says, “There is a wall here!” The press corps laughs. Colbert has difficulty finding a door from which to exit the room, echoing Bush’s experience in China. He finally finds the door and hurries through it.)

COLBERT: It reeks in there! Ridiculous! I’ve never been so insulted in my life! Stupid job.

(Colbert continues walking away. We hear sinister-sounding music playing. We see Helen Thomas walking behind Colbert.)

(Colbert looks behind him, sees Thomas, and starts running.)

(Colbert trips over a roller skate, and yells “Condi!” We see a close-up of Helen Thomas’ face, looking determined and angry. Colbert, increasingly panicked, gets up and continues running, running into a parking garage. He reaches an emergency call box, and yells into it.)

COLBERT: Oh, thank God. Help me!

ATTENDANT: What seems to be the problem, sir?

COLBERT: She won’t stop asking why we invaded Iraq!

ATTENDANT: Hey, why did we invade Iraq?

COLBERT: NO!!! (runs toward his car)

(We see Helen Thomas, still walking toward him.)

(Colbert reaches his car, and fumblingly attempts to open it with his key. He is in such a desperate hurry that he fumbles with the keys and drops them. When he picks them up, he looks back and Helen is even closer. In his frantic rush, Colbert just can’t get the keys into the lock.)

(Just as his anxiety is getting completely out of control he suddenly remembers that he has a keyless remote — so he just pushes the button on the keychain and the car unlocks immediately with the usual double squeak noise. Colbert jumps in and locks the door, and continues to fumble trying to get the car started. He finally succeeds, and looks up to see Helen standing in front of the car, notepad in hand.)

COLBERT: NO!!! NO!!!

(Colbert puts the car into reverse and drives off, tires squealing. Thomas smiles.)

(Colbert is shown taking the shuttle from Washington, D.C. to New York. A car and driver are waiting for him at Penn Station. The uniformed man standing alongside the car opens the door and lets Colbert in.)

COLBERT: What a terrible trip, Danny. Take me home.

(The driver locks the doors, turns around, and says, “Buckle up, hon.” IT’S HELEN THOMAS!!!)

COLBERT (horrified face pressed against car window): NO!!!

END OF “AUDITION TAPE”

STEPHEN COLBERT: Helen Thomas, ladies and gentlemen. Mr. Smith, members of the White House Correspondents Association, Madame First Lady, Mr. President, it’s been a true honor. Thank you very much. Good night!

UPDATE 3: CrooksandLiars has video here and there’s another video here in QT.

UPDATE 4: Talk about denial from the right-wing… Heaven forbid that Stephen Colbert should upstage Bush. On the right — HotAir says “Bush Kills, Colbert Bombs” and Riehl World View claims, “Colbert Should Have Phoned It In… it was embarrassing to watch.”

UPDATE 5: Peter Daou has a take on the MSM ignoring Colbert here: “Ignoring Colbert: A Small Taste of the Media’s Power to Choose the News.” USA Today actually gives Colbert some decent play and says, “Colbert’s humor was so satirical and silly that left some people bewildered and others tearing up with laughter.”

79 Responses to “Bush Not Amused as Colbert Lampoons Him at the White House Correspondents Dinner (Includes Transcript)”

  1. Hmmmmmmmnnnn. This is in the key of ‘C’.

    There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight.

    or.. in the key of ‘A flat’

    O they built the ship Titanic to sail the ocean blue.

    Or.. my absolute fav…in the key of ‘C’ again

    Nobody knows you when you’re down and out.

  2. I am glad he made Bushwinkle look bad. It’s about time. I love that experssion on Bush’s face. He looked like he was having a Maalox moment. :)

    Terrence Howard drinks Kool-Aid? Ewww.

  3. Ha ha!! A maalox moment!

    Isn’t this the same event where Laura did her fabulous sexually perverted comedy routine last year? Her husband making it with a donkey or something?
    What a year will do.

  4. Indie

    LOL! A Maalox moment – I’ll bet he had the runs!

  5. The way I see it, Bush is our elected leader, and Colbert only pointed out the obvious. It was the giant elephant in the room and Colbert was riding atop of it the whole time.

    Let’s just hope Colbert’s wife is not a clandestine CIA agent.

  6. Colbert so totally rox

  7. As a supplement to Colbert’s speech (gosh, I wish I’d seen that!) , here is an important, in-depth analysis of the breadth and depth of damage that Bush has done to our battered democracy:

    Bush challenges hundreds of laws
    President cites powers of his office
    By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | April 30, 2006
    WASHINGTON — President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

    Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ”whistle-blower” protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

    For rest of article, see here

  8. I realize this is off topic, but I couldn’t find any mention elsewhere in the Democratic Daily Blog of the death of Julia Thorne, John Kerry’s first wife, I hope that people will see this fine piece: a story of a real and worthy life. In the end, the story, like Julia Thorne’s life, is about compassion and about truth.

    some excerpts:
    In a telephone interview, John Kerry called Ms. Thorne ”a great friend to a lot of people” and spoke with emotion of her accomplishments as a parent. ”She was the best mom two daughters could want,” he said. ”She was completely committed to the kids and their future.”
    Her daughter echoed that view.
    ”She was a phenomenal mother,” said Vanessa Kerry, of Cambridge. ”And she affected many others, too. So many people have come up to me over the years, even on the campaign trail, to say how much of a difference her books made for them. . ..”
    . . ”What she disdained more than anything was politics,” said Douglas Brinkley in a telephone interview yesterday. Brinkley, the author of ”Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War,” added that Ms. Thorne ”didn’t enjoy the breakfasts, the lunches, the shaking of hands: the upbeat rigamarole of politics. She loathed the back-stabbing of it. She went on her own journey, one based on spirituality and nature.”
    . .. Ms. Thorne and Kerry remained friendly after their divorce and she supported his presidential candidacy in 2004. ”I don’t have a single reservation about this man,” she said in 2003. ”He is an extraordinarily astute politician.”
    There could be little doubt, though, of her own sense of relief not to be involved in the campaign. ”After 14 years as a political wife, I associated politics only with anger, fear, and loneliness,” she wrote in ”A Change of Heart.”
    ”She saw the life of the rich and famous and rejected it,” Brinkley said yesterday. ”She saw the life of a celebrity in the modern world and disdained it. She sought the life of a serious person in a thoughtful community.” . . .

  9. mbk — there was mention of her death in previos entries.

    To everyone else — Colbert’s the man! The Colnert Report has actually managed to replace the Daily Show as my favorite show, and that says something. Talk about brass balls… and such wit!

    Is there anywhere on the web where we can get a video stream of his performance?

  10. Moderate Voice — thanks for the link!

  11. When the president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday – no matter what happened Tuesday.

    BEST LINE.

  12. [...] ort tells us about Mexico’s drug decriminilization policy. Democratic Daily tells us why George W. Bush was unhappy at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Also: Texas-based The [...]

  13. Dude, Colbert is a COMEDIAN! He’s NOT an actual news figure, neither is Jon Stewart, although from time to time he is funny.

  14. Woah, Colbert was brutal! I almost fell sorry for Bush as he had to sit thru the lampoon. The crowd on the other had expressions of amusement even if they looked a bit shocked.
    But at the end of the day, hats off to Colbert, funny doesn’t quite adequately cover it.

  15. I have to wonder if those who invited Colbert ever saw his show? What did they think it was going to be?

    Or maybe the point is: they did!

  16. I think a lot of people criticizing Colbert, especially bloggledygook, are missing what is happening outside the ballroom. 68% of us laughed so hard, we multitasked crying and other bodily fluid leaking.

    I’d be interested to know how many of the 32% found themselves rationally trying NOT to laugh, only to find themselves unable to contain it – like the sneeze you can’t stop.

    Watching this group unable to laugh at what we found hilarious underscores his point. They can’t see themselves and they can’t laugh at themselves. Why should they? The rest of us are only using humor to alleviate the incredible pain of what this administration is doing – with the subtle blessings of the White House Correspondents (Helen Thomas and a few others excepted).

    Eventually, the truth in Colbert’s lines and the reaction outside the ballroom may make it’s way into the minds of those who sat stunned during the performance.

    More important to me is that 68% of us are not just laughing hard, we are recharged. And the next poll may make that number 70%.

    Colbert was brilliant.

  17. Today, the place to be a fly on the wall would be the WH

  18. To people who want to recapture (or capture) the moment search for colbert on youtube.

  19. The dinner is airing on C-Span right now… we’re tivoing it while my husband finishs up his final work for the university, grading. On other words, the show will be our celebration to be finished with this place… and perfectly, perfectly fitting.

    The Colbert Report has also bumped The Daily Show down to #2 in this house.

    Moderatate Voice, thanks for the link.

    God, that line, “reality has a well-known liberal bias” is going on a tee-shirt. :-)

  20. BTW, I don’t say it often enough… how much I value being able to come here every day for a dose of sanity. Living in Rural Red can be wearying… I appreciate you all.

    All at once now: *ahhhhh* ;-)

  21. The Moderate Voice does have a great round of links this morning. The entire blogosphere seems to be abuzz with this from left to right!

  22. Pamela,

    Tomorrows White House Press Conference could be very interesting.

    Who ignores this, who asks pointed questions and what will be the result of the WH mad scramble to find comments and answers to quash the blog discussions. Especially if they are picked up by the MSM and continued for awhile.

  23. Ah Ginny, I so miss being able to catch C-Span during the day. Where is Fedup? She is great at telling us what will be on, when. A proud C-Span junkie, she is. ;-)

  24. ahhhhhhhhhh

  25. Here is the full video, including the lookalike Bush skit before Colbert. Its a Bittorrent file, everyone get it! http://www.mininova.org/tor/296239

  26. Koalabear

    Thanks I’m adding your link to the main the post.

  27. KJ

    I pinched my nose and took lots of deep breaths this week to restart my cable service so I could watch more of what is covered.

    As much as I hate giving the 4th estate $ after they abdicated their responsibilities in ’02, ’03 and ’04, I had to deal with NOW. And now, they are actually giving Kerry more air time and coverage. And other good sources as well. Besides, I want to watch Jon Stewart again and now Colbert too.

    I empathize deeply with having to live in Rural Red. Living as close as I am to Dobson’s worldwide fundamentalist fortress in Colorado Springs, the static drives me close to nuts frequently. The Dem Daily, Air America and other sources are essential in minimum daily doses to prevent mental collapse and nervous break down from contemplating BushCo activities.

    *ahhhhh*

  28. [...] re’s Part 1 of the clip. And here’s Part 2. If you don’t have broadband, here’s a transcript. UPDATE: Peter Daou on the media cleansing Colbert from their cove [...]

  29. Let me clarify “As much as I hate giving the 4th estate $ after they abdicated their responsibilities in ‘02, ‘03 and ‘04″

    I could have said “starting back in the ’80′s”. Those 3 years were the final impetus to boycott them. In addition to not wanting to follow too closely what the re-elected Bush Crime Family would do.

  30. Skizz,

    You are correct that neither Colbert or Stewert are true journalists. They are comedians (who are funny more than just from “time to time.” It is a sad commentary on the state of the news media when fake news as they deliver is often a more accurate reflection of what is going on than the real news from the mainstream media. There are sides to the news beyond the President’s side and the Vice President’s side.

    I understand that many of you at Conservative Underground are upset with such criticism being presented regarding President Bush. Fortunately such dissent is a well established part of our American traditions. Such dissent is both inevitable and, from our viewpoint encouraged, when faced with a President who so reqularly disregards the principles upon which this country was founded, such as respect for individual liberties, the free market (which only works when governemnt is not used to enrich a few and promote the interests of certain corporations), a rational defense (as opposed to using a terrorist attack for politcal gain, and undermining our national security in the process), separation of powers, and freedom of religion (which can only survive when there is separation of church and state).

  31. LOLing at the “ahhhs” and the idea that poor beleaguered Mr. Bush had to listen to “the other side.” And Laura, too. I’m really sad for her.

    What a terrible event to endure. The very thought that a Bush was dissed in public, in the guise of humor, no less! It must have even hurt old Babs’ “beautiful mind.”

    Just sittin’ here crying croc tears for the lot. Poor, poor Bushies. I’ll bet even Bandar Bush sends a sympathy card.

  32. Ginny, I used to have to proofread Dobson’s column every Wednesday night, that, and my boss’ editorials. I DO feel for you!

  33. [...] torrent here. I was going to post a few choice quotes, but instead, the transcript’s here. What’s that?  Not laughing?  You don’t find it funny?  Gee.  That’s becaus [...]

  34. LOL! Great line from the blog that just linked to us above: “To stand up and say that in front of the president must require balls of steel. Dang.”

    I was just thinking about Colbert being an actor and how the Oscars had been so careful not to Bush bash and then we get handed this on a silver platter with Bush being humiliated in full view of the attendees. Hmmm…

  35. KJ, Pamela

    I think my fav is on Daou’s post at HuffPo, on Colbert playing the court jester to King George, in front of the whole court.

    Pamela, glad they put your comment up. Mine is nowhere and likely to remain there. It was simply observing that Daou’s comments show the MSM doesn’t always follow their ususal emphasis on ‘Man bites dog’ stories. This time they chose to go for the feel good side.

    Because the other story contained ‘man bites media’?

  36. Ginny

    I just added a new update and linked to Peter’s post. There’s also a link to USA Today who actually gave Colbert some decent play in their story.

  37. graventy,
    I don’t understand your post.

    I laughed so hard I was crying.

    I am not a Colbert fan as much of his stuff is mean-spirited. In retrospect, maybe this stuff was. To ask Colbert to do this is like feeding raw meat to a hungry lion.

    What did DumboInc expect to get? Did they expect the same kind of kool-aid drinking brain-dead morons that always show up to be with the worst President ever?

    Let’s suppose President Kerry has the same thing with the same cast of characters. We would probably be angry that Kerry and his family insulted. But the jokes wouldn’t make us think of missing WMDs or everlasting war or terrorism or outing CIA agents.

    If Colbert really wanted to highlight Dumbo’s errors, it would be a constant week long story as the five years of DumboInc and the transgressions have need very long indeed

  38. Battlebob

    Colbert probably would have a lifetime of material from Dumbo!

  39. P.S. Battlebob

    I think graventy was being sarcastic.

  40. Matt O above said it best for me:
    “The way I see it, Bush is our elected leader, and Colbert only pointed out the obvious. IT WAS THE GIANT ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM AND COLBERT WAS RIDING ATOP OF IT THE WHOLE TIME.”

    Perfect. @;-)

  41. KJ

    Hmmm… Visions of Dumbo ears flapping in the wind!

  42. Pamela, HA! Even better image!

  43. KJ

    Maybe Colbert was flying around the room on the giant elephant with Dumbo ears!

  44. Hey,

    Stop smearing Dumbo (the original)

    Oh, the sarcastic humor we resort to when pushed to our limits.

    Think “Gallows Humor” M*A*S*H (ER) Humor…..

  45. Ginny

    You’re right, Dumbo was a sweet character… unlike the resident.

  46. Just watched. For the most part, sat forward in my chair with my hands over my mouth. Shocking even to me, I can’t begin to imagine what ‘wingers were thinking.

    Yes, indeed, Colbert rode the elephant around the room.

    I wonder if there is anyone who has ever addressed W so bluntly, face-to-face, in his life, before Colbert. Or Scalia.

    Bravo.

  47. And, you know, it was just words. If anyone felt sucker-punched, it was just words.

    It wasn’t outing a CIA agent, it wasn’t blowing the budget, it wasn’t ignoring warnings that OBL was determined to strike in the US, it wasn’t going to war over oil, it wasn’t not supplying those troops going to war over oil with armor. And it sure wasn’t stealing an election or two.

    Colbert had his chance and bless him, he took it. He didn’t waste one second or one word.

    Bravo, bravo, bravo for Colbert’s courage. John McCain, he got you too. Excellent.

  48. KJ

    GOP:
    Overt;”Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” (It’s easy to deny the truth, people do it all the time. Fortunately as Will S. also said “The truth will out”)

    Covert: “The pen is mightier than the sword” (Especially when you lie, leak important info, and wait til the press is gone to write on the new law that you aren’t going to enforce it)

    Dems:
    Overt: “The pen is mightier than the sword” (Although it is heavily tested when the other guys use poisoned pens)

    Covert: “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me” (The original verbal defense to knock off the playground bullies. Doesn’t seem to work as well on grown up bullies).

    Colbert: part court jester, part circus ringmaster ? It will be interesting if he has figured out the above conundrum.
    Use their own words to expose the lies and destroy the credibility.

    My daughter recently shared something she came up with several years ago but was shot down on by the first person who heard it.

    A picture is worth a thousand words.
    A word has a thousand pictures.*
    To really understand something, you need both.

    * Think of how many ways you think of the word ‘blue’.

    The human mind, when wasted, becomes a terrible thing.

  49. Hey KJ,

    A bit late here, and C-Span of late is really pissing me off, turning from C-Span1 to C-Span2 on a lot of days is like being in Republican land. Arrrgh.

    Its funny how Dubya, just can’t laugh about the real truth. But if everyone remembers when he did his no WMD routine in ’04, the crowd could not have laughed harder. It was a sickening routine, but that crowd thought it was hilarious.

    But when someone outside of the marshmallow establishment of D.C. and the press speaks the truth, its like being ran over by a truck, that they didn’t see coming. The laugh is on them because we were behind the wheel of the truck. Colbert was great. Truthiness stings.

  50. Well I finally got the chance to see the tape and watch the audience reaction.

    I sure saw a lot of faces with controlled grins. One in particular was a military officer with his hand in front of his face breaking into a smile with his chest moving.

    Colbert did a very good job of bringing the house down.

    Just not in the usual sense of ‘the house’ in comedy.

  51. Hey FedUp

    We miss you! Colbert packed a real whallop for Bush and he had it coming. How they didn’t see it coming is beyond me.

  52. Nice job, Mr. Colbert! No one was spared. Not Nagin, not Jackson, not Bush, not the Yes Men. It’s a breath of fresh air when an entertainer, a comedian, renders the most Powerful Man in the World speechless.

    Reminds me of the Emperor with no clothes.

    The only group who should be vilified as much is the majority of the press, who’ve failed in their duty as a check and balance on the power of the state. I guess it’s up to the bloggers….

    We should plan A Million Blogger March on Washington, DC.

  53. Who cares if “Bush was not amused!” I hope he was not amused! The BASTARD! I HOPE HE WAS FURIOUS! Colbert was masterful, and truthful, and the truth hurts! No one else has the guts to tell it like it is to Bush, and people were probably shocked that they heard those words, at long last! I know that I was! Thank you Mr. Colbert. I appreciate your talent and your bravery. I didn’t know who you were before last night, but I sure know you now!

  54. Krose

    Perhaps he went home and drank the last third of the glass.

  55. This was an amazing act of speaking truth to power. We should seriously name April 29th National Colbert Day in appreciation of him doing this.

  56. Delta

    Great idea – April 29th National Colbert Day!

  57. Delta, Pamela,

    I dunno, given the way his name is pronounced, it will become:

    National Col’ Beer Day

    Cheers :) :)

  58. Say thanks to Steven Colbert.

    http://thankyoustephencolbert.org

  59. Nice idea Delta, Happy Colbert Day to you too!

  60. Go to http://www.thankyoustephencolbert.org and post your thanks to this gutsy guy.

  61. My post was #7242 Spread it around. MOMENTUM

    Bush needs to hear how much support Colbert is getting.

    Great site. Someone was hard at it yesterday.

  62. My thanks post was #7242 Spread the site around.

    MOMENTUM

    Bush needs to hear how much support Colbert is getting.

    Great site. Someone was hard at it yesterday.

  63. The MSM is really playing up the Bridges impersonator all over the place. We had seen this at least 8 times on TV yesterday whe we really were not even watching TV. I think they are trying to overshadow and dominate the news with these excerpts showing Bush laughing at “himself”.

    I did not even know about Steven Colbert until I came on the computer this morning.

  64. [...] lready. I just wanted to say thanks mr Colbert. Link 1 Video and Coverage. Link 2 Transcript This entry was posted on Mo [...]

  65. Skewer! HAHA

  66. Over here also two downloadable clips of Steven Colbert Whitehouse correspondents:

    http://files.ww.com/download.html?id=13903 (16 min / 26 Mb Quicktime)
    http://files.ww.com/download.html?id=13904 (15 min / 10 Mb WindowsMedia)

  67. People are being rough on Colbert because of his shakey delivery, but as a former stand up comic, if the crowd does not think you are funny, your delivery will be off slightly, and I am almost 100% sure that the crowd did not think he was funny. The writing was brilliant. Kudos to Mr. Colbert!

  68. Liberal Media Attacks Stephen Colbert

    Colbert attacked the liberal media and praised the President and for that he is being excoriated.

  69. I luv all u guys who support Colbert! He rox! did u guys see his show on monday? He’s got balls (of course) thats what you’re supposed to do – laugh at yourself – all those idiots at the white house dinner should learn from him.

  70. If ever there was a moment and a place to pull the sheet off the decaying corpse of an administration totally out of tune with reality and exposing lapdogs called the White House press corps grown too corpulent to be even moderately effective in infoming the public, it was at that dinner. What better venue? And it was a comedian, Colbert, who yanked it off. And boy, what an odor!

    An amazing, gutsy, boffo performance, for which we should all be thankful. I hope it gives them all a reason to at least pause and reflect that none of them have clothes on, notwithstanding the king.

  71. the liberal media that is slamming Colbert needs to relearn the word satire. His speech was the best I have heard in a long time!

  72. I love Stephen Colbert!!!

  73. If you don’t want to download bittorrent or download the file to your hard drive, just go to http://www.c-span.org and right there on the front page is a link to streaming video

  74. Did anybody get the glass half empty shot where Colbert stops himself and then looks at W and says, “it’s important to set up your jokes properly, sir.” Was this a shot at the “fool me once shame on you, fool me again, ahhh well I won’t be fooled again” bumble by W?

  75. Pamela writes, “As he walked from the podium, the president and First Lady gave Colbert quick nods, unsmiling, and left immediately. E&P’s Joe Strupp, in the crowd, observed that quite a few sitting hear him felt the material was, perhaps, uncomfortably biting.”

    I am no fan of the current administration, but can we not atleast be honest here? As Colbert returned to his seat following the monologue the President stood, smiled and shook Colbert’s hand. Additionally, the only reason the President and First Lady “left immediately” was because the dinner was over…everyone was leaving.

    About Colbert’s presentation itself, while the monologue was quite funny at times, the video was horrible and should have been cut.

  76. Doug

    I swear some people who read blogs just don’t get how BLOCKQUOTES work and that when something is indented in a BLOCKQUOTE it means that it’s being quoted from the LINKED SOURCE. The LINKED SOURCE being E&P –

    I didn’t write what you are quoting here and saying I wrote, I quoted it from here:

    http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002425363

    “As Colbert walked from the podium, when it was over, the president and First Lady gave him quick nods, unsmiling. The president shook his hand and tapped his elbow, and left immediately.”

    This next line was changed from my initial posting and E&P noted that they Published: April 29, 2006 11:40 PM ET And “updated Sunday”

    “Those seated near Bush told E&P’s Joe Strupp, who was elsewhere in the room, that Bush had quickly turned from an amused guest to an obviously offended target as Colbert’s comments brought up his low approval ratings and problems in Iraq.”

    I’ve seen the video, no doubt, E&P changed the report after watching it. Many blogs posted verbatim from the intial E&P report when it first went online.

    Oh, and for the record, I had never seen Stephen Colbert before that night, I don’t watch TV. I thought he was on the money however with his assault on Bush and the media.

  77. What do you expect from a guy who uses a French pronunciation of his last name!

  78. [...] its entirety. Atrios has a picture posted about Gannon. TMV, The Sister, Blondesense, Democratic D, News Hounds weigh in. Update: Here’s a transcript of the complete routine.
    [...]

  79. I am delighted!! Perhaps President Bush will finally face the reality that the vast majority of American’s simply don’t respect him. I believe that virtually all American’s respect the office of the presidency but not this president. Respect has to be earned and our current leader (or is it King?) has done little to warrant respect or admiration. His arrogance is obvious every time he opens his mouth. This same arrogance has turned the world community against us.
    After 9/11 the entire world was on America’s side. However, the Bush administration did little to capatilize on this good will. Instead of pursing the countries responsible, Saudi Arabia and Afganistan, we were dupped in to a pre-emtive, futile, war in Iraq.
    I give credit to Mr. Colbert for his skit. Mr. Bush has been isolated from the distain he so justly warrants. He refuses to believe that his popularity rating is down to 37%. Unlike Harry S. Truman, who coined the phrase “the buck stops here”, this president assigns blame to others. As Mr. Colbert illustrates there is a distinct difference between being steadfast and being stubborn. President Bush, unfortunately, will keep insisting that two plus two equals five, irregardless of what the rest of humanity says. As Mr. Woodward so accurately documents in his most recent book, this administration is firmly entrenched in a “State of Denial.”