Stephen Colbert: Great American Hero or Greatest American Hero?

For those of you who have not yet seen Stephen Colbert, formerly of The Daily Show and star of The Colbert Report, in his hysterical skewering of Bush and the press as the guest speaker at the White House Correspondents Dinner, here (from Billmon) is why you need to go watch it (or read it) right now:
Colbert's routine was designed to draw blood -- as good political satire should. It seemed obvious, at least to me, that he didn't just despise his audience, he hated it. While that hardly merits comment here in Left Blogostan, White House elites clearly aren't used to having such contempt thrown in their faces at one of their most cherished self-congratulatory events. So it's no surprise the scribes have tried hard to expunge it from the semi-official record -- as Peter Daou notes over at the Huffington Post.

Colbert used satire the way it's used in more openly authoritarian societies: as a political weapon, a device for raising issues that can't be addressed directly. He dragged out all the unmentionables -- the Iraq lies, the secret prisons, the illegal spying, the neutered stupidity of the lapdog press -- and made it pretty clear that he wasn't really laughing at them, much less with them. It may have been comedy, but it also sounded like a bill of indictment, and everybody understood the charges.

Unsurprisingly, since the press got ripped a new one, they've downplayed the significance of this event, and pretended that Bush's lame doppelganger act stole the show. However, the Internets will not let this satirical masterpiece go softly into that good night.

To do this in front of a hostile crowd, and say these things right to the president's face! Colbert must have some serious balls--I'm talking Liberty Bell-size. So why don't you go thank him for saying to WPE what we wish we all could?

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