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banyon
04-30-2006, 12:16 PM
Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President Not Amused?



By E&P Staff

Published: April 29, 2006 11:40 PM ET

WASHINGTON A blistering comedy “tribute” to President Bush by Comedy Central’s faux talk show host Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondent Dinner Saturday night left George and Laura Bush unsmiling at its close.

Earlier, the president had delivered his talk to the 2700 attendees, including many celebrities and top officials, with the help of a Bush impersonator.

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.”

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. “If anything, 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, just three tables away from Karl Rove, and that he had brought " Valerie Plame." Then, worried that he had named her, he corrected himself, as Bush aides might do, "Uh, I mean... he brought Joseph Wilson's wife." He might have "dodged the bullet," he said, as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wasn't there.

Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, “photo ops” on aircraft carriers and at hurricane disasters, melting glaciers and Vice President Cheney shooting people in the face. He advised the crowd, "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. "

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."

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

Addressing the reporters, he said, "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."

He claimed that the Secret Service name for Bush's new press secretary is "Snow Job."

Colbert 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 had to run from Helen Thomas and her questions about why the U.S. really invaded Iraq and killed all those people.

As Colbert walked from the podium, when it was over, the president and First Lady gave him quick nods, unsmiling, and handshakes, and left immediately.

Those seated near Bush told E&P's Joe Strupp, who was elsewhere in the room, that Bush 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.

Several veterans of past dinners, who requested anonymity, said the presentation was more directed at attacking the president than in the past. Several said previous hosts, like Jay Leno, equally slammed both the White House and the press corps.

“This was anti-Bush,” said one attendee. “Usually they go back and forth between us and him.” Another noted that Bush quickly turned unhappy, and left the dais shortly after while most seated near him, including Colbert and Snow, glad-handed the crowd. “You could see he stopped smiling about halfway through Colbert,” he reported.

After the gathering, Snow, while nursing a Heineken outside the Chicago Tribune reception, declined to comment on Colbert. “I’m not doing entertainment reviews,” he said. “I thought the president was great, though.”

Strupp, in the crowd during the Colbert routine, had observed that quite a few sitting near him looked a little uncomfortable at times, perhaps feeling the material was a little too biting--or too much speaking "truthiness" to power.

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. (He later said the president told him "good job" when he walked off.)

Helen Thomas told Strupp her segment with Colbert was "just for fun."

In its report on the affair, USA Today asserted that some in the crowd cracked up over Colbert but others were "bewildered." Wolf Blitzer of CNN said he thought Colbert was funny and "a little on the edge."

Earlier, the president had addrssed the crowd with a Bush impersonator alongside, with the faux-Bush speaking precisely and the real Bush deliberately mispronouncing words, such as the inevitable "nuclear." At the close, Bush called the imposter "a fine talent. In fact, he did all my debates with Senator Kerry."

Among attendees at the black tie event: Morgan Fairchild, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Justice Antonin Scalia, George Clooney, and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter of the Doobie Brothers--in a kilt.

banyon
04-30-2006, 12:17 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWn2pwmBuas&search=press%20dinner%20colbert

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FBDPCyiFqY&search=press%20dinner%20colbert

Sully
04-30-2006, 12:29 PM
Whose turn is it to come tell us how inappropriate it is to criticize the president.

Ultra Peanut
04-30-2006, 12:38 PM
ROFL

Lake
04-30-2006, 12:55 PM
With the fact of Bush being maybe the funniest POTUS to ever sit on the throne, you would hope that he could have a sense of humor and laugh at himself. Colbert should have opened his bit by letting everyone know that he was going to roast Bush.

jAZ
04-30-2006, 01:19 PM
That was some of very the funniest unfunny stuff I've ever seen. The little video clip was stupid, but the "roast" was so spot on, so serious it wasn't funny, but it was really biting commentary.

What I liked most was the dead silence from the "liberal" media though most of it. They knew it wasn't funny because it was serious and true.

banyon
04-30-2006, 02:17 PM
That was some of very the funniest unfunny stuff I've ever seen. The little video clip was stupid, but the "roast" was so spot on, so serious it wasn't funny, but it was really biting commentary.

What I liked most was the dead silence from the "liberal" media though most of it. They knew it wasn't funny because it was serious and true.

you didn't think the second clip with Helen Thomas as a zombie was funny?

Lake
04-30-2006, 02:18 PM
It was serious. We still need to find out for sure exactly what is true. It damn sure was funny. The majority of the left leaning media is so elite that Colbert could have lit himself on fire and had one of his fellow Daily Show friends put out the flames by pissing on them and they still would have considered it lowbrow.

jAZ
04-30-2006, 02:46 PM
you didn't think the second clip with Helen Thomas as a zombie was funny?
Not really. It was too long and just felt like something from the 15 minutes of SNL (which is never a good thing).

The first part was outstanding, though more powerful than LOL funny.

It's about time someone called the media and the President out to their faces.

banyon
04-30-2006, 02:49 PM
love the part that Bush just said "good job".

I'll bet he wasn't looking Colbert in the eye when he said that. ROFL

jAZ
04-30-2006, 03:34 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-daou/ignoring-colbert-a-smal_b_20092.html

Ignoring Colbert: A Small Taste of the Media's Power to Choose the News (20 comments )


The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner was televised on C-Span Saturday evening. Featured entertainer Stephen Colbert delivered a biting rebuke of George W. Bush and the lily-livered press corps. He did it to Bush's face, unflinching and unbowed by the audience's muted, humorless response. Democratic Underground members commented in real time (here, here, and here).

TMV posted a wrap-up.


On Colbert's gutsy delivery, watertiger writes, "Stephen Colbert displayed more guts in ten minute of performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner than the entire Bush family. He, along with the ever-feisty Helen Thomas, deftly exposed the "truthiness" to the world (or at least those who were watching) that Bush AND the D.C. press corps are indeed a naked emperor and his gutless courtiers."


Mash at dKos says, "Standing at the podium only a few feet from President Bush, Colbert launched an all out assault on the policies of this Administration. It was remarkable, though painful at times, to watch. It may also have been the first time that anyone has been this blunt with this President. By the end of Colbert's routine, Bush was visibly uncomfortable. Colbert ended with a video featuring Helen Thomas repeatedly asking why we invaded Iraq. That is a question President Bush has yet to answer to the American public. I am not sure what kind of review Stephen Colbert's performance will get in the press. One thing is however certain - his performance was important and will reverberate."


It appears Mash's misgivings about press coverage are well-placed. The AP's first stab at it and pieces from Reuters and the Chicago Tribune tell us everything we need to know: Colbert's performance is sidestepped and marginalized while Bush is treated as light-hearted, humble, and funny. Expect nothing less from the cowardly American media. The story could just as well have been Bush and Laura's discomfort and the crowd's semi-hostile reaction to Colbert's razor-sharp barbs. In fact, I would guess that from the perspective of newsworthiness and public interest, Bush-the-playful-president is far less compelling than a comedy sketch gone awry, a pissed-off prez, and a shell-shocked audience.


This is the power of the media to choose the news, to decide when and how to shield Bush from negative publicity. Sins of omission can be just as bad as sins of commission. And speaking of a sycophantic media establishment bending over backwards to accommodate this White House and to regurgitate pro-GOP and anti-Dem spin, I urge readers to pick up a copy of Eric Boehlert's new book, Lapdogs. It's a powerful indictment of the media's timidity during the Bush presidency. Boehlert rips away the facade of a "liberal media" and exposes the invertebrates masquerading as journalists who have allowed and enabled the Bush administration's many transgressions to go unchecked, under-reported, or unquestioned.


A final thought: Bush's clownish banter with reporters - which is on constant display during press conferences - stands in such stark contrast to his administration's destructive policies and to the gravity of the bloodbath in Iraq that it is deeply unsettling to watch. This may be impolitic, but wouldn't refraining from frat-style horseplay be appropriate for this man? Or at the least, can't reporters suppress their raucous laughter every time he blurts out another jibe... the way they did when Colbert put them in their place?

jAZ
04-30-2006, 03:49 PM
BTW, the links you provided seem to leave out a portion of the middle of the presenation.

Here's a link to the full thing.

http://movies.crooksandliars.com/WH-Dinner-Colbert.wmv

banyon
04-30-2006, 03:52 PM
BTW, the links you provided seem to leave out a portion of the middle of the presenation.

Here's a link to the full thing.

http://movies.crooksandliars.com/WH-Dinner-Colbert.wmv

Yeah, I was being lazy. :)

Baby Lee
04-30-2006, 03:52 PM
Whose turn is it to come tell us how inappropriate it is to criticize the president.
Looks like a bunch of folks fancying Colbert the Rosa Parks of the 21 Century instead.
It was humor. I'm on dialup, so I can't exactly deal with the fricken' streaming media, but if it's anything like The Repor,' it's brutal and hilarious at the same time.
But it's not the Gettysburg Address, folks. It's a roast.

banyon
04-30-2006, 03:53 PM
Looks like a bunch of folks fancying Colbert the Rosa Parks of the 21 Century instead.
It was humor. I'm on dialup, so I can't exactly deal with the fricken' streaming media, but if it's anything like The Repor,' it's brutal and hilarious at the same time.
But it's not the Gettysburg Address, folks. It's a roast.


and SWING!...to the other extreme to minimize the impact

Ultra Peanut
04-30-2006, 04:03 PM
That was genius, plain and simple.

Baby Lee
04-30-2006, 04:06 PM
and SWING!...to the other extreme to minimize the impact
So you and jAZ have your tautology worked out already.
It'll either be a huge story, or if it isn't it's because the media is scared to make it the prime-time headline.
I've watched The Daily Show and The Colber' Repor' since day one and enjoyed every minute of it. But it's humor, just like South Park or Mind of Mencia.
Jon will tell you as much when people try to debate his stances.

banyon
04-30-2006, 04:21 PM
So you and jAZ have your tautology worked out already.
It'll either be a huge story, or if it isn't it's because the media is scared to make it the prime-time headline.
I've watched The Daily Show and The Colber' Repor' since day one and enjoyed every minute of it. But it's humor, just like South Park or Mind of Mencia.
Jon will tell you as much when people try to debate his stances.

please post where I said it would be a "huge story"

memyselfI
04-30-2006, 04:54 PM
This was fantastic!!!

He KNEW he was bombing and it ENERGIZED him. The more they squirmed the more he pushed, the more he pushed the more they squirmed, and he just did not care because he was there to say what ever the FUG he wanted...

and he did it. I want to know who vetted him. I bet they get a pink slip on Monday.

banyon
04-30-2006, 05:12 PM
The funny thing is that this is hilarious to everyone except the audience that he was giving the speech to.

banyon
04-30-2006, 05:38 PM
Replaying the Dinner on CSPAN right now!

currently in warm-up greetings..I'm taping it.

Fishpicker
04-30-2006, 06:22 PM
they cut it off right after bush/bridges did thier presentation.they didnt bother showing colbert. I looked all over CSPAN.org for the complete video and couldnt find it.

hmmm. i wonder if the media is actually complicit.

jAZ
04-30-2006, 06:40 PM
I looked all over CSPAN.org for the complete video and couldnt find it.
Wow, I'm quite suprised by that.

http://movies.crooksandliars.com/WH-Dinner-Colbert.wmv

banyon
04-30-2006, 06:45 PM
they cut it off right after bush/bridges did thier presentation.they didnt bother showing colbert. I looked all over CSPAN.org for the complete video and couldnt find it.

hmmm. i wonder if the media is actually complicit.

I was pissed. Thought I was going to get the whole live feed. :banghead:

jAZ
04-30-2006, 06:57 PM
I was pissed. Thought I was going to get the whole live feed. :banghead:
Looks like even the C&L clip was chopped. This is reported to be the full segment.

There is about 10 minutes of good material prior to the start of the C&L clip.
http://video.freevideoblog.com/video/AAC7FA18-2DDC-4D3E-B1BB-9D6CBD83E27F.htm

http://video.freevideoblog.com/video/C91DDBB4-28AD-4E6F-BD52-822BC77DF696.htm

Adept Havelock
04-30-2006, 08:24 PM
Heh. Now that's one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. Look up "satire" in the dictionary, and I'm pretty sure we'll find a picture of Colbert.
I'm not sure which amused me more, the president's reaction, or the stony squirming of the lap-dog press corps. Both were on the spit at 400 Degrees. :D

To paraphrase Harry Truman:

"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the roast".

BL- You are right in that it's "only" humor. That said, I'd still consider Colbert and Stewart's humor usually much closer to the TV version of a Political Cartoon or humor along the lines of Swift's "A Modest Proposal" than a rerun of "Soap", "South Park", or some tired stand-up schtick.

IMO, satire is one of the best weapons one can use against people that take themselves too seriously. Especially in the realms of politics and punditry. It's an equal opportunity skewer for the blowhards of the left and the right.

Colbert has mastered it.

Cochise
04-30-2006, 08:35 PM
The only way I can describe the Colbert Report is.... ZZZZZZZ

JMO :shrug:

Fishpicker
04-30-2006, 08:46 PM
Looks like even the C&L clip was chopped. This is reported to be the full segment.

There is about 10 minutes of good material prior to the start of the C&L clip.
http://video.freevideoblog.com/video/AAC7FA18-2DDC-4D3E-B1BB-9D6CBD83E27F.htm

http://video.freevideoblog.com/video/C91DDBB4-28AD-4E6F-BD52-822BC77DF696.htm

the best vid quality of this I've seen so far. thanks for the link

patteeu
05-01-2006, 06:48 AM
Sounds funny.

"bloodbath in Iraq?" :rolleyes:

NewChief
05-02-2006, 09:32 AM
Here's an analysis of Colbert's routine. Pretty interesting.

http://salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/05/01/colbert/print.html
The truthiness hurts
Stephen Colbert's brilliant performance unplugged the Bush myth machine -- and left the clueless D.C. press corps gaping.
By Michael Scherer

May. 01, 2006 | Make no mistake, Stephen Colbert is a dangerous man -- a bomb thrower, an assassin, a terrorist with boring hair and rimless glasses. It's a wonder the Secret Service let him so close to the president of the United States.

But there he was Saturday night, keynoting the year's most fawning celebration of the self-importance of the D.C. press corps, the White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Before he took the podium, the master of ceremonies ominously announced, "Tonight, no one is safe."

Colbert is not just another comedian with barbed punch lines and a racy vocabulary. He is a guerrilla fighter, a master of the old-world art of irony. For Colbert, the punch line is just the addendum. The joke is in the setup. The meat of his act is not in his barbs but his character -- the dry idiot, "Stephen Colbert," God-fearing pitchman, patriotic American, red-blooded pundit and champion of "truthiness." "I'm a simple man with a simple mind," the deadpan Colbert announced at the dinner. "I hold 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."

Then he turned to the president of the United States, who sat tight-lipped just a few feet away. "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."

It was Colbert's crowning moment. His imitation of the quintessential GOP talking head -- Bill O'Reilly meets Scott McClellan -- uncovered the inner workings of the ever-cheapening discourse that passes for political debate. He reversed and flattened the meaning of the words he spoke. It's a tactic that cultural critic Greil Marcus once called the "critical negation that would make it self-evident to everyone that the world is not as it seems." Colbert's jokes attacked not just Bush's policies, but the whole drama and language of American politics, the phony demonstration of strength, unity and vision. "The greatest thing about this man is he's steady," Colbert continued, in a nod to George W. Bush. "You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday."

It's not just that Colbert's jokes were hitting their mark. We already know that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that the generals hate Rumsfeld or that Fox News lists to the right. Those cracks are old and boring. What Colbert did was expose the whole official, patriotic, right-wing, press-bashing discourse as a sham, as more "truthiness" than truth.

Obviously, Colbert is not the first ironic warrior to train his sights on the powerful. What the insurgent culture jammers at Adbusters did for Madison Avenue, and the Barbie Liberation Organization did for children's toys, and Seinfeld did for the sitcom, and the Onion did for the small-town newspaper, Jon Stewart discovered he could do for television news. Now Colbert, Stewart's spawn, has taken on the right-wing message machine.

In the late 1960s, the Situationists in France called such ironic mockery "détournement," a word that roughly translates to "abduction" or "embezzlement." It was considered a revolutionary act, helping to channel the frustration of the Paris student riots of 1968. They co-opted and altered famous paintings, newspapers, books and documentary films, seeking subversive ideas in the found objects of popular culture. "Plagiarism is necessary," wrote Guy Debord, the famed Situationist, referring to his strategy of mockery and semiotic inversion. "Progress demands it. Staying close to an author's phrasing, plagiarism exploits his expressions, erases false ideas, replaces them with correct ideas."

But nearly half a century later, the ideas of the French, as evidenced by our "freedom fries," have not found a welcome reception in Washington. The city is still not ready for Colbert. The depth of his attack caused bewilderment on the face of the president and some of the press, who, like myopic fish, are used to ignoring the water that sustains them. Laura Bush did not shake his hand.

Political Washington is accustomed to more direct attacks that follow the rules. We tend to like the bland buffoonery of Jay Leno or insider jokes that drop lots of names and enforce everyone's clubby self-satisfaction. (Did you hear the one about John Boehner at the tanning salon or Duke Cunningham playing poker at the Watergate?) Similarly, White House spinmeisters are used to frontal assaults on their policies, which can be rebutted with a similar set of talking points. But there is no easy answer for the ironist. "Irony, entertaining as it is, serves an almost exclusively negative function," wrote David Foster Wallace, in his seminal 1993 essay "E Unibus Pluram." "It's critical and destructive, a ground clearing."

So it's no wonder that those journalists at the dinner seemed so uneasy in their seats. They had put on their tuxes to rub shoulders with the president. They were looking forward to spotting Valerie Plame and "American Idol's" Ace Young at the Bloomberg party. They invited Colbert to speak for levity, not because they wanted to be criticized. As a tribe, we journalists are all, at heart, creatures of this silly conversation. We trade in talking points and consultant-speak. We too often depend on empty language for our daily bread, and -- worse -- we sometimes mistake it for reality. Colbert was attacking us as well.

A day after he exploded his bomb at the correspondents dinner, Colbert appeared on CBS's "60 Minutes," this time as himself, an actor, a suburban dad, a man without a red and blue tie. The real Colbert admitted that he does not let his children watch his Comedy Central show. "Kids can't understand irony or sarcasm, and I don't want them to perceive me as insincere," Colbert explained. "Because one night, I'll be putting them to bed and I'll say ... 'I love you, honey.' And they'll say, 'I get it. Very dry, Dad. That's good stuff.'"

His point was spot-on. Irony is dangerous and must be handled with care. But America can rest assured that for the moment its powers are in good hands. Stephen Colbert, the current grandmaster of the art, knows exactly what he was doing.

Just don't expect him to be invited back to the correspondents dinner.


-- By Michael Scherer

the Talking Can
05-02-2006, 12:40 PM
"Reality has a well known liberal bias."


might be the greatest line, given the context, of all time.....BIG BRASS BALLS

go bowe
05-02-2006, 01:15 PM
i don't know...

colbert's routine at the dinner didn't strike me as comedy exactly...

it seemed it was more like castigation of the president with truthiness...

and he was able to get away with addressing the president that way because he knew he wouldn't get up and leave the dinner...

now, don't get me wrong, i happen to agree with a lot of what colbert said, but it's reality (liberal biased as it may be), not comedy...

mlyonsd
05-02-2006, 01:18 PM
The funniest part of that whole dinner was Bush and the impersonator.

Gawd they had some funny lines.

go bowe
05-02-2006, 01:22 PM
The funniest part of that whole dinner was Bush and the impersonator.

Gawd they had some funny lines.you wouldn't happen to have a link to that video, would you?

that routine sounds as if it was hilarious, and more appropriate roast material...

mlyonsd
05-02-2006, 01:24 PM
you wouldn't happen to have a link to that video, would you?

that routine sounds as if it was hilarious, and more appropriate roast material...

The only bits and peices I got to see where from the Sunday morning talk shows. Like you I wish I had a link.

The bit about Cheney being drunk as a skunk while hunting was golden.

jAZ
05-02-2006, 01:48 PM
i don't know...

colbert's routine at the dinner didn't strike me as comedy exactly...

it seemed it was more like castigation of the president with truthiness...

and he was able to get away with addressing the president that way because he knew he wouldn't get up and leave the dinner...

now, don't get me wrong, i happen to agree with a lot of what colbert said, but it's reality (liberal biased as it may be), not comedy...
Some times reality is so ugly, you have to laugh to keep from crying?

PunkinDrublic
05-02-2006, 01:54 PM
I love Colberts act. If you watch enough of the right wing pundits Hannity, O'Reilly Scarborough etc, you know he's doing parody with the character he's doing. The fact that he puzzled a lot of people who don't get it and pissed off the president is pretty cool IMO.

jAZ
05-02-2006, 02:01 PM
I love Colberts act. If you watch enough of the right wing pundits Hannity, O'Reilly Scarborough etc, you know he's doing parody with the character he's doing. The fact that he puzzled a lot of people who don't get it and pissed off the president is pretty cool IMO.
I suspect that everyone in that room "got it". They just felt uncomfortable with how very real his parody was, and how terrible the reality of the situation really is.

Baby Lee
05-02-2006, 02:12 PM
I suspect that everyone in that room "got it". They just felt uncomfortable with how very real his parody was, and how terrible the reality of the situation really is.
Yes, jAZ. We are ALL secretly aware that you are right about everything, but too embarassed to admit your omniscience.

irishjayhawk
05-02-2006, 03:41 PM
Actually, I think jAZ might be right. I think they were really mad he was saying truthful things right to the President.

Baby Lee
05-02-2006, 04:03 PM
Actually, I think jAZ might be right. I think they were really mad he was saying truthful things right to the President.
[Simpsons ref]Yeah, and folks weren't booing Michael Moore's Oscar speech. They were yelling Mooo-ore, Mooo-ore.[/Simpsons ref]

Sully
05-02-2006, 04:16 PM
I was yelling, boooo-urns...

jAZ
05-03-2006, 09:57 PM
http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/05/03/correspondents/

Making Colbert go away

The docile press corps was offended when Stephen Colbert dared to expose Bush's -- and their own -- feet of clay. But how to respond? Voilà: "He wasn't funny."

By Joan Walsh

May 3, 2006 | The only thing worse than the mainstream media's ignoring Stephen Colbert's astonishing sendup of the Bush administration and its media courtiers Saturday night is what happened when they started to pay attention to it.

The resounding silence on Sunday and Monday was a little chilling. The video was burning up YouTube, and Salon hit overall traffic heights over the last few days surpassed only by our election coverage and Abu Ghraib blockbusters. But on Monday, Elisabeth Bumiller's New York Times piece on the White House Correspondents' Association dinner kvelled over the naughty Bush twin skit but didn't mention Colbert. Similarly, other papers either ignored the Comedy Central satirist or mentioned him briefly. Lloyd Grove in the New York Daily News pronounced that he had "bombed badly."

Three days later, the MSM is catching on to Grove's tin-eared take on Colbert's performance. Belatedly, it's getting covered, but the dreary consensus is that Colbert just wasn't funny. On Tuesday night, Salon's Michael Scherer, whose tribute to Colbert is everywhere on the blogosphere (thank you, Thank you Stephen Colbert), got invited to chat with Joe Scarborough and Ana Marie Cox, who showed themselves to be pathetic prisoners of the Beltway by passing along the midweek conventional wisdom: The lefty blogosphere can argue all it wants that Colbert was ignored because he was shocking and politically radical, but the truth is, he wasn't funny, guys! And we know funny!

Regular Joe told us he normally races home to watch Colbert. So the problem isn't Joe's conservatism -- Joe's a congenial conservative, a fun-loving conservative, which is why he has Salon folks on all the time (thanks, Joe!). Cox showed why she's the MSM's official blogger by splitting the difference. She pronounced Colbert's performance "fine" but giggled at the left for its paranoia that he'd been ignored for political reasons. Cox and Scarborough mostly just congratulated themselves on being smart enough to get Colbert every night at 11:30, but savvy enough to know he wasn't completely on his game last Saturday. They barely let Scherer speak.

Similarly, the sometimes smart Jacques Steinberg must have drawn the short straw at the New York Times, where there had to be some internal conversation about the paper's utter failure to even mention Colbert on Monday. After all, his sharpest jokes involved the paper's laudable NSA spying scoop, and a funny bit where Colbert offered to bump columnist Frank Rich if Bush would appear on his show Tuesday night -- and not just bump him for the night, but bump him off. How could the Times not notice?

In Wednesday's paper, Steinberg wrote about Colbert's performance with the angle that it's become "one of the most hotly debated topics in the politically charged blogosphere" -- and only quotes Gawker as an example. He also wanders into the land of comedy criticism to explore the assertion that Colbert wasn't funny, but quotes not a comic, but New Republic writer Noam Scheiber. Scheiber (who has contributed to Salon) takes a liberal version of the Scarborough approach. "I'm a big Stephen Colbert fan, a huge Bush detractor, and I think the White House press corps has been out to lunch for much of the last five years," he wrote on the magazine's Web site. "I laughed out loud maybe twice during Colbert's entire 20-odd minute routine. Colbert's problem, blogosphere conspiracy theories notwithstanding, is that he just wasn't very entertaining." Chris Lehman makes the same point in the New York Observer, arguing it was a comic mistake for Colbert to fail to break character.

It's silly to debate whether Colbert was entertaining or not, since what's "funny" is so subjective. In fact, let's even give Colbert's critics that point. Clearly he didn't entertain most of the folks at the dinner Saturday night, so maybe Scheiber's right -- he wasn't "entertaining." The question is why. If Colbert came off as "shrill and airless," in Lehman's words, inside the cozy terrarium of media self-congratulation at the Washington Hilton, that tells us more about the audience than it does about Colbert.

Colbert's deadly performance did more than reveal, with devastating clarity, how Bush's well-oiled myth machine works. It exposed the mainstream press' pathetic collusion with an administration that has treated it -- and the truth -- with contempt from the moment it took office. Intimidated, coddled, fearful of violating propriety, the press corps that for years dutifully repeated Bush talking points was stunned and horrified when someone dared to reveal that the media emperor had no clothes. Colbert refused to play his dutiful, toothless part in the White House correspondents dinner -- an incestuous, backslapping ritual that should be retired. For that, he had to be marginalized. Voilà: "He wasn't funny."

This is a battle that can't really be won -- you either got it Saturday night (or Sunday morning, or whenever your life was made a little brighter by viewing Colbert's performance) or you didn't. Personally, I'm enjoying watching apologists for the status quo wear themselves out explaining why Colbert wasn't funny. It's extending the reach of his performance by days without either side breaking character -- the mighty Colbert or the clueless, self-important media elite he was satirizing. For those who think the media shamed itself by rolling over for this administration, especially in the run-up to the Iraq war, Colbert's skit is the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, Stephen Colbert!

jAZ
05-03-2006, 10:36 PM
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/060501/1whwatch.htm

Skewering comedy skit angers Bush and aides
By Paul Bedard

Posted 5/1/06

Related Links
More from Inside Washington
Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert's biting routine at the White House Correspondents Association dinner won a rare silent protest from Bush aides and supporters Saturday when several independently left before he finished.

"Colbert crossed the line," said one top Bush aide, who rushed out of the hotel as soon as Colbert finished. Another said that the president was visibly angered by the sharp lines that kept coming.

"I've been there before, and I can see that he is [angry]," said a former top aide. "He's got that look that he's ready to blow."

Colbert's routine was similar to what he does on his show, the Colbert Report, but much longer on the topic of Bush, suggesting that the president is out of touch with reality. Aides and reporters, however, said that it did not overshadow Bush's own funny routine, which featured an impersonator who told the audience what Bush was thinking when he spoke dull speech lines.

In fact, some aides crowed over reports that the president easily bested Colbert in the reviews of both comedy acts.

Boyceofsummer
05-04-2006, 01:26 AM
During the preparation for war in Iraq and during the first week of battle I was shocked that the press refused to question the reasoning behind this war. We have enabled this administration at every turn. From war to the dwindling natural environment around us. The President told us what we wanted to hear. Three weeks to victory. They will greet us as liberators. Mission accomplished. Buy that gas-guzzler. Take that trip. Use that credit limit. Now with our wasteful hell bent for destruction habits and behaviors staring us in the face. We blame W. I hate to say I told you so………………but we were warned.

Reaper16
05-05-2006, 06:37 PM
Colbert = awesome. Bottom line. No getting around it.

Ugly Duck
05-06-2006, 11:39 AM
The more they squirmed the more he pushed, the more he pushed the more they squirmedDang.... he didn't just fling their own sh!t at them - he smeared big smelly handfulls into their faces and didn't stop for ten minutes. Excellent!

BucEyedPea
05-06-2006, 11:48 AM
During the preparation for war in Iraq and during the first week of battle I was shocked that the press refused to question the reasoning behind this war. We have enabled this administration at every turn. From war to the dwindling natural environment around us. The President told us what we wanted to hear. Three weeks to victory. They will greet us as liberators. Mission accomplished. Buy that gas-guzzler. Take that trip. Use that credit limit. Now with our wasteful hell bent for destruction habits and behaviors staring us in the face. We blame W. I hate to say I told you so………………but we were warned.

Well, I for one, NEVER bought the reasons...for the simple reason there were too many contrary facts.

That, alone, means there are lies in there somewhere. If anything, there should have been no doubt about it. If congress had all the intel this would have never happened.

Also, I believe, 98% of all wars are created by the few, by govt and truth is the first casualty of war.

banyon
05-06-2006, 12:48 PM
interesting...

<p><object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/nVnw_tqZ_Hg"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/nVnw_tqZ_Hg" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"></embed></object></p>


link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVnw_tqZ_Hg&feature=Views&page=1&t=t&f=b)

JBucc
05-06-2006, 02:03 PM
Colbert rocks

patteeu
05-06-2006, 08:31 PM
If congress had all the intel this would have never happened.

People who are upset with this war should be primarily upset with Congress either because they authorized it or because they didn't insist on a stronger case for war before authorizing it or for any of a number of other reasons. The people who think their government failed them here should point their finger of blame at the people's branch of the government. IMO.

KC Jones
05-07-2006, 07:37 AM
People who are upset with this war should be primarily upset with Congress either because they authorized it or because they didn't insist on a stronger case for war before authorizing it or for any of a number of other reasons. The people who think their government failed them here should point their finger of blame at the people's branch of the government. IMO.

I whole heartedly disagree. Some portion of the blame goes there, but the administration worked very hard to take us to war and to build a climate such that anyone in disagreement was a traitor and siding with the terrorists. Demagogy at it's finest. I'm not going to put all the blame on the brakeman for this trainwreck after the engineer put us on a runaway course and cut the brake lines.

patteeu
05-07-2006, 08:08 AM
I whole heartedly disagree. Some portion of the blame goes there, but the administration worked very hard to take us to war and to build a climate such that anyone in disagreement was a traitor and siding with the terrorists. Demagogy at it's finest. I'm not going to put all the blame on the brakeman for this trainwreck after the engineer put us on a runaway course and cut the brake lines.

IMO, it's Congress's responsibility to represent the people in these matters. Despite what we hear frequently from the anti-Bush, anti-War crowd these days, it is completely unrealistic for an administration to be expected to share all of the intelligence and all of their strategies/motivations/intentions with the public so that they can get the public's stamp of approval on a war. It's not unrealistic to expect Congress to be informed before giving approval. But it is up to the Congress to demand that information and withhold approval until they are satisfied that they have enough information to make that decision. You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion on this matter, and I don't have any problem with anyone who would refuse to re-elect a President who takes the country into a war that that person disagrees with, but if we can't count on Congress to represent us then we don't have representation in our government.

KC Jones
05-07-2006, 08:21 AM
IMO, it's Congress's responsibility to represent the people in these matters. Despite what we hear frequently from the anti-Bush, anti-War crowd these days, it is completely unrealistic for an administration to be expected to share all of the intelligence and all of their strategies/motivations/intentions with the public so that they can get the public's stamp of approval on a war. It's not unrealistic to expect Congress to be informed before giving approval. But it is up to the Congress to demand that information and withhold approval until they are satisfied that they have enough information to make that decision. You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion on this matter, and I don't have any problem with anyone who would refuse to re-elect a President who takes the country into a war that that person disagrees with, but if we can't count on Congress to represent us then we don't have representation in our government.

So the executive branch has no responsibility to represent the people or to work on behalf of the nation? They can do carte blanche and the blame all falls on the legislative branch for not reeling them in?

:hmmm:

... and the issue isn't about not sharing *all* of the information. It's about knowingly distoring and obsfuscating the information, attacking dissenting voices (not the arguments but the people making them), using false evidence, and in general using a 'by any means necessary' approach to railroad your policy through.

banyon
05-07-2006, 08:33 AM
Bush doesn't look as mad to me in the video as people have made him out to have been.

He snickers several times, admittedly at the most juvenile portions of the routine.

the Talking Can
05-07-2006, 09:25 AM
Bush just wanted some poop jokes....something more like the x-rated bit Imus did at Clinton's gathering...

republicans and the press like crude sex jokes, they don't like scathing, spot on, political humor...

mlyonsd
05-07-2006, 09:27 AM
Bush doesn't look as mad to me in the video as people have made him out to have been.

He snickers several times, admittedly at the most juvenile portions of the routine.

The guy that impersonated him at the dinner was on Meet the Press this morning and said Bush has a great sense of humor, especially when it comes to himself.

jAZ
05-07-2006, 09:47 AM
People who are upset with this war should be primarily upset with Congress either because they authorized it or because they didn't insist on a stronger case for war before authorizing it or for any of a number of other reasons. The people who think their government failed them here should point their finger of blame at the people's branch of the government. IMO.
I most certainly do. While the Bush Administration exploited the nationwide emotions resulting from 9/11 to prevent such challenges to their pre-911 plans to define Bush's legacy by invading Iraq, the Republican Congress (including some Dems) succumb to that WH pressure and abdicated their oversight responsibility. The Dem campaign effort to brand this GOP controlled congress as a "Rubber Stamp" Congress for the WH is a completely accurate depiction.

jAZ
05-07-2006, 09:52 AM
So the executive branch has no responsibility to represent the people or to work on behalf of the nation? They can do carte blanche and the blame all falls on the legislative branch for not reeling them in?

:hmmm:

... and the issue isn't about not sharing *all* of the information. It's about knowingly distoring and obsfuscating the information, attacking dissenting voices (not the arguments but the people making them), using false evidence, and in general using a 'by any means necessary' approach to railroad your policy through.
While patteeu's effort is a last gasp attempt at spinning away criticism from the Bush Administration, you are correct... it's not an either-or situation as he'd like to present it. The WH bares the overwhelming responsibility for all of their actions, but the GOP Congress (and in the case of the war some Dems) need to be held accountable as well.

That patteeu's motives are dishonest, manipulative and he hopes to obfuscate the details of criticism away from Bush by responding in this way... doesn't prevent his claims from simultaneously being accurate.

jAZ
05-07-2006, 09:57 AM
Bush just wanted some poop jokes....something more like the x-rated bit Imus did at Clinton's gathering...

republicans and the press like crude sex jokes, they don't like scathing, spot on, political humor...
Particularly when they are a direct subject of that scathing commentary.

mlyonsd
05-07-2006, 10:57 AM
IMO, it's Congress's responsibility to represent the people in these matters. Despite what we hear frequently from the anti-Bush, anti-War crowd these days, it is completely unrealistic for an administration to be expected to share all of the intelligence and all of their strategies/motivations/intentions with the public so that they can get the public's stamp of approval on a war. It's not unrealistic to expect Congress to be informed before giving approval. But it is up to the Congress to demand that information and withhold approval until they are satisfied that they have enough information to make that decision. You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion on this matter, and I don't have any problem with anyone who would refuse to re-elect a President who takes the country into a war that that person disagrees with, but if we can't count on Congress to represent us then we don't have representation in our government.

Exactly right.

And anyone that wants Bush's head but not Kerry's, Gore's, Clinton's, and on down the line when it comes to lying about how much a threat Saddam was is just acting like a political hack.

It was clear before Bush even ran for the Presidency our government percieved Saddam as a threat. To ignore that is being dishonest.

If someone feels invading Iraq was a bad idea they should hold all decision makers accountable. And that includes members of Congress.

irishjayhawk
05-07-2006, 11:15 AM
Exactly right.

And anyone that wants Bush's head but not Kerry's, Gore's, Clinton's, and on down the line when it comes to lying about how much a threat Saddam was is just acting like a political hack.

It was clear before Bush even ran for the Presidency our government percieved Saddam as a threat. To ignore that is being dishonest.

If someone feels invading Iraq was a bad idea they should hold all decision makers accountable. And that includes members of Congress.
Yes, but it also doesn't EXCLUDE the President, either, which is what has people responding to patteeu's post. The post seems to suggest Bush is scotch free.

Adept Havelock
05-07-2006, 11:44 AM
Yes, but it also doesn't EXCLUDE the President, either, which is what has people responding to patteeu's post. The post seems to suggest Bush is scotch free.

Bush is scotch free. That's why he behaves like the classic "dry drunk". ;)

jAZ
05-07-2006, 12:53 PM
Exactly right.

And anyone that wants Bush's head but not Kerry's, Gore's, Clinton's, and on down the line when it comes to lying about how much a threat Saddam was is just acting like a political hack.

It was clear before Bush even ran for the Presidency our government percieved Saddam as a threat. To ignore that is being dishonest.

If someone feels invading Iraq was a bad idea they should hold all decision makers accountable. And that includes members of Congress.
To equate them is bogus. To hold both parties accountable for their own roles is acceptable. Your's and patteeu's comments seem to try to equate the roles. The roles (and therefor contributions to the mess) are not equal.

I have always (as have most Dems) held Congress including some Dems accountable for their failure to vet the President properly.

But the President is the lone elected official fully responsible for everything related to this war. It's "his" war in the end.

I do find it interesting that we have reached the point where it's no longer about defending Bush. Seems like this might be the beginning of the end of that behavior. We are now at the (see who all we can take down with him) stage. Sadly, that's a step in the right direction for you guys.

patteeu
05-07-2006, 05:26 PM
So the executive branch has no responsibility to represent the people or to work on behalf of the nation? They can do carte blanche and the blame all falls on the legislative branch for not reeling them in?

:hmmm:

... and the issue isn't about not sharing *all* of the information. It's about knowingly distoring and obsfuscating the information, attacking dissenting voices (not the arguments but the people making them), using false evidence, and in general using a 'by any means necessary' approach to railroad your policy through.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the characterizations in your last paragraph, but let me clarify my position just a little bit.

I'm distinguishing between criticisms of Bush's policy and criticisms of how the war was sold. Wrt criticisms of the policy, I agree that no matter how uninformed they are, the right target is the chief policymaker (i.e. the President). To the extent that someone thinks invading Iraq was an inferior option to redoubling our efforts to find Osama Bin Laden, I think that type of criticism of a President is reasonable. But when it comes to how we ended up going to war with Iraq, I think we should look first at the Congress. It is their job to gather all the necessary information and then either approve or disapprove of entering into a war. In this case, whether they were diligent in gathering the information or not, they approved the Bush war policy.

patteeu
05-07-2006, 05:29 PM
While patteeu's effort is a last gasp attempt at spinning away criticism from the Bush Administration, you are correct... it's not an either-or situation as he'd like to present it. The WH bares the overwhelming responsibility for all of their actions, but the GOP Congress (and in the case of the war some Dems) need to be held accountable as well.

It's wishful thinking on your part to call my effort a "last gasp."

That patteeu's motives are dishonest, manipulative and he hopes to obfuscate the details of criticism away from Bush by responding in this way...

Dishonest and manipulative?

doesn't prevent his claims from simultaneously being accurate.

You aren't always wrong. ;)

irishjayhawk
05-07-2006, 05:38 PM
Patteeu - While Congress is partly to blame, they wouldn't have even had a proposal worth looking at if Bush hadn't been intent on going to war no matter what. (See British Memo, Plame leak, etc etc)

BucEyedPea
05-07-2006, 05:38 PM
Exactly right.

And anyone that wants Bush's head but not Kerry's, Gore's, Clinton's, and on down the line when it comes to lying about how much a threat Saddam was is just acting like a political hack.

It was clear before Bush even ran for the Presidency our government percieved Saddam as a threat. To ignore that is being dishonest.

If someone feels invading Iraq was a bad idea they should hold all decision makers accountable. And that includes members of Congress.

Yep! I'd have to agree.

I even feel that the problem began earlier with PGWI too.

Under Clinton, according to Scott Ritter's recent book, our own media failed to get the whole of the story on the inspections. Per Ritter, our CIA was trying to plot a coup via the inspections. Even Iraqi's lower on the totem pole knew it and asked "What are you doing?" CIA was trying to get into SH's inner security areas which was off grounds to the inspections. But all we ever got on our press was how "inspectors" were thrown out.

Now, I am fully aware of how Scott Ritter has been smeared and made into an enemy to make his assertions less credible...but I, for one, believe this. I can completly see how this could be a way to stage a coup.

I do believe we are never given ALL the facts. What is missing but never spotted because, well it's missing. And it can round out things to make more sense.

patteeu
05-07-2006, 05:39 PM
I do find it interesting that we have reached the point where it's no longer about defending Bush. Seems like this might be the beginning of the end of that behavior. We are now at the (see who all we can take down with him) stage. Sadly, that's a step in the right direction for you guys.

I'm not aware of us reaching that point. I'm still a supporter of the Bush policy and I reject the criticisms of those who say he lied us into war. My earlier post was a criticism of the critics and their choice of a target not an affirmation of their criticisms. Maybe this is just more of your wishful thinking.

patteeu
05-07-2006, 05:42 PM
Patteeu - While Congress is partly to blame, they wouldn't have even had a proposal worth looking at if Bush hadn't been intent on going to war no matter what. (See British Memo, Plame leak, etc etc)

What does that have to do with anything?

jAZ
05-07-2006, 06:16 PM
But when it comes to how we ended up going to war with Iraq, I think we should look first at the Congress. It is their job to gather all the necessary information and then either approve or disapprove of entering into a war. In this case, whether they were diligent in gathering the information or not, they approved the Bush war policy.
Wow, you really amaze me some times. No matter how this plays out, you've (in your mind) protected Bush. No matter what Bush does in the process of taking this nation to war in Iraq, it's Congress' fault.

stevieray
05-07-2006, 06:30 PM
Wow, you really amaze me some times. No matter how this plays out, you've (in your mind) protected Bush. No matter what Bush does in the process of taking this nation to war in Iraq, it's Congress' fault.

Like saying any hostile actions by the the insurgents is Bush's fault?

banyon
05-07-2006, 06:36 PM
Like saying any hostile actions by the the insurgents is Bush's fault?

It wasn't his fault for promising that there would be little to no insurgency with little basis for that assertion?

stevieray
05-07-2006, 07:24 PM
It wasn't his fault for promising that there would be little to no insurgency with little basis for that assertion?

Did they stop Saddam from being removed from power?

go bowe
05-07-2006, 07:38 PM
I'm not aware of us reaching that point. I'm still a supporter of the Bush policy and I reject the criticisms of those who say he lied us into war. My earlier post was a criticism of the critics and their choice of a target not an affirmation of their criticisms. Maybe this is just more of your wishful thinking.hey, wishful thinking can be very entertaining at times...

Boozer
05-07-2006, 09:01 PM
Did they stop Saddam from being removed from power?

Mission Accomplished.

stevieray
05-07-2006, 09:11 PM
Mission Accomplished.

Isn't removing Saddam from power and helping Iraq rebuild their government two different things?

irishjayhawk
05-07-2006, 09:17 PM
What does that have to do with anything?
I am saying, Congress may be at fault for standing by the President and his intelligence (cooked or not) but the President was very intent on going to war, any way possible (British Memo) and tried to coerce people (Plame Leak) etc.

Therefore, without the intent in the first place, Congress wouldn't have had the chance to "stand by".

Is that better said?

irishjayhawk
05-07-2006, 09:19 PM
Isn't removing Saddam from power and helping Iraq rebuild their government two different things?
Yep, and aren't the numbers 64,000 and 400,000 two different things?

If so, why would you go to battle with the former and not the latter, given the general's input, if we were to take those two different objectives head on. (May not have been those exact numbers but the gap between them is pretty damn close)

stevieray
05-07-2006, 09:29 PM
I am saying, Congress may be at fault for standing by the President and his intelligence (cooked or not) but the President was very intent on going to war, any way possible (British Memo) and tried to coerce people (Plame Leak) etc.

Therefore, without the intent in the first place, Congress wouldn't have had the chance to "stand by".

Is that better said?

How many Congressman were quoted in affirming that Saddam had WMD and that he was a threat?

Rinse and repeat. People claim that the President is just stupid enough to coerce Congress. Ironic.

I think the self loathing culture we live in demands a scapegoat. it's inevitable it lands at the top.

irishjayhawk
05-07-2006, 10:02 PM
How many Congressman were quoted in affirming that Saddam had WMD and that he was a threat?

Rinse and repeat. People claim that the President is just stupid enough to coerce Congress. Ironic.

I think the self loathing culture we live in demands a scapegoat. it's inevitable it lands at the top.
It depends who he was a threat to. Do you think he was a threat to you? I sure hope not; otherwise there are way to many "threats" out there.

banyon
05-07-2006, 10:24 PM
Did they stop Saddam from being removed from power?

http://www.buy4cheap.biz/signs/games/monopoly/?pic=chance2&text=You+have+just+issued+a+non+sequitur%2E+Go+back+three+spaces%2E&fontsize=14&move2=&move=&font=pointy&allow=166480

stevieray
05-07-2006, 10:27 PM
I sure hope not; otherwise there are way to many "threats" out there.

Are you trying to imply something?

I thought we were discussing Congressman being quoted in their beliefs on the status of Saddam, and their responsibilty to the citizens of this country? My opinion on Saddam being a threat isn't as importnant as those who ultimately decide whether we go to War, but I don't think that's why you asked.

irishjayhawk
05-07-2006, 10:35 PM
Are you trying to imply something?
I am merely saying that Saddam wasn't a threat to many people personally. I notice you didn't even quote or respond to that part of the post.

|Zach|
05-07-2006, 10:40 PM
http://www.buy4cheap.biz/signs/games/monopoly/?pic=chance2&text=You+have+just+issued+a+non+sequitur%2E+Go+back+three+spaces%2E&fontsize=14&move2=&move=&font=pointy&allow=166480
ROFL

stevieray
05-07-2006, 10:41 PM
I am merely saying that Saddam wasn't a threat to many people personally. I notice you didn't even quote or respond to that part of the post.

why won't you answer the question?

go bowe
05-08-2006, 01:38 AM
It wasn't his fault for promising that there would be little to no insurgency with little basis for that assertion?what insurgency? :shrug: :shrug: :shrug:

who could have imagined that those bathists and ultra-nationalist sunni guys would ever give us any trouble?

let alone the fundamentalist terrorists...

yeah, who'd a thunk it?

patteeu
05-08-2006, 05:42 AM
I am saying, Congress may be at fault for standing by the President and his intelligence (cooked or not) but the President was very intent on going to war, any way possible (British Memo) and tried to coerce people (Plame Leak) etc.

Therefore, without the intent in the first place, Congress wouldn't have had the chance to "stand by".

Is that better said?

I understood what you said (thanks for trying to clarify anyway), but what I'm asking is what does that have to do with Congress having a responsibility to make an informed decision about whether or not to authorize war?

Bush may or may not have acted if Congress had refused to authorize the use of force, but we will never know. What we do know is that Congress looked at the situation and decided to authorize him to act.

BTW, the Downing Street memo didn't have anything to do with whether or not Bush was willing to act without Congressional backing. And the Plame leak came after the Congressional authorization too. In fact, didn't it come after the invasion itself? And, of course, I disagree with your assertion that the Plame disclosure is an example of trying to coerce people.

mlyonsd
05-08-2006, 12:54 PM
To equate them is bogus. To hold both parties accountable for their own roles is acceptable. Your's and patteeu's comments seem to try to equate the roles. The roles (and therefor contributions to the mess) are not equal.

I have always (as have most Dems) held Congress including some Dems accountable for their failure to vet the President properly.

But the President is the lone elected official fully responsible for everything related to this war. It's "his" war in the end.

I do find it interesting that we have reached the point where it's no longer about defending Bush. Seems like this might be the beginning of the end of that behavior. We are now at the (see who all we can take down with him) stage. Sadly, that's a step in the right direction for you guys.

If it is "his war" then I see no reason he went before Congress and asked for the joint resolution authorizing war.

Let me say that again. Bush was authorized by both houses of Congress to go to war with Iraq. That in itself makes your statement "he is the lone elected official fully responsible for everything related to this war" false.

patteeu is correct. If you have a problem with Bush then you should have a problem with those that authorized Bush the power to go to war.

If you want to buy into the "dog ate my homework" excuse it's your right, but that doesn't sell around my house. It's laughable you can't see that.

KC Jones
05-09-2006, 07:32 AM
I wholeheartedly disagree with the characterizations in your last paragraph, but let me clarify my position just a little bit.

I'm distinguishing between criticisms of Bush's policy and criticisms of how the war was sold. Wrt criticisms of the policy, I agree that no matter how uninformed they are, the right target is the chief policymaker (i.e. the President). To the extent that someone thinks invading Iraq was an inferior option to redoubling our efforts to find Osama Bin Laden, I think that type of criticism of a President is reasonable. But when it comes to how we ended up going to war with Iraq, I think we should look first at the Congress. It is their job to gather all the necessary information and then either approve or disapprove of entering into a war. In this case, whether they were diligent in gathering the information or not, they approved the Bush war policy.

First of all, you can't whole heartedly disagree, because I already used that exact terminology in this thread.

:p

Thanks for clarifying your position. I wouldn't say congress is free from blame, but I lay the majority of it at the administrations feet. Yes, congress is filled with lazy people who do not complete due diligence (on much of anything other than their pork), and many of them are cowards who were afraid to oppose the war decision because at that time polls indicated it was political suicide. The Bush administration was at its peak in those hours, trotting out trusted officials (like Powell) with false information to sell the war and cast any opposition as traitorous weaklings who would not defend America from the terrorists. I sided with Bush then, but in hindsight I should have stuck with my deep distrust of the neo-conservatives, the 'christian coalition', and their agendas. I guess that's why I hold the administration in such contempt - they even got the better of me in those hours.

jAZ
05-09-2006, 08:24 AM
If it is "his war" then I see no reason he went before Congress and asked for the joint resolution authorizing war.

Let me say that again. Bush was authorized by both houses of Congress to go to war with Iraq. That in itself makes your statement "he is the lone elected official fully responsible for everything related to this war" false.

patteeu is correct. If you have a problem with Bush then you should have a problem with those that authorized Bush the power to go to war.

If you want to buy into the "dog ate my homework" excuse it's your right, but that doesn't sell around my house. It's laughable you can't see that.
Wow, it's as if you didn't even read my original post and just read into it what you thought I was going to say... I'll post it again, and we can start over.

"To equate them is bogus. To hold both parties accountable for their own roles is acceptable. Your's and patteeu's comments seem to try to equate the roles. The roles (and therefor contributions to the mess) are not equal.

I have always (as have most Dems) held Congress including some Dems accountable for their failure to vet the President properly.

But the President is the lone elected official fully responsible for everything related to this war. It's "his" war in the end.

I do find it interesting that we have reached the point where it's no longer about defending Bush. Seems like this might be the beginning of the end of that behavior. We are now at the (see who all we can take down with him) stage. Sadly, that's a step in the right direction for you guys."

patteeu
05-09-2006, 08:53 AM
First of all, you can't whole heartedly disagree, because I already used that exact terminology in this thread.

:p

I'm not a very creative guy. I copy. :)

Cochise
05-09-2006, 08:58 AM
If it is "his war" then I see no reason he went before Congress and asked for the joint resolution authorizing war.

Let me say that again. Bush was authorized by both houses of Congress to go to war with Iraq. That in itself makes your statement "he is the lone elected official fully responsible for everything related to this war" false.

patteeu is correct. If you have a problem with Bush then you should have a problem with those that authorized Bush the power to go to war.

If you want to buy into the "dog ate my homework" excuse it's your right, but that doesn't sell around my house. It's laughable you can't see that.

Excellent.

It seems that their outrage only goes so far. To the limits of comprehension against Bush, but a free pass goes out to all the elected officials who authorized him.

They oppose the war - just not enough to hold their leaders accountable for it.

memyselfI
05-09-2006, 10:31 AM
If it is "his war" then I see no reason he went before Congress and asked for the joint resolution authorizing war.

Let me say that again. Bush was authorized by both houses of Congress to go to war with Iraq. That in itself makes your statement "he is the lone elected official fully responsible for everything related to this war" false.

patteeu is correct. If you have a problem with Bush then you should have a problem with those that authorized Bush the power to go to war.


Guess that ole 'buck stop here' doesn't apply when it's your guy who has fugged up, eh?

I do have a problem with DUHbya and I have a problem with Congress. They did NOT give him specific authoriatization to go to war. He never asked them. Instead they gave him the authority to do what it takes...

I blame Congress for not being more specific.

But bottom line, Congress (especially the Dems) might have placed their misguided faith in DUHbya to do what it takes (and with that nod he used it to go to war) in Iraq...they did not give him a license to FUGG UP.

So yes, you can fault them for believing in the moron in the first place (and I do) but to then say it's their fault for trusting him when the situation is a disaster is ridiculous.

patteeu
05-09-2006, 11:05 AM
Guess that ole 'buck stop here' doesn't apply when it's your guy who has fugged up, eh?

I do have a problem with DUHbya and I have a problem with Congress. They did NOT give him specific authoriatization to go to war. He never asked them. Instead they gave him the authority to do what it takes...

I blame Congress for not being more specific.

But bottom line, Congress (especially the Dems) might have placed their misguided faith in DUHbya to do what it takes (and with that nod he used it to go to war) in Iraq...they did not give him a license to FUGG UP.

So yes, you can fault them for believing in the moron in the first place (and I do) but to then say it's their fault for trusting him when the situation is a disaster is ridiculous.

The "Bush misled us into war" complaint doesn't fly. If America was misled into war it is because Congress didn't do it's job, not because the President didn't open the books to the public. (Don't confuse this with me agreeing that anyone was misled into war because I still don't believe that).

memyselfI
05-09-2006, 11:37 AM
The "Bush misled us into war" complaint doesn't fly. If America was misled into war it is because Congress didn't do it's job, not because the President didn't open the books to the public. (Don't confuse this with me agreeing that anyone was misled into war because I still don't believe that).

Yeah, I guess that whole presentation by Colin Powell was really believeable...especially since they had (and didn't release) evidence that what they were presenting was not what we were seeing. :rolleyes:

Regardless, my point was not about misleading. My point was even if 100% of the Congress and 100% of the American public gave DUHbya a nod to do what needed to be done in Iraq (which NEITHER was the case) then they certainly did not give him permission to screw it up and they certainly did not give their permission based on evidence the WH had seen and discarded as not fitting their agenda.

banyon
05-09-2006, 12:24 PM
The "Bush misled us into war" complaint doesn't fly. If America was misled into war it is because Congress didn't do it's job, not because the President didn't open the books to the public. (Don't confuse this with me agreeing that anyone was misled into war because I still don't believe that).

No. the operative feature of deception relates to intent of the deceiver, not the deceived party's thoroughness in vetting the deception.

patteeu
05-09-2006, 12:43 PM
No. the operative feature of deception relates to intent of the deceiver, not the deceived party's thoroughness in vetting the deception.

If the people are upset about a bad decision to go to war based on what was known (or thought to be known) at the time they should be upset with Congress.

The measure of whether or not "we" were deceived into war should be whether or not the administration deceived Congress not whether or not the public was fully informed. If Congress was deceived, they should raise hell. However, we have a responsibility to distinguish between a Congress that is trying to pass the buck and a Congress that was actually misled. So far, to the extent that the opposition party in Congress is trying to raise hell on this point, it looks to me like it's mostly passing the buck.

irishjayhawk
05-09-2006, 12:53 PM
why won't you answer the question?
Coming from the guy who didn't answer my initial question and whose posts sometimes seem on par with Chiefs express.

irishjayhawk
05-09-2006, 01:00 PM
I understood what you said (thanks for trying to clarify anyway), but what I'm asking is what does that have to do with Congress having a responsibility to make an informed decision about whether or not to authorize war?

It doesn't. However, it seems that through your posts you want to deflect most, if not all, of the blame to Congress rather than the President and his intentions/agenda.


Bush may or may not have acted if Congress had refused to authorize the use of force, but we will never know. What we do know is that Congress looked at the situation and decided to authorize him to act.

Very true, and I DO see a fault in Congress too, just not most of the fault.


BTW, the Downing Street memo didn't have anything to do with whether or not Bush was willing to act without Congressional backing. And the Plame leak came after the Congressional authorization too. In fact, didn't it come after the invasion itself? And, of course, I disagree with your assertion that the Plame disclosure is an example of trying to coerce people.

No it didn't say anything about Congressional Backing but it did speak about fitting the evidence around the policy. And the Plame leak, by my understanding of it, is that it WAS to coerce people. I could be wrong.


Maybe we just have to agree to disagree about the "mislead into war" argument because I really don't see how you have any leg to stand on.

banyon
05-09-2006, 01:02 PM
If the people are upset about a bad decision to go to war based on what was known (or thought to be known) at the time they should be upset with Congress.

The measure of whether or not "we" were deceived into war should be whether or not the administration deceived Congress not whether or not the public was fully informed. If Congress was deceived, they should raise hell. However, we have a responsibility to distinguish between a Congress that is trying to pass the buck and a Congress that was actually misled. So far, to the extent that the opposition party in Congress is trying to raise hell on this point, it looks to me like it's mostly passing the buck.

again, deception is relative to the one doing the deceiving (viz., the deceiver), not its object.

Don't you believe that members of Congress are the duly representative elected officials of their constituency? If, so then they have a duty to listen to their respective constituencies. Don't you think they recieved some phone calls on this important topic? If so, Bush had an opportunity to deceive Congress by deceiving the public and then having them put pressure on Congress. If you don't think this was the intent of the massive public campaign they had, then I'd like to hear the alternate explanation.

Taco John
05-09-2006, 01:10 PM
Excellent.

It seems that their outrage only goes so far. To the limits of comprehension against Bush, but a free pass goes out to all the elected officials who authorized him.

They oppose the war - just not enough to hold their leaders accountable for it.


You won't catch me voting for a single congressional incumbant this year...

patteeu
05-09-2006, 02:16 PM
It doesn't. However, it seems that through your posts you want to deflect most, if not all, of the blame to Congress rather than the President and his intentions/agenda.

It's not deflection when you put the blame where it belongs.

No it didn't say anything about Congressional Backing but it did speak about fitting the evidence around the policy. And the Plame leak, by my understanding of it, is that it WAS to coerce people. I could be wrong.

Again, the Downing Street Memo tells us nothing about whether or not the President was "very intent on going to war, any way possible" (which would include without Congressional authorization). It might add weight to the argument that he was willing to go to war without UN authorization, but not without Congressional authorization. Those of us who believe in US sovereignty don't believe we need permission from the UN to defend our interests.

Regarding the Plame disclosure, it still remains to be established that that disclosure was an administration designed disclosure as opposed to a mistake or a rogue leak. It's another step beyond that to establish what the motive was. Nonetheless, I'd be interested to hear how that "leak" could have been intended to coerce someone.

Maybe we just have to agree to disagree about the "mislead into war" argument because I really don't see how you have any leg to stand on.

Of course you don't, you have your partisan blinders on. Congressional democrats are off the hook and the simultaneously dumb-as-a-rock/sly-as-a-fox President tricked us all.

patteeu
05-09-2006, 02:32 PM
again, deception is relative to the one doing the deceiving (viz., the deceiver), not its object.

Don't you believe that members of Congress are the duly representative elected officials of their constituency? If, so then they have a duty to listen to their respective constituencies. Don't you think they recieved some phone calls on this important topic? If so, Bush had an opportunity to deceive Congress by deceiving the public and then having them put pressure on Congress. If you don't think this was the intent of the massive public campaign they had, then I'd like to hear the alternate explanation.

Don't you believe that members of Congress have a duty to their constituency to evaluate information, much of which the public is not allowed to know, and act on that information for the benefit of their constituents even if there is political pressure to do the opposite? If the case for war was flawed and the people wanted war, don't their congresspeople owe it to them to reject war?

I think the public campaign is necessary because I do think that congresspeople are political animals who, in many cases, will not perform their duties if it might mean they face political risk. That doesn't absolve them of their duty. If successful, such a campaign provides a friendly political climate for Congress to adopt the President's policy.

Bush shouldn't be able to deceive the Congress through the people because, collectively, Congress is in a position to demand and get any information they think they need to feel comfortable about authorizing war despite what the people are hearing in the public forum. Congress doesn't rely on phone calls from constituents and shouldn't rely on the nightly news for their information regarding decisions of war and peace.

mlyonsd
05-09-2006, 02:57 PM
Of course you don't, you have your partisan blinders on. Congressional democrats are off the hook and the simultaneously dumb-as-a-rock/sly-as-a-fox President tricked us all.ROFL Makes you wonder why someone that believes Bush is incompetent and at the same time tricked us into war wouldn't want to hold those in Congress accountable for being so stupid in the first place doesn't it?

You don't suppose it could be....."blind partisan hate" do you?

I mean I could see Clinton tricking us into anything, he could sell used cars to a blind man. But Bush? The knuckle dragging moron some are making him out to be? I'd think a person with common sense would hold their own Congressman responsible if they voted to authorize war while at the same time they believed he was tricked by such a dingbat as Bush.

irishjayhawk
05-09-2006, 03:08 PM
It's not deflection when you put the blame where it belongs.



Again, the Downing Street Memo tells us nothing about whether or not the President was "very intent on going to war, any way possible" (which would include without Congressional authorization). It might add weight to the argument that he was willing to go to war without UN authorization, but not without Congressional authorization. Those of us who believe in US sovereignty don't believe we need permission from the UN to defend our interests.

Regarding the Plame disclosure, it still remains to be established that that disclosure was an administration designed disclosure as opposed to a mistake or a rogue leak. It's another step beyond that to establish what the motive was. Nonetheless, I'd be interested to hear how that "leak" could have been intended to coerce someone.



Of course you don't, you have your partisan blinders on. Congressional democrats are off the hook and the simultaneously dumb-as-a-rock/sly-as-a-fox President tricked us all.
FWIW, I'm not a democrat.

patteeu
05-09-2006, 03:30 PM
FWIW, I'm not a democrat.

OK, not partisan blinders, just anti-Bush blinders.

banyon
05-09-2006, 05:00 PM
Don't you believe that members of Congress have a duty to their constituency to evaluate information, much of which the public is not allowed to know, and act on that information for the benefit of their constituents even if there is political pressure to do the opposite? If the case for war was flawed and the people wanted war, don't their congresspeople owe it to them to reject war?

I think the public campaign is necessary because I do think that congresspeople are political animals who, in many cases, will not perform their duties if it might mean they face political risk. That doesn't absolve them of their duty. If successful, such a campaign provides a friendly political climate for Congress to adopt the President's policy.

Bush shouldn't be able to deceive the Congress through the people because, collectively, Congress is in a position to demand and get any information they think they need to feel comfortable about authorizing war despite what the people are hearing in the public forum. Congress doesn't rely on phone calls from constituents and shouldn't rely on the nightly news for their information regarding decisions of war and peace.

Ok. but you originally said:

The "Bush misled us into war" complaint doesn't fly. If America was misled into war it is because Congress didn't do it's job, not because the President didn't open the books to the public. (Don't confuse this with me agreeing that anyone was misled into war because I still don't believe that).

So, I'm arguing that he deceived both, I'm not trying to abrogate Congress of its responsibilities. And it still doesn't change the fact that Bush would be the one doing the deceiving and the deceived's failure to vet that information does not change his status as deceiver according to the parameters of our discussion.

patteeu
05-09-2006, 05:06 PM
Ok. but you originally said:



So, I'm arguing that he deceived both, I'm not trying to abrogate Congress of its responsibilities. And it still doesn't change the fact that Bush would be the one doing the deceiving and the deceived's failure to vet that information does not change his status as deceiver according to the parameters of our discussion.

OK. I don't think Bush deceived Congress and I don't think he deceived the public in any way other than not being completely forthcoming (which shouldn't be expected). But if there was any deceiving going on, I agree that it would have to be done by the deceiver rather than by the deceived.

I think what I originally said is still what I mean though. The people's complaint, to the extent that they have one is with Congress at least until Congress establishes the fact that they were deceived, which AFAICT hasn't happened yet.