Steve Colbert At The White House

I just hit pause on a video I’ve been watching. I recorded C-SPAN tonight! Has anyone ever done that before?

If my daughter is reading this, she’s laughing herself silly.

Tonight was the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner. I’m sad to say I’ve watched these in the past. It really makes for uncomfortable TV.

Back in 1994, I squirmed as I watched Don Imus be inapropriate and unfunny. Tonight, it’s Steven Colbert’s turn. See, I’m non-partisan.

The good thing about recording this dinner (as opposed to watching it live) is, there’s so much to fast forward through. I did stop, watch, and enjoy, CBS correspondent Bill Plante’s tour of the soon to be dismantled White House Press Room. I had heard for years it was a dingy, cramped, slum. It is.

Back to Colbert.

The problem here is, comedians come here to take the president apart… the most powerful man in the world… a guy with a very serious job…and he’s sitting a few feet from you.

I just don’t think it’s possible to do.

I’m only a TV weatherman, and I won’t go into a carnival’s dunk tank. This is the presidential equivalent.

As Steve began to go through his speech, hitting what he expected to be laugh lines, there was silence. He went through a long dissertation, making fun of the president’s poll numbers and I winced. He talked about the president on an aircraft carrier and in a recently flooded city square to zero response.

I feel bad for the president. Not because he isn’t responsible for what Colbert is talking about. It’s because in this venue, with the president unable to respond, it’s an unfair attack. It was true with Imus and Clinton and it is true with Colbert and Bush.

In fact that’s probably why I’ve paused the video to write this. Frozen on the right side of my computer screen is Colbert at the podium, his finger poking the air for effect. I don’t want to hear any more because I’m embarrassed to watch any more.

Maybe it’s time for this long standing tradition to stop.

4 thoughts on “Steve Colbert At The White House”

  1. Oh Poppycock!

    Geoff, this long standing tradition is a fun and spirited event. It’s a place where the President can poke fun at himself, and be made fun of.

    Think of it as roasting the President. I saw parts of it, and yes, some made me cringe and be embarrassed. Especially the parts where they showed (on MSNBC) President Bush’s face along side what Colbert was saying. The President looked annoyed, but seemed to enjoy it.

    Who cares if the President is called out, feels uncomfortable, etc. It’s tradition!

  2. You have to watch the whole thing. This is not to defend President Bush, or any specific president. It just seems like an event which could only produce an uncomfortable outcome.

  3. I’m with you Geoff. What’s changed is the no holds barred attitude of the “roaster”. There playing to the camera not the crowd. A Bob Hope, Jack Parr or Johnny Carson could do this with class and still get their shots in. Not anymore and like you I keep the remote handy. I thought Bush’s bit with his double was better than Colbert’s.

  4. Just watched this video, some people in the audience clearly thought it was funny, others had a look of suprise as if this was the first time they had been exposed to a fair acurate critique of this administrations blunders. Bush is truly the worst president in the history of our nation. If a person thought that’s not funny, they’d be correct.

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