The Colbert Report: ‘National treasure’ taking over from Letterman
by Kathleen Parker
April 14, 2014 12:00 AM | 717 views | 1 1 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the “Late Show,” CBS has waged war on America’s heartland — or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh.

Don’t you believe it, Heartlanders.

But wait, there’s more. CBS also must be waging war on Asian-Americans since a Twitter activist who calls herself Angry Asian Woman called for an end to “The Colbert Report” late last month following a joke she didn’t like.

Apparently, Colbert in his pretend role as a loudmouthed, conservative blowhard (keep guessing) made a crack about the “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever” in response to the new Washington Redskins Original American Foundation created by team owner Dan Snyder, who refuses to change the Redskins mascot name. It was satire, folks.

If you have to explain a joke ... you may be living in post-humor America.

Oy!

May I say that? Just to be safe, let’s go with heavens to Murgatroyd, begging forgiveness from all Murgatroydians extant and, again, just to be safe, nonextant.

Finally, no offense to Snagglepuss.

But back to Rush, who elaborated as follows: “What this hire means is a redefinition of what is ‘funny’ and a redefinition of what is comedy, and they’re blowing up the 11:30 format under the guise that the world’s changing and people don’t want the kind of comedy that Carson gave us or even Letterman.

“They don’t want that anymore. It’s the media planting a flag here. I think it’s maybe the media’s last stand, but it’s a declaration. There’s no unity in this hire. They’ve hired a partisan, so-called comedian to run a comedy show.”

Here’s the thing, and I say this with all due respect, Colbert is a comedian whose shtick is to present an exaggerated impression of a conservative talk show host. He’s a character! Sort of like, spoiler alert, Bill O’Reilly.

You don’t hear O’Reilly complaining about his role as comic foil. One, he has a sense of humor. Two, it’s good for him. Three, he knows that when people are paid millions to yack on TV, they don’t get to whine when someone else making millions gets a new gig. I wouldn’t be surprised to see O’Reilly among Colbert’s first guests.

To put it plainly, the fellow who will be sitting in the “Late Show” chair is nothing like the character on the “Repor(t),” which is both a delightful and grievous prospect. Many will mourn the exit of Comedy Central’s Colbert, but millions more will celebrate his new role. Having met the real-life Colbert, the lad from Charleston, S.C., I’m confident viewers will find him every bit the Everyman as was all-time favorite Johnny Carson.

The one time I appeared on “The Colbert Report,” Colbert met me in the Green Room beforehand and, speaking as the polite Southerner he is, said, “Now, I’m going to be in character on stage, so don’t let me put words in your mouth.” You can’t say I wasn’t forewarned.

In real life, Colbert, the youngest of 11 children, is a regular guy with an extraordinary wit who is as heartland as they come, if you judge “heartland” as devoted to family and devout of spirit. He became a funny guy in part as a result of tragedy when, at age 10, his father and two of his brothers died in a plane crash. Colbert inherited his brothers’ Bill Cosby record collection, which he says he listened to night after night.

From personal grief, he blossomed into a national treasure — wickedly funny, charming and charismatic. That he has made jokes at the expense of nearly everyone is merely further testament to his qualifications. An equal opportunity offender in a politically correct world. What more can one ask of a comedian?

Of all people on the planet, Americans have always been among the quickest to laugh, especially at ourselves. In my experience, Heartlanders have the best sense of humor of all because they don’t take themselves so seriously. The degree to which one takes oneself seriously is a fairly reliable measure of both breeding and intelligence. Thus, Limbaugh insults his own audience when he suggests that they should be offended.

The notion that a fake persona’s comedy routine is a threat to the American heartland bears a striking resemblance to the sort of literal-mindedness that leads to inquisitions and the Taliban. If you can’t take a joke, you could always change the channel. But you’ll miss all the fun.

Kathleen Parker is a columnist for The Washington Post.
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Harry F. Hagan
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April 14, 2014
Why must we endure this traitorous woman's poison pen? She deigns to set Rush Limbaugh and his millions of listeners, including myself, straight?

She is the perfect example-Exhibit A-of what happens to people, pols and journalists alike, who go to DC and succumb to the lure of the endless cocktail parties and wine and cheese fests given by the "best and brightest," who are all lib-oriented.

These people have no hard-wired set of core values.

Everything to them is "relative." They resist, repel, and condemn anything and anyone who would dare to judge any behavior from a absolute moral point of view.

Ms. Parker was a wonderful and faithful exponent of true conservatism until the very moment she was assumed into the "inner sanctum" of the liberal power structure of the DC sub-culture. Now she would try and convince us, just as her handlers intended all along, that true conservatism is just too stodgy; not cool.

Like Benedict Arnold, she is a sell-out to the highest bidder. She nees to be banished from our midst. She is the worm in the apple. One expects lib nonsense from unabashed liberals, but not from one who carefully built conservative bona fides such as Ms. Parker, I wonder what she thinks of herself when she's alone in her bed. I wonder if she feels the terrible guilt of her treachery. Given all the fun and money the powerful have thrown her way, I imagine her conscience is a dim memory, if even that. Use it or lose it. It's sad, but it's also very angering.
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