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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Stephen Colbert Debacle

Stephen Colbert, the Comedy Central host of The Colbert Report, made an appearance in Washington today… right in front of Congress.

Apparently, Mr. Colbert was asked to testify in front of the House Judiciary subcommittee by its chairwoman, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., to discuss his one day (yes, one day) in the shoes of a migrant worker in NY state. Somehow, Rep. Lofgren saw him to be a fitting match as a so-called expert on migrant workers and immigration, with the keen ability to offer his personal experience and thoughts on the AgJOBS bill and the like.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. Colbert was testifying before Congress – in character… the very same satirical character he plays on TV. Why Rep. Lofgren felt this was appropriate is beyond me.

So what came of this event?
1) Mr. Colbert offered images from his colonoscopy to Congress
2) The statement he submitted to Congress prior to taking the floor was allegedly much different than his in-character speech
3) Made a mockery of Washington (quite possibly mostly-so of Rep. Lofgren, D-Calif.
4) Turned a Congressional subcommittee into a visible joke
5) (Expectedly) turned the event into a publicity stunt, and most importantly of all:
6) Wasted your and my money

I submit to anyone who was ‘for’ Stephen Colbert testifying before Congress on this matter: how could you have expected anything else? Did you really think such a character would be a productive addition to the immigration discussion?

Mr. Colbert lacks expertise and real knowledge (other than the one day spent on a farm, and other stories he’s possibly heard) that should be required in order to testify on the subject of migrant farm workers and immigration. Mr. Colbert lacks the status, experience, and expertise which many other celebrities exude (such as Bono) which would warrant his testimony on the matter before Congress.

Dear, Mr. Colbert: Thank you for your jokes and a the few laughs I expressed when listening to your testimony. While I agree that you are a comical, satirical character which I enjoy to watch on TV from time to time, I just wish you hadn’t made a mockery of an institution that is already so heavily mocked, wasted the time of Representatives, and subsequently wasted taxpayer money. Please refrain from conducting similar stunts in the future, and please reserve your comedy for our televisions… or anywhere other than a Congressional hearing.


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