This week, CBS selected Stephen Colbert as their replacement for the retiring David Letterman for their late night slot in 2015. When Colbert takes over in 2015, he won’t be in character. Lots of people have congratulated Stephen Colbert on taking over as host of CBS’ “Late Show,” but right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh isn’t one of them singing praises. In fact, to hear the radio host say it, Colbert’s new job is nothing less than a grave political, constitutional, and moral crisis in American television.
“CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America,” Limbaugh fumed. “No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservatism. Now it’s just wide out in the open. What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny, and a redefinition of what is comedy. They’re blowing up the 11:30 format… they hired a partisan, so-called comedian, to run a comedy show.”
So you’d wonder, “Why is the right-wing world so outraged by Colbert’s hiring?” Well, you’d have to go all the way back to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Colbert appeared as the featured entertainer at the event, and as expected, gave a speech that was true to his character Colbert plays on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, a parody of a conservative pundit in the fashion of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. He skewered then President George W. Bush on everything from his sinking approval ratings, the Iraq war to the disastrous events of Hurricane Katrina.
In order for satire to be effective, it has to be based on the truth. But could it be his 2006 speech was a little be too close to home for conservatives?
You be the judge!