White House Correspondents' Association Dinner 2006 Speech Essay

Stephen Colbert
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Many observers intuitively feel that the president suffered a political attack, rather than merely enduring a comedy routine.

As Americans, we're used to comedy that is observational—aren't people funny?—not comedy that is pointed: Isn't the president ignorant and out of touch with reality? We're also not used to satire—as Scherer points out in his Salon.com piece. Indeed, Scherer himself goes back to "the Situationists in France" to find a fit parallel for Colbert's "ironic mockery."

Moreover, we are used to comedy routines that string together bite-sized, stand-alone jokes—routines that can be reduced to individual "bits"—not themed attacks like Colbert's, where one joke refers back to the next, and jokes are repeated, with variations.

Colbert was relentless. He repeatedly targeted, for instance, Bush's 32% approval rating. Indeed, Colbert even suggested that the president's scant remaining support is worthless, advising him, "Sir, pay no...

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This section contains 324 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner 2006 Speech Study Guide
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