Don Hazen of Alternet has written a fantastic piece on the far-reaching impact of comedian Stephen Colbert’s performance and the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
In it, he points out how the mainstream media illustrated its continued collusion in the Nightmare that is the Bush II Administration by initially not even mentioning Colbert’s performance, and then when finally forced by the public buzz to talk about it…claimed Colbert wasn’t funny. He also notes how advances in streaming online video have seriously diminished mainstream media outlets’ power as "gatekeepers". (Thank God.)
Here’s an excerpt and a link:
Stephen Colbert: New American Hero
Virtually overnight, Stephen Colbert became a hero to countless Americans, following his April 30 performance at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
Since then, millions of people have either watched the video or read the transcript of his skewering of both the president and the press corps, and have discussed it avidly. Tens of thousands of people have gone to the website ThankYouStephenColbert.com and written letters of appreciation. Talk about water-cooler chatter; the event crashed internet servers across the land. It truly was one of those moments of media shock and delight.
And then, an odd but revealing thing happened. Some of the chattering class commentators, mainstream media writers and columnists, and Democratic officials didn’t get it: Not very funny, rude, not respectful of the president, and so on. Are they kidding? How could they not understand they were witnessing one of the bravest, most subversive performances in memory, which thrilled and gave hope to untold viewers and readers, and will be a huge marker when people look back on the Bush era?
The complete article can be read here.