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Obama Would Face Off With Jon Stewart But Not Stephen Colbert?

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 18th 2010 9:29AM
Stephen ColbertAccording to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, President Obama would happily appear on 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' but is hesitant to appear on 'The Colbert Report'. Gibbs further explained that "I have yet to see a politician best Stephen Colbert in an interview on his show."

There could be another reason for the President's opinion given the different context of the two shows. Jon Stewart presents himself in a pretty straightforward fashion. He finds contradictions in public figures and makes them more obvious. Colbert's humor is more subtle and requires an understanding of satire and irony.

There are too many people out in television-watching-land that believe that irony is something you have your dry-cleaner do with your shirts. Those folks would think Colbert is serious in his character.

Sarcasm powers, activate! Please use this opportunity to write a political rant rather than anything relating to the original article or this post. I beg you. Sarcasm powers, deactivate!

[via TV Tattle]

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Brief note: President Obama has already conversed with said fictional character while in office. He appeared by satellite on Colbert's first show from his week in Iraq (June 8, 2009). It was brief, and it wasn't an interview (he "commanded" General Ray Odierno to shave Stephen's head), but they did interact. Link: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/229768/june-08-2009/obama-orders-stephen-s-haircut---ray-odierno

February 19 2010 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Doesn't Obama have better things to do?

February 18 2010 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama could handle Colbert's deliberate attempts at making all politicians earn their right "to serve the people" I mean does anyone recall the Dick Sweat incident that Steward so wonderfully highlighted, Obama didn't even crack a smile or break into perspiration.

February 18 2010 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You're right about most of that. Well, not the "Obama takedown" thing. That went down as a rather uneventful political ploy and hasn't stopped the President's numbers from falling.

You are right about the President not conversing with fictional characters though, and that's what Colbert is. Now, I would argue that Stewart is still playing a character too. To a much less intense degree, but he certainly is in character on screen. Thus, I wouldn't want the President doing the Daily Show.

February 18 2010 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would have hated to be in a Philosophy class with Colbert, he can argue like a freaking pro.

February 18 2010 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the real reason Obama won't go on Colbert is that Colbert, even as satire, does a relatively decent job of 2 things: Pointing out when conservatives are stupid, and pointing out when conservatives aren't actually conservative.

In the first instance, no problem for Obama, he'd probably enjoy some ribbing on conservatives.

In the second, however, comes the problem. See, the Republicans right now are pretty inept. I mean, the entire tea party movement is based in what should be conservative principles... smaller, restrained government that isn't intent on spending our money and all the money we'll make for the next 100 years in the next 2 weeks.

So, when Colbert makes fun of conservatives for not being conservative, he actually presents some of the most coherent and obvious and compelling conservative arguments to be made.... and Obama certainly couldn't show up and have Colbert ask questions in character that were actually important or pertinent. His conservative character would likely be more dangerous than anything John Boehner could come up with....

So, in sense, Gibbs is telling the truth. Colbert's fictional conservative pundit would be more direct and dangerous to Obama than anyone else... because Colbert, as a liberal in sheep's clothing, could really skewer the President... and if there's one thing they don't want, it's Obama looking stupid.

February 18 2010 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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