Sunday, September 26, 2010
Stephen Colbert speaks "truthiness" to power and testifies before Congress on immigration. Political satire and sarcasm have a long and noble history running from court jesters and Jonathan Swift up to Mart Sahl and Lenny Bruce, and while some might not "get it" and search for funny jokes this faux naif slips under the radar and reminds us the emperor has no clothes. Colbert wears the persona of an arrogant Bill O'Reilly type pundit to ridicule that hypocrite and his ilk, and here he stays in character. Some might feel he's making light of a serious subject but it's obvious he's landing some good solid punches.
Some people didn't like it, including the top Democrat, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md), who called the Colbert testimony an embarrassment.
"I think his testimony was not appropriate," said Hoyer, on Fox News. "I think it was an embarrassment for Mr. Colbert more than the House."
Of course, the Republicans agreed and missed no opportunity to ridicule the Democrats for inviting a comedian to testify. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) disagreed.
"He's an American, right?" she said. "He came before the committee. He has a point of view. He can bring attention to an important issue like immigration. I think it's great."