Why ‘Congress Has Cooled on Colbert’

Politico has a story about how congressmembers and their staffs are avoiding the Colbert Report that contains this anecdote:

“My experience with that show is like herpes. It never goes away, and it itches and sometimes flares up,” said a former aide to Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, after his boss appeared on the show in 2006. The conservative Georgia Republican, co-sponsor of a bill requiring that the 10 Commandments be displayed in Congress, was skewered by Colbert in a segment of “Better Know a District” for appearing to be able to name only three of the commandments.

The episode has “haunted” the office for years, the former aide said. ‘I deeply regret letting him go on the Colbert Report.”

Colbert gave the guy the dumbass demagogue herpes!

Seriously, Rep. Westmoreland isn’t haunted by Colbert. He’s haunted by the reality of his ignorant demagoguery, briefly exposed on Colbert. (Watch the video–it’s not Colbert’s editing that makes him come across as he does.) The Colbert Report is one of the few places where this sort of thing can happen anymore–and that should be the key point. Politicians are avoiding Colbert in favor of more friendly and servile venues–like news outlets.

About Steve Rendall

Senior Media Analyst and Co-producer of CounterSpin Steve Rendall is FAIR's senior analyst. He is co-host of CounterSpin, FAIR's national radio show. His work has received awards from Project Censored, and has won the praise of noted journalists such as Les Payne, Molly Ivins and Garry Wills. He is co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error (The New Press, 1995, New York City). Rendall has appeared on dozens of national television and radio shows, including appearances on CNN, C-SPAN, CNBC, MTV and Fox Morning News. He was the subject of a profile in the New York Times (5/19/96), and has been quoted on issues of media and politics in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and New York Times. Rendall contributed stories to the International Herald Tribune from France, Spain and North Africa; worked as a freelance writer in San Francisco; and worked as an archivist collecting historical material on the Spanish Civil War and the volunteers who fought in it. Rendall studied philosophy and chemistry at San Francisco State University, the College of Notre Dame and UC Berkeley.