One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

Missing Colbert’s satire

As just one example of the high-minded scorn with which the media has treated Stephen Colbert’s publicity stunt in visit to Iraq, take the analysis of this Baltimore Sun television critic:

With the golf club and all the jokes about being a coward in his opening monologue, Colbert’s offering a post-post-post modern take on Bob Hope. But most of the jokes do not have a real point of view, because this gung-ho makebelieve character Colbert plays lacks a moral or emotional center. Are we ironic-izing (through a post-modern humor that is 99 percent irnony) ourselves into a kind of emotional death in which we can no longer feel the horror of war?

The most relevant description of Colbert’s character is not that he “lacks a moral or emotional center;” it is that he is a caricature of a trueblood conservative.  Viewed through this lens, his trip to Iraq is not about the lack of media attention that Iraq has received; that is just an easy peg on which to hang his satire.  The basic plot line of the piece — that the war is only still going on because no one has yet declared victory, and that Colbert will therefore be the one with sufficient cojones to make that declaration — brilliantly evokes all of the foolishness of the dozens hundreds of Bush-era speeches repeating nothing more coherent than the word “victory.”  That reality was a farce, and in mocking it, Colbert has produced something more revealing than Bush policy (and the conservative stance on the war writ large) ever was.

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June 9, 2009 - Posted by | Conservatives, Iraq | ,

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