October 26, 2005

Stephen Colbert--Too Funny for Our Own Good

Ann Althouse has a post up that looks at Stephen Colbert's new show (which I still haven't seen given that I'm in Glasgow) as only a conservative could--with hope that out of Colbert's hilarious send-up of right-wing news, Americans will actually be drawn closer to the conservative jerks Colbert parodies.

She says:
He's making the right-wing jerk character ... awfully lovable... The self-assurance while wrong is hilarious. But I do think that with some of the political points he makes, the supposedly wrong position isn't all that obviously wrong, and spoken with assurance by a character the audience loves.... Well, who knows what a show like this might do to flexible young minds?
On behalf of concerned liberals everywhere, please, Mr. Colbert, stop being funny. You're hurting the country!

I think Althouse is wrong. The far more likely result of the lovability of Colbert's character is that kids and adults--particularly red state kids and adults--will watch this show, laugh insanely at it, and when they do watch Fox News, they'll subconsciously start comparing it and the anchors to Colbert. And the Foxers will come up short.

Bill O'Reilly will simply look like a loudmouth tool, Sean Hannity will look like a bully, Shep Smith will look so much less suave. Rather than Colbert being a parody of them, the Fox team will look like parodies of Colbert, and they won't look half so good doing it.

As with the Jon Stewart Crossfire appearance, it's the professionals who will end up looking second rate. The fact is, the funnymen are a whole lot better at their job than the newsmen are at theirs, and it will show.

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