BEDA #19: Why I Love Stephen Colbert

Posted on April 20, 2010


So, the Colbert Report is one of the few traditional tv shows that I manage to keep up with nowadays. Well, that and Glenn Beck’s show. I watch one right after the other and try to figure out who makes the most outrageous claims.

Anyways, Stephen Colbert is brilliant. He’s figured out that most of the time, you can use satire and irony to make a point that you couldn’t find the words to express otherwise. I find myself in that quandary* a lot. He is a perceptive and brilliant political analyst, but also manages to make it funny at the same time. He flies under the radar, because he’s got a cable show, and lots of professional (read: boring) journalists dismiss him because he’s a comedian.

Also, his show is pushing the boundary between new and old media, because he has a comprehensive website, and has built a huge and dedicated community, The Colbert Nation. They’ve got a name. That’s how you know they’re legit. But naming one’s viewers, and addressing them by that name, isn’t something that’s done on TV a lot. Nor is building an online community where they can make their own profile, hold discussions on a forum, and participate in projects together. No, that’s generally the kind of thing that new media is really good at doing, and probably the reason I feel so out of touch watching TV sometimes. (Wait, why can’t I rate this show? Why aren’t they talking to ME? What do you mean I can’t discuss my feelings about this with the people that created it? Why aren’t they encouraging more participation?) I can only hope that more gap-bridgers like him rise to popularity and help internet gremlins back into mainstream media.

Also, to the poor individual who got here by searching “naked girls,” I’m sorry. That was misleading. Next time don’t do your porno searching on WordPress.

*I’d like to mark this event as the first time I have ever typed that word. I realized that I had no idea how to spell it.

Posted in: BEDA