Stephen Colbert, formerly with the Daily Show and now with his own show the Colbert Report, is more evidence of the topsy turvy media world we inhabit. Like Jon Stewart, he goes where the mainstream news fears to tread and makes comedy the last bastion of watchdog media.
Saturday night he gave a speech at the White House press correspondents dinner, and it was mainly addressed to Bush, seated a few feet to his right, and also to the press themselves.
"But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over the last five years, you people were so good over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew. But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know...fiction."
"I believe that the government that governs least governs best, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."
How has this been received by conservatives? Is this "inside" humor? See Dan Froomkin's column on it in the Washington Post, in which he claims the news organizations responded by claiming Colbert just wasn't funny.
Watch it here. See the whole event on CSPAN here.