The Gospel according to Colbert
Apropos Colbert’s appearance on Meet the Press, David Carr has a lengthy reflection in today’s Times.
Here is part of what he writes:
[T]he message I draw from Mr. Colbert is not that members of the
media-political complex need to laugh at themselves, but that they need
to take a hard look. The incipient generation of news consumers has
made it clear that it does not want to see a bunch of guys with really
nice neckware standing on the White House lawn talking about what they
did not learn in the press room behind them and then flick at “sources”
who suggest that “one thing is clear.”
One thing is, in fact,
clear, from the plummeting numbers for network news: the jig is up.
Consumers have decided that network news and talk shows are every bit
as fake and not nearly as funny as “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert
“Why shouldn’t a comedic fake newscaster feel right at
home in a news format that itself verges on fakery?” said Mark
Feldstein, a journalism professor at George Washington University.
“After all, these shows aren’t all that different from televised
wrestling, with the shouts and grunts that simulate combat during what
is really a fixed fight, followed by everyone involved in the charade
going out for drinks afterward.”
On television, and on the campaign, everybody is playing someone else; Mr. Colbert is just a bit more upfront about it.