National: The Colbert-Rove Connection
Hey, let’s talk about Steve Colbert’s “tribute to President Bush” at the recent AP dinner televised by C-SPAN.
For those of you who missed it, television satirist Colbert dissected and stomped and peed on Bush and his presidency before a live audience of stunned reporters and White House flunkies—as the President himself squirmed not ten feet away, a sickly grin plastered on his rapidly aging face. American history, made live on television: I never saw or heard of any American political comic (not even Mort Sahl) with the guts to do that to a President’s face. Bush simply took it—no objections, no one came to his rescue; he simply walked away at the end of a speech that publically identified him as a dangerous, heartless baboon. Colbert was unsparing; his images were funny, brutal and accurate. So much so that big media kept downplaying the historicity of the incident in their follow-up coverage for days after.
Yet the Colbert speech remains the toast of Internet news junkies—analysis follows analysis, damnation and praise offered by those who use their computers to follow the hour-to-hour criminal bumbling of the present White House.
I would link to take you to the video itself, but the top story at the moment of this writing informs me that C-SPAN is now making folks take this popular footage off their websites. I guess C-SPAN is like the rest of the commercial media; they don’t want the news of the latest White House debacle to spread any further, either. Either that or they think they’re all gonna get real wealthy from holding the copyright to Colbert’s incredible performance, and then they can use the money to buy themselves another camera or an extra mike or something.
Everybody who appreciates the enormity of Colbert’s unrestrained “shock and awe” destruction of the President has one question on their lips: how could this have happened? It doesn’t matter if you’re an old-time Bush hater or a die-hard Bush lover; you’ve got to be wondering: why would the President accept to an invitation to appear live at a pitilessly accurate and blatantly unaffectionate indictment of his own character, career, and policy? Live, in front the Press? In front of his WIFE? On TELEVISION?
“Was he out of his MIND?” said a toothless old man sitting at the table next to me in café here in New Orleans. “What the hell was he THINKING, showing up to hear THAT guy?” Millions of people, liberal, conservative, whatever, are asking the same thing. Is the President really that DUMB—i.e. as stupid as Colbert says he is? Didn’t Bush know who Steve Colbert was, before he decided to attend the event? I mean, I’ve never seen Colbert’s TV show (I understand it’s really funny), but I know who the guy is—he’s already got a wicked reputation--why wasn’t Bush warned? What happened to the army of Bush press flacks and hacks who are supposed to keep the President informed about potential opposition—or at least insulated from it? Boy, Karl Rove must have really been asleep at the wheel that da—
A-HA! A-HAAAAAH! A-HAAA… Eureka! I have found it. Now I realize; now I know, how it happened, why it happened. Imagine the phone call, secure White House line, Oval Office to Karl Rove’s “new” office, taking place the day that Bush is supposed to show up to the AP dinner featuring Colbert:
Bush: Hey, Karl; how ya doin’, y’ole Turd Blossom. Long time no see.
Rove: Mr. President?
Bush: What’s the matter, ole buddy, don’t you recognize my voice any more?
Rove: You’ll have to speak up, Mr. President; since you saw fit to demote me, my new office is down here in the boiler room, it’s kind of loud and hot and—
Bush: Hell, I’m sorry about that Karl, but you know, man, there wasn’t no way out for me, we couldn’t let you keep on being seen with me day after day after that “leaking-the-CIA-secrets” stuff—
Rove: I wish I could understand, Mr. President. Back when I was working with Donald Segretti, loyalty meant something—
Bush: Yeah, I know, but—
Rove: I put decades into your career, sir, I pulled every scuzzy, low-life trick I knew to put you in the Oval Office and protect your reputation, and now you—(yell at someone, off the phone) For Christ’s sake can you stop shoveling that coal for two minutes, I’m on the phone with the President—
Bush: Anyway, Karl—the reason why I called, I’m invited to this AP dinner thing tonight, and I was wondering if you thought I should go—
Rove: That’s really not my department anymore, sir—as you know I’m not supposed to be advising you daily, since your very public abandonment of me—
Bush: Now come on, Karl, be a bud and help me out here. Should I go, or—
Rove: I’m sorry, sir, but if you value my input so much, why am I working down here in—
Bush: --It’s an AP dinner, they got some comedian comin’ or something, Steve Col-bert, or some French name—
Rove: (pause) What? What was that name?
Bush: I dunno, Col-bert—
Rove: Col-“bear?” Steve Colbert?
Bush: Yeah! Yeah, that’s it, Steve Colbert. He’s gonna do a little funny speech about me or something, kinda like Bob Hope, I guess. Should I go?
Rove: (pause) Oh, yeah.
Bush: Really? You think it’d be good for the old image?
Rove: Oh, SURE! You gotta go, Mr. President. You don’t wanna miss that…
Bush: Is he funny? I mean, he’s not gonna go too heavy on the political stuff, the war, the approval ratings, that stuff. Is he?
Rove: Colbert? Are you kidding? He’s a…PUSSYCAT. You will have the time of your life!
Rove: Don’t miss it, Mr. President, that’s my advice to you. Take the wife!
Bush: Ya feel that strongly about it, huh, Karl?
Rove: Absolutely! Are you kidding? I’m gonna TAPE it! I’m gonna TIVO it!
Bush: Heh heh. He’s that funny, huh? Okay, then, I’ll go. And Karl—thanks for not being a sore sport about me firing you and all—
Rove: Aw, shucks, fuggeddaboutit!
Bush: I hope you still think about us sometimes, up here in the ole Oval Office.
Rove: Oh I do, Mr. President. And I tell you what—when you’re sittin’ there tonight, listening to Colbert do his speech about you and your presidency—I’d sure appreciate it if you’d think of ME, and your decision to demote me down here to this boiler room office I got now.
Bush: Well I didn’t know you ever got that sentimental, Karl. Okay, I will think of you tonight.
Rove: You bet you will, sir.